"We are living in a metal world"
September 11, 2008 6:52 PM   Subscribe

Iraqi heavy metal? Sure, there's Acrassicauda. They're named after a scorpion. The Guardian has an informative article about them. There's been a movie made about them, which the New York Times has written about. Four members of the group, more recently based in Turkey, were seeking refugee status. Are they any good? I dunno, I guess so, but I''m not all that keen on metal, myself, so I'm not the best person to ask. Just go listen to 'em at their MySpace page.
posted by flapjax at midnite (14 comments total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
And then of course there is Iraqi group CUF which worked with Sammy Hagar on his new album.
posted by Captaintripps at 6:59 PM on September 11, 2008

Dude, I just got this on Netflix. Don't blow the ending for me.
posted by fungible at 7:05 PM on September 11, 2008

These guys are also featured prominently in the great Michael Franti movie I Know I'm Not Alone, in which Franti travels to Iraq at the height of the insugency, tours some hospitals, interviews musicians and poets who talk about what it's like to live as artists in a time of war. Loved how they talked about stealing telephone wire to hack new guitar strings.
posted by Slarty Bartfast at 7:33 PM on September 11, 2008

I don't know if this is an Islamic band or just ties into standard metal themes, but seriously? I've always thought Metal Jihad would be a good band name, and have heavy Islamic/Jihad themes.
posted by symbioid at 7:36 PM on September 11, 2008

Are they any good?

No. But then again the entire power metal genre makes me gag.
posted by The Straightener at 7:58 PM on September 11, 2008

Are they any good?

It almost doesn't matter; the story is metal enough. (They're very much in the late-80's thrash camp.)
posted by not_on_display at 8:20 PM on September 11, 2008

Are they any good?
They're terrible, musically, but what an incredible story they have. There are a lot of stories about the dedication and bravery it takes to be into metal in various repressive countries—Egypt springs to mind, but also Malaysia and pretty much any kind of theocracy—but Iraq seems like a particularly dangerous place to go against the grain. To be in a metal band of any kind is pretty fucking awesome.
posted by nowonmai at 9:40 PM on September 11, 2008

The movie sucks. It's just an overproduced opportunity for Vice magazine higher-ups to insert themselves in what would otherwise be an interesting documentary.
posted by Damn That Television at 9:40 PM on September 11, 2008

On the subject of retarded theocracies, I almost forgot. FREE THE WEST MEMPHIS THREE!
posted by nowonmai at 9:43 PM on September 11, 2008

I can't wait til 50 years from now when we enjoy Iraqi anime. There's Iraqi restaurants opening up in all the cool parts of town. Aaaah. That'll be awesome." ~ Brian Posehn
posted by KevinSkomsvold at 11:09 PM on September 11, 2008

I like the music. It's a bit primitive, but it has a good beat, growly heavy guitar lines, and some great lyrics. Considering that they're from Iraq, have lived in a war zone, had one of their members emigrate out, and have never seen a live metal show before they started, I think they're pretty impressive! Certainly a lot better than a lot of First World metal bands I've heard recently.

But then again, I listen to metal that's sung in Swedish about Vikings, so what the hell do I know.
posted by spinifex23 at 11:37 PM on September 11, 2008

Regardless of what you think of the music, the story of the guys in the band is one of the few accounts of what the war in Iraq has done to middle class people who many of us can relate to. The facts that these guys used this music to learn (or at least polish) English and play it simply because they love it are the more important.

I have to believe it is difficult to buy good quality instruments suited to play this kind of music in Iraq. Any western musician knows its hard enough to afford quality instruments here in the US, let alone in the middle east where rock and metal aren't as common. So it's understandable why they might not sound like some polished Swedish act.
posted by hellslinger at 12:48 AM on September 12, 2008

All I can say is that I hope these guys are featured in Metalocalypse somehow. That would be metal.
posted by Clamwacker at 1:36 AM on September 12, 2008

Are they any good?

No. But then again the entire power metal genre makes me gag.

Good thing they're not power metal... I don't hear any psuedo-falsetto wailing about hunting down dragons... This is probably closer to metal-core, if you need to further categorize it.

Other than the semi-weak vocals, this is some good stuff.
posted by Dark Messiah at 2:16 PM on September 12, 2008

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