rami mustafa, nervecell, metal, middle east, arabic, heavy, guitar, death metal, thrash metal
Rami H. Mustafa onstage with Nervecell

Rami H. Mustafa is the guitarist with Dubai-based extreme metal band Nervecell. 

Since they got together in 2000, the trio have established themselves as the biggest metal band in the Middle East – and one of the most successful bands from the region, period. 

Their blend of death and thrash metal – and their superb live performances – have gained them fans all around the world. In 2011, Metal Hammer named the band as one of the ’50 Heroes of the New Metal Revolution’. 

Here, Rami names five of his favorite regional metal bands. For Middle East metalheads, recommendations don’t come any higher than this.

1. Benevolent

They’re a super-talented and passionate band with this really cool heavy-yet-sweet sound. Hadi [Sarieddine, guitarist] worked on the production of the new Nervecell album.

2. Svengali

Adnan [Mryhij, vocalist] is an old bud of mine. He came on tour with Nervecell, filming lots of shows and behind-the-scene videos including our Metallica support show. Svengali play a killer mix of hardcore and melodic metal.

3. Perversion

One of the few straight-up death metal bands still standing in Dubai today (I think). I know the guys, Mahmud & Rahma [Gecekuşu], from back before they put the band together and to this day we hang out and talk about the "old school scene”. 

4. Naser Mestarihi

Naser’s an awesome rock/heavy metal guitar player! He put his band together under his name and worked super-hard to make a couple of albums. He puts on a good live performance – essential for getting out there!

5. Scarab

Groovy, oriental death metal from Egypt! We’ve played shows together many times. Al Sharif [Marzeban, guitarist] is super-supportive of the metal scene in the Middle East.

Rami will be speaking at STEP Music in Dubai on April 7th about his experiences with Nervecell, and how they became one of the most successful English-language acts from the Middle East. You can get your tickets here.