Metallica recently announced they'd be playing their first-ever show in Saudi Arabia at the Soundstorm festival in Riyadh on Dec. 14, which would have made them the first international band to play inside the country. However, Canadian death metal vets Cryptopsy beat them to it and performed in Riyadh on Dec. 1.

The event, which also featured Saudi Arabia's Creative Waste and Bahrain's Necrosin, was made possible by promoter Heavy Arabia Entertainment and Slamman Booking Asia and Cryptopsy's appearance was actually booked after Metallica's announcement was made (as reported by Digital Journal).

Gigi Arabia, CEO of Heavy Arabia Entertainment says (via Metal Injection), "We take immense pride in pioneering the organization of the first-ever international metal band in Saudi Arabia, and we are incredibly honored to have Cryptopsy, alongside Creative Waste and Necrosin, marking a significant milestone in the history of the Saudi metal scene. We know for a fact that after December 1, 2023, the landscape of metal in Saudi Arabia will never be the same. This achievement was spearheaded purely by the local scene, for the local scene."

"Our commitment to promise and deliver, even in the face of imperfections, has truly been the driving force behind this milestone for the scene," Gigi continues, "Above all, our personal biggest achievement is finally providing a platform for our local metal bands to share the stage with their idols and major influences right here in their homeland. Every one of our bands has played an integral role as participants, co-creators, and enablers in realizing our collective vision to firmly establish Saudi Arabia on the global metal music map."

"It’s incredible that even after 30 years as a band we can still experience something new and exciting," state Cryptopsy, "It is a true honor to be the first international metal band to perform in Saudi Arabia. Our experience here has been amazing and unforgettable."

READ MORE: The Best Death Metal Album of Each Year Since 1985

About Cryptopsy

The band was formed in 1992, having undergone a series of name changes dating back to 1988, and were among the early leaders of the technical and brutal death metal styles. Their second album, 1996's None So Vile, is a classic, known for its intense speed, furious tempo changes, Lord Worm's deranged vocal performance and the warring riffs where technicality, melody and slam-worthy moment all coalesce into something beautifully brutal.

Their new record, As Gomorrah Burns, is their first since 2012 and third effort (alongside a pair of EPs) with vocalist Matt McGachy, who first appeared on 2005's divisive The Unspoken King.

Watch a video for the As Gomorrah Burns single "In Abeyance" directly below.

Cryptopsy, "In Abeyance"

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Gallery Credit: Joe DiVita

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