Lebanon's screaming sirens defy gender norms with all-girl metal group

Slave To Sirens, one of the few all-girl metal bands in the Middle East, was formed in 2016 in Lebanon.

(CNN)In Greek mythology, sirens use their enchanting voices to lure sailors to their death. In Lebanon, a group of modern-day sirens have decided not to sing sweetly like their namesakes. Instead they scream, growl and headbang -- but they, too, turn heads.

Slave to Sirens are defying gender norms as the first all-female metal band in the country, asserting their place not just in conservative Lebanese society but also in the male-dominated, global heavy metal scene.
    The five-piece group, formed in 2016, fearlessly command stages that are usually monopolized by men. Their lyrics -- written in English to reach a wider audience -- express raw feelings and strong opinions on issues of social inequality, politics and freedom.
    In the title track of the band's self-produced debut EP, "Terminal Leeches," lead vocalist Maya Khairallah sings: "They fill your head with lies. Ignorance, your ultimate demise." The lyrics of the closing track, "Congenital Evil," reinforce the message: "Why do you always have to obey? Zero degrees of empathy, forever coming your way."
    Bassist Alma Doumani, 22, says that for her, the allure of heavy metal is its aggressive style. "It lets your anger out -- it lets you express your mind."