Derev offer a hard-hitting examination of war and honour on their darkly exotic and relentlessly heavy single and video Turab — showcasing today on Tinnitist.
The latest (and heaviest) from the Canadian prog-metal rockers’ EP Leap Of Faith, Turab — Earth in Arabic — was written with the purpose of “questioning things that are culturally presumed as absolute truths,” they say. Case in point: The culture of war and the so-called “honour” of sacrificing oneself for “the land.” Is it really an honour, they ask, “or is it just another presumed truth we were raised to believe and never question?”
Featuring guest vocalist Adel Saflou alongside Derev’s Armando Bablanian, Michel Karakach and Liam Horrigan, Turab features intense guitar riffs, chest-pounding drum beats, and mesmerizingly groovy time changes — all bolstering the track’s poetic lyrics, which are simultaneously thought-provoking and harrowing. The band’s intent was to blend the heaviness of metal with the atmospheric feel and rhythms of old school prog-rock, all while experimenting with Middle Eastern guitar scales derived from the members’ respective origins — Bablanian is from Kuwait and Karakach is from Syria.
While every song on Leap Of Faith orbits a concept, it’s not a concept album. Just as Turab pulls no punches in its criticism of war, each track on the EP covers a different timely topic. The common theme is voiced in the group’s desire for listeners to see things from a different, unconventional perspective — and to take change-making action rather than accept the status quo. This idea spawned the title Leap Of Faith, they add.
Though Leap Of Faith may be the first many metal fans ever hear of Derev, these undeniably talented band members’ earliest rumblings could be heard long before this new inception. Bablanian and Karakach first met in high school while living in Kuwait, “we were unable to pursue the project at the time due to the circumstances of living in the Middle East,” they share. Both of them eventually immigrated to Canada, where Bablanian was part of metal band Till I Conquer — with whom he released an EP and three singles. Horrigan used to be in the Ottawa-area band Open Season and has released a solo alt-rock offering under @t_ii_f.