Khavar is a Death/Black/Experimental metal band that was founded in August 2018 by Garo Gdanian. Members of the band comprise of Garo Gdanian on guitars/composer, Youssef Helayel on guitars (solos and sick melodies), Kamal El Khoueiry on vocals/lyrics, Derek Roddy on drums and Marco Ghorayeb on bass. Garo Gdanian is the founder of The Weeping Willow, the first Lebanese death metal band founded in 1996 under the name of Opposite, which later was changed into The Weeping Willow. The Weeping Willow released four albums during their 22 years of existence: Garden of Misery 2001 - Mentally Decayed 2003 -The Third Portal 2007 - Impale 2011. They played alongside many well renowned international bands, in the likes of Theatre of Tragedy in 2002, Apocalyptica in 2006, Macbeth in 2008, Anathema in 2009, Moonspell/Katatonia in 2011, Decapitated/Destruction in 2018. In early 2017, Derek and Garo met in Lebanon during a drum workshop clinic at a local music store. This is when both of them discussed a potential project they both wished to experiment with. That’s when Khavar was born. Derek Roddy has gained a reputation worldwide as an extreme metal drummer. Though he may be known as the second drummer of Hate Eternal, he has also played and recorded with Nile, Malevolent Creation, Divine Empire, Council of the Fallen (where he also played guitar), Today Is the Day, Traumedy and Aurora Borealis. On March 28 2006, Derek Roddy announced his departure from Hate Eternal. Around 2007, Roddy started an instrumental band called Serpents Rise, which almost immediately grabbed the attention of drummers around the world. In 2010, Roddy was one out of seven drummers who auditioned to replace Mike Portnoy as the drummer for Dream Theater. Since his departure from Hate Eternal in 2006, he has become a featured drum clinician for several companies, including Meinl Cymbals, Vater Percussion and DW drums.
Marco Ghorayeb, original long-term bassist of The Weeping Willow, a strong pillar in the band and a loyal member all along, joined Garo in this new project: Khavar. His talent in graphic design along with his crazy imagination have allowed him to be the sole content creator of all The Weeping Willow visuals, album covers and designs. Youssef Helayel, a young talent with a lot of future potential was recruited into the band. He is a guitar teacher in the NJAM local music school, also works in studio recording and editing. His dark melodies are a great compliment to Garo’s sick riffs. Marco Ghorayeb and Youssef Helayel work together, joining their talents and creativity in creating Khavar’s music videos. Kamal El Khoueiry, a unique vocalist who can growl like a beast and still sing clean vocals perfectly, was the natural addition to this project. He is also a talented guitar/bass and piano player. Not only that, but he is also the main lyricist of Khavar. In the mid-2000s, Kamal was in a band called Element 26, that ruled the scene for a while, known for their great performances and presence on stage. He has a strong charisma and owns the stage while performing. Bachir Ramadan, a young talented drummer and a long- time friend and drummer of The Weeping Willow, stands in for Derek Roddy when is not available in Lebanon. He plays with several bands and is sought after, due to his crazy blasts and sick talent. He currently tours Europe and performs with Nervecell, he also drums for Innerguilt. Khavar’s logo was created by the one and only Lord of Logos Christophe Szpajdel, the one behind legendary logos such as the logos of Emperor and DarkThrone. Khavar’s first album is currently under work. They have already released 4 singles: Death Card Dealer, Red Snakes, The Prey and Sun Swallow Earth. Their first performance was at Metro El Madina on June 11 alongside Kimaera, long time pioneers in the local metal scene, Nocturna a great atmospheric melodic local death metal band and SOD, an impressive rising rock and roll local band, with awesome stage performance.