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Published On: Tue, Dec 30th, 2014

“In the heart of the desert of Sinai, alone, under the starry sky is where I find my serenity” says Moustafa Troll, lead vocalist of Egyptian metal band Ahl Sina.

The pain of metal music is where Moustafa Troll has found his true being; the metal genre has provided him with some of the most beautiful moments of his life.  Moustafa has a great voice and instead of sitting on a psychologist’s couch, to get in touch with his inner self, just give him a microphone and he will shout it out like hell! His music includes narratives about ancient history that looks at why there is evil in the world and its origin.

Moustafa founded Ahl Sina in 2009 and brought together a team for his dream project, they are currently on the verge of releasing their first album. Ahl Sina plays Oriental extreme metal, their music reflects the Egyptian Oriental music culture, especially the old Egyptian music theories; this has attracted members to join with instruments such as NAI and percussions.

When Moustafa finished the foundation of Ahl Sina, he always called Shung, a fellow member of the band, since he was the only person Moustafa knew could transform his vision into music; his soulmate in music.

– We chose the extreme metal, because our message is an extreme true message.

Moustafa is the lead vocalist, but there is a second vocalist who delivers traditional hummings, as have been heard in the deserts of Sinai for thousands of years.

He sees these traditional sounds and music as a true treasure of Egypt and the Middle East.

Moustafa Troll: "I have a choice to live as a good man or I have a choice to be an asshole, and I wonder how these assholes chose to live as an asshole? What kind of life is that? How those people became like that?"

Moustafa Troll: “I have a choice to live as a good man or I have a choice to be an asshole, and I wonder how these assholes chose to live as an asshole? What kind of life is that? How those people became like that?”

This connection with tradition and Sinai has a very special meaning for Moustafa, and is reflected in the name of the band as he explains with emotion that Ahl Sina, means ”The People of Sinai” in Arabic.

How has your life so far brought you to where you are today with regard to your music?

Moustafa grew up in Giza, Cairo, Egypt, with his mother, father and three sisters. He is the youngest of the four. His earliest memorable happy times was when his father took him to Disneyland for the very first time.

– I’ve had hard times in my life and I have a voice that can sing, I don’t think I will ever sing happy songs. You know, it will obviously be very clear that I’m faking, and I don’t want to be a fake guy, Moustafa explains.

 It is the hard times in his life that brought him to hard music; hard music in Egypt is metal, so he found himself drawn to metal and rock and hard rock.

It was when Moustafa saw Michael Jackson perform for the first time that he knew he wanted to become an artist.  He says that it was Jackson’s energy which seemed to transfer to and energise his audience, it was this that Moustafa perceived as magical and inspiring.  Although he admired Jackson, it was the metal genre which most appealed to him and where he found his home, as he is able to vocalize his inner pain on stage.

– So, it is my path.

When he was 15 years old he was listening to Megadeth’s “In my darkest hour” for the very first time, and ended up musing about Megadeth’s Frontman Dave Mustaine, who wrote the track and remembers thinking:

–  Oh my God! How did you know I feel this way? I felt he is my idol!

Matters of an existential nature have been a recurring theme throughout Moustafa’s life.  It is in the heart of the Sinai desert, far from civilization where he finds his freedom and closeness to his higher power and spirituality.  Sometimes he travels there alone, to its wildest and purest parts, surrounded by the deep valleys where he feels protected by the massive mountain chains of the desert, there he adores to sleep under the starry sky.

– There is a serenity I experience with the mountains around me; I don’t get this feeling from life, I don’t get it from people, I don’t get it from friends, I don’t get it from work, from success or even music, I just get it from the mountains so I go back to the mountains.

Troops of Pain

Moustafa feels let down by man-kind with the continual cycle of war and brutal atrocities, he is also disillusioned with politics and feels that governments are untrustworthy.  However he takes responsibility for his own self by regularly looking inwardly and has come to realize:

– I have a choice to live as a good man or I have a choice to be an asshole, and I wonder how these assholes chose to live as an asshole? What kind of life is that? How those people became like that?

Moustafa cannot see why evil needs to exist, and this explains why he is searching for answers when writing his lyrics and creating music: Why there are wars in life? Why are there things wrong in life?

Moustafa bursts into laughter and somewhat cynically says:

– You can never find a world at peace for one day. There is always something wrong!

He broadened his awareness of these issues as he started meditating on them. He went all the way back to the beginning and found that Satan must be the cause of it all and this is depicted in his lyrics:

– Go back and back, and back and back and back to and try to figure out with your brain, I don’t think that your brain will bring you the idea that God created the earth to play with us; God created the earth as a gift, so my first song is called “The gift”.

Moustafa has written about the prophets, about God as well as Satan; about the messages that God sent many times to people on earth, about the great gifts that God gave to prophets and to people.  With these themes in mind, Ahl Sina has titled their first album “Troops of Pain”.

– And those troops are the people who decided to think like me. You know, those people, who got the point of the creation. Who got the point why there is something wrong every day because they cannot cope with assholes, and unfortunately there is more than 90 percent of the people that are assholes.

Stylistically Moustafa’s voice is made for singing death metal, he was inspired to shout on stage by one of his idols, Chuck Schuldiner, who formed the metal band Death in 1983 and has been called ‘The Godfather of Death Metal” (http://metalcrusade.org/chucks-story.html).

Moustafa has founded many Death Metal bands around Egypt throughout the years, but he prefers to be a vocalist for heavy metal and he is really enjoying jamming with his current band, Ahl Sina.

– I love the heavy metal voice inside of me and I have different swings in my voice and I can change the sound depending on the situation.

What languages do you speak?

Arabic, English and I am currently learning German, I also know a little Turkish.

What piece of advice would you give to a young person who dreams of becoming a metal singer?

– Just be yourself. Shout your truth.

 What are your plans for 2015?

– Continue working on our first album and its marketing.  We have also applied to be part of the Wacken Open Air Festival’s battle of the bands, W: O: A: Metal Battle Middle East (http://www.metal-battle.com/countries13/middle-east15/?type=0%2522…ocus%253D%2522blurLink%28this%29%253B271); the winner from the Middle East will travel to Wacken in Germany, and perform at the biggest Metal Festival on Earth!

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