“Five Minutes With” Progressive Rock/Metal Outfit Derev

Derev is a progressive Rock/Metal band from Toronto, Canada, formed by the Italian/Armenian guitarist Armando Bablanian and the Syrian/Armenian drummer Michel Karakach. Derev’s sound combines the energy and intensity of metal music with the atmospheric sound of old-school progressive rock, while incorporating elements of their Arabic and Armenian heritage.

The plan for what eventually became Derev was in the works since Michel and Armando met in high school while living in Kuwait. At the time, they were unable to pursue the project due to circumstances of living in the Middle East.

After obtaining his dental degree in Syria and immigrating to Canada, Michel joined Armando in Toronto to form the band after an eight-year hiatus, where they met the bassist Liam Horrigan who recently joined the project.

In anticipation of their debut EP “Leap of Faith”, Derev has already released two singles and an animated music video in early 2021. “Leap of Faith” features Adel Saflou (Ambrotype) on vocals and will be released on May 21st.

Armando (guitarist/songwriter), an engineering graduate from the University of Toronto, has been an active musician for over 10 years. His most notable work is with the Canadian metal band “Till I Conquer” with whom he has released an EP and 3 singles.

Michel (drummer/songwriter) has been an active drummer for the past 10 years. He was constantly organizing and playing shows while obtaining his dental degree in Syria. Fortunately for him, he had the opportunity to immigrate to Canada and pursue his musical career with Armando to bring Derev to life.

Liam (bassist) who’s also an engineering graduate from the University of Toronto, started his musical career with Ottawa-based act “Open Season”. He has diversified across instruments, genres, and locations (including performances throughout southern Ontario and the release of an alternative rock solo EP as @t_ii_f).


Name: Derev

Genre: Progressive Rock/Metal

Founded: January 2021

# of Albums: 1

Latest Release: Leap of Faith (EP)

Latest Single: Turab

Latest Video:  Turab

Favourite band as a teenager: Dream Theater

Favourite band now: Opeth

Guilty Pleasure Song: Radiohead – Creep

Live Show Ritual: We try to eat at least a dozen fatayers (manaeesh) before hitting the stage

Favourite local artist: Pyramid Theorem

EP or LP? LP

Early bird or night owl? Night owl

Road or studio? Road

Any shows or albums coming up? (What do you currently want to promote?)

We just released our debut EP Leap of Faith, now we’re preparing for shows when they come back

Rapid Fire Qs on Toronto

Sneaky Dees nachos, pasta from Terroni or a superfood salad from Fresh?

Pasta from Terroni

Queen or College St?


Trinity Bellwoods, High Park, Riverdale, Kew Gardens, or other?

Definitely Riverdale

Swiss Chalet or Roti?


Where can we follow you?

Apple Music: https://music.apple.com/ca/artist/derev/1547148415
Amazon Music: https://music.amazon.ca/artists/B08RXMMHB5/derev?marketplaceId=ART4WZ8MWBX2Y&musicTerritory=CA
Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/artist/5v9utBqZwzcTksP1jQUCJs?si=KyvbvixSQ7yb7N2bLvjsCA
YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/c/derevmusic
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/derevmusic
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/derevmusic
Twitter: https://www.twitter.com/derevmusic

Favourite local Restaurant: Burger Priest