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Let's bring BLEND back!

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Souaid with drummer Jad Aouad, bassist Haytham Chalhoub and guitarist Miran Gurunian are Blend, one of the few English-language rock bands in Lebanon.

That means their impressive debut album Act One is a mix of post-grunge in the manner of Pearl Jam but some unexpected Middle Eastern melodies and instruments. With instruments like bouzouk, reg and mazhar, it makes for a heady blend of the exotic and the brooding. The band members, all in their late 20s, grew up listening to Iron Maiden, Metallica, The Mission and classic rock by Led Zeppelin then, when they could get the albums which were passed from hand to hand, the grunge rockers from Seattle like Pearl Jam, then Radiohead.

But in 97, after the suicide of a metal fan, albums by Metallica and Nirvana were banned just as Blend had its first incarnation as Leviathan and had started playing rock covers in local pubs.

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