There’s Metal Here? Vol. 3 – Iraq

Welcome to Volume 3 of There’s Metal Here? and I hope to hit you with a bit of a surprise on this one, as we take a look at the controversial situation going on in IRAQ. Yes, there are metal bands in Iraq, although understandably few given the political situation going on there. Still, it’s a sizable country and from the look of some of the live videos I’ve seen, there are more than enough enthusiasts to support a local scene, and I have seen mention of at least 7 METAL BANDS currently in Iraq, which is pretty impressive. Most of them seem to be thrash-related, oddly enough. There was apparently a metal scene before in the 90s, but I can’t find anything on that, so I’ve selected a few of the new generation for your delights and delectation.

Possibly the most famous example of an Iraqi metal band are Acrassicauda, a thrash band who were forced to relocate to the US after their practice space was bombed during the Iraq War and they received death threats from militant extremists. This band are well documented in the video “Heavy Metal In Baghdad”, which is well worth watching. Here is a track taken from their recent EP, title is “Message From Baghdad”.

Iraqi power/heavy metal is a sight to behold. Seriously, I was not expecting something like Olympus, the instrumental work is great even if the vocals are a little lacking. Somewhere between US power metal and Sad Wings Of Destiny-era Judas Priest, although maybe I’m mistaken. Check it out, because it sounds pretty damn cool. Here is one of their few videos, more songs can be found on their Facebook:

N.B. Preferred the live video, but there is also a studio-based one for those interested.

I know, another thrash band. But I much prefer this band to Acrassicauda, at least what little I know of them. They formed a few years back, and have been on hiatus due to the situation in the country, but I hope they can reunite and write more songs like the one below!:

I had to look twice when I saw what was written. “Janaza is believed to be the first female-fronted black metal band from an Arab country.” A one-woman anti-Islamic black metal band…in Baghdad. Hateful lyrics aside, this is worth listening to for the pure insanity of the concept.

That’s all for today, but on Tuesday there will be another wave of metal as we go adventuring into the steppes and mountains of Asia…

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