Formed somewhere between 2002 and 2003 by Ramzi Essayyed and his brother Waseem, along with childhood friends Hani and Baha Farah, Bilocate is the result of six men who shared a common taste in music that might have been somewhat ‘taboo’ at the time.
The band started off by recording instrumental tracks, and the members knew they had something going on even when their Dysphoria EP only had 3 tracks.
The band formation was complete once Bilocate was introduced to Rami (guitarist), and Ahmad kloub, the drummer whom they saw play live with his band a few times.
The word Bilocate comes from “Bi-location”, which means to be in two different places at the same time. The band’s influences vary since every member had their own taste when it comes to heavy metal, but this didn’t stop them from sharing a list of giants in the genre. “We listen to bands like Opeth, Pink Floyd, Edge of Sanity, Behemoth, Bloodbath, Anathema, Amorphis, Katatonia, Iron Maiden, Slayer, Porcupine Tree, Yearning.. and also Pearl Jam, Soundgarden, Alice in chains,” tells us Ramzi.
When asked about Bilocate’s exact genre of music, and vocalist Ramzi told us that they define it as “Dark Oriental Metal, which combines Doom, Death and Melodic Black metal with oriental scales and melodies.”
The band’s lyrics revolve around life and death, as well as war and permanently life altering events that take place in the region.
Check out their song titled Hypia here:
Seriously this is my favorite track they ever played, along with ‘Ebtehal’.
Regarding their gigs in the Middle East, Bilocate’s favorite gigs were in Egypt, and Ramzi tells us he’s definitely looking forward to play there soon.
The band has also played in more than 30 countries. Ramzi tells us that “Istanbul was and will be one of our favourite places to play in, followed by Lithuania… That was an experience we will never forget”. Germany, he adds, ” had great concerts since the scene is amazing there.”
Below is a video of the band playing in Turkey.
Unfortunately for Bilocate (and for us), they cannot play their music in Jordan just yet. “This is something that we [have] always dreamed of but unfortunately we cannot due to the authorities,” tells us Ramzi. “We were banned from playing in jordan since 2007 and we didn’t consider playing there since then”.
To Bilocate, metal music in general is not well received by the community, making it hard to turn such music into something with a mainstream audience. “Bands in countries such as jordan and other countries will always be underground so it is kind of impossible to make a career out of music here,” tells us Ramzi. This doesn’t mean that the band frowns upon the heavy metal scene in Jordan or in the Middle East. Bilocate would play in Jordan if they were allowed to, Ramzi adds, “this will never stop us from trying as we do it from the heart. We enjoy metal music and it became a part of our lives.”
When asked about their target audience, Ramzi told us that their muisc “is very well appreciated by the fans who know how hard it is for bands to make music in this region.”
“it is something we are proud of and we appreciate all our fans and friends who keeps us going.”
Humanity asked Ramzi about the craziest thing the band did during a live show, and this is what he told us:
“A few months ago in during a concert in Vienna, Rami’s guitar string was cut during a song and he had to stop. Meanwhile, Hani entertained the audience by playing oriental music and asking a lady on stage to dance with him! fans went crazy!”
To Ramzi, Bilocate cannot be a full time Job. The Middle East is not ready to buy CDs just yet. “People perfer free music and local bands cannot survive without selling merchandise, which is a mentality that I don’t think will change anytime soon.”
Regarding their upcoming gigs, Bilocate does not have any dates set yet. Instead, they’re currently focusing on their careers and finishing their fourth studio album, but they will focus on UK and France regarding their upcoming tours.
Their most recent album was recieved quite well by critics with over 80 reviews, and a good feedback from major metal magazines and webzines. This came as a small surprise to Bilocate, since they did not know just how much their music has evolved since their last album. “Fans did not expect us to re-record our old tracks in new outfit and release them the way we did,” tells us Ramzi, “but the album got [positive] attnetion of our oldest fans”.
I had the chance to see their albums on stands in Virgin megastores around the gulf, and was quite impressed. Ramzi replies with how it “feels great! the fact that we were appreciated and our struggle and hard work paid off in the end made us proud and it is the main thing that is keeping us going”.