There has long been a connection between the counter culture and the angst of metal music. The kind of catharsis the genre channels often speaks to a community of people that understand the depth of sound.
Equally evident is how polarizing the sound can be. There is a contingent that finds the music abrasive, aggressive, and antagonistic. While the divide usually exists in the realm of preference, for some cultures, the divide is much more significant.
For Jordanian metalcore outfit Path to Oblivion, the divide isn't just musical preference, it's in stark contrast with their culture. In fact, the music is forbidden. Listening to the music is means being ostracized and playing the music is enough to get you thrown in jail.
Under the least likely of circumstances, Path To Oblivion continue to gain their footing as an emerging force in the realm metalcore, despite facing very real danger for pursuing their art.
The band's rhythm guitarist and vocalist, Abdulqader Altaee, offered some insight into what motivates the collective. Less adversarial and more affirmative, Alatee explains that while Jordan might not support the art of metal, his hope is that his band will have some ability to change that.
Jordan is a country very rooted in tradition. Is metalcore generally accepted or is it more of the counter-culture?
Altaee - Jordan is very strict when it comes to music especially metal music. In general, all types of metal genres are considered forbidden and against their traditions. On the other hand, Jordan has a really strong and wide metal community. People do support local artists but unfortunately metal shows are against the rules and performing one in any kind of way puts us in danger of being imprisoned.
Looking at the current situation in Jordan, we are the only metal band with all members currently active. Metalcore isn't the strongest metal genre here and it is disliked by many metal fans here but since we have started, we’ve managed to change the way people look at metalcore.
What were some of the artists that inspired you to form Path to Oblivion?
Altaee - As a band we are very versatile artists. Each individual has their own influences and inspirations but our main influences have been the pioneering metalcore bands like Architects, Wage War, Polaris, and As I Lay Dying. Those bands heavily inspired our work and made us do what we are doing right now.
What is the Jordanian metal community like?
Altaee - The metal community in Jordan is really supportive. Considering all the things they have gone through to see just one live show or to even listen to metal music without being judged. They never stop and they are the foundation of why metal music is still alive in Jordan. Even though metalcore isn't their preferred genre, it's their true love of metal that keeps the community alive. The community here wants to live, wants to feel the rush of being in a metal show, wants their local bands to be heard and supported not only here, but worldwide.
Explain what "A Man of Defeat" is about and where you found the inspiration to write the track?
Altaee - When we first started working on it we wanted something that connects us with the fans more. We wanted to give people something that they are not used to. People are generally used to the common music structure which mainly goes as 'verse, bridge and chorus' we wanted to step out of that comfort zone and decided to write the structure differently and to make the track as heavy as we could. We decided to add multiple breakdowns. We wanted to give them elements of 2000s metal music that we implemented in our track. We also wanted to give the track a really modern touch and different production approaches.
What are the aspirations for Path to Oblivion? What’s the metric for success?
Altaee - As a band what we are looking to be heard and be able to play live shows in front of worldwide fans. Our goal is to go on tours and meet the bands that we always looked up to, open up shows and to play our own thing. We also aspire to change how people think about metal music here locally and we want to be the reason for that change.
Watch the premiere for "A Man of Defeat" from Path to Oblivion