Three Mid-Eastern metal resources
Just as a tangent to my previous post, a few years ago the wife and I (before we were married) grabbed a book called Heavy Metal Islam by Mark Levine from Barnes & Noble. I haven’t gotten to read all of it yet. She did. I remember both of us being really impressed with what we were reading though, due to the struggle that these kids face to play music that they love in a place that doesn’t just not accept it, but actively suppresses it.
If you get the chance and you’re interested in how metal is perceived and met outside of the west, grab a copy. I need to dig this back up and put it on my reading list.
There was also a really good documentary I grabbed called Global Metal, by Sam Dunn. Previously, he filmed the documentary Metal: A Headbanger’s Journey (also excellent). He’s since made an Iron Maiden and Rush documentary.
In the documentary, Sam went all over the world, from India to the Mid-east, China, Southeast Asia and some other areas, and reported on the metal scenes there, their impact on the people who live in many distinctly non-western cultures, the struggles they faced creating their styles of music and other social issues. Its well-worth getting if you’re interested in metal and cultural perspectives.
Heavy Metal in Baghdad is a feature film documentary that follows the Iraqi heavy metal band Acrassicauda from the fall of Saddam Hussein in 2003 to the present day. Playing heavy metal in a Muslim country has always been a difficult (if not impossible) proposition but after Saddam’s regime was toppled, there was a brief moment for the band in which real freedom seemed possible. That hope was quickly dashed as their country fell into a bloody insurgency. From 2003-2006, Iraq disintegrated around them while Acrassicauda struggled to stay together and stay alive, always refusing to let their heavy metal dreams die. Their story echoes the unspoken hopes of an entire generation of young Iraqis.
 I just came across an interesting article on Saudi musicians’ freedom on a site called Freemuse.org. It has a lot of interesting information on recent social evolution there, along with its impact on emerging bands, something relatively new to the culture. There are a lot of great resources on that page; lists of and links to Saudi bands, video clips and a ton of related reading links.
[edit 5/4/2011] I’m working on the living room, now that my guests are gone and the house is more clear. I moved the 40″ tv from our bedroom down to there, connected the Wii and tested with Netflix. I just discovered that Heavy Metal in Baghdad is available for streaming. Added it to the instant queue, so I’ll watch it soon.
This entry was posted on May 3, 2011 by vishalicious. It was filed under Background, Books & Resources and was tagged with Eddy Moretti, Freemuse, Freemuse.org, Global Metal, Heavy Metal Islam, Mark Levine, Metal, Metal: A Headbanger's Journey, Music, Sam Dunn, Suroosh Alvi.