Iraqi Heavy Metal Band ACRASSICAUDA Forced Out By Radical Islamists

Popbitch.com is reporting that the Iraqi metal band ACRASSICAUDA have fled to Jordan after threats by radical Islamists in Iraq, prompting the web site to remark, "So U.S. and U.K.: well done for the new, free, liberal Iraq."

Back in August, The Wall Street Journal published an article describing ACRASSICAUDA's difficulties of reviving culture and entertainment in a society ripped apart by war. A short excerpt from the article, which appeared in the WSJ's August 17 edition, follows:

The members of ACRASSICAUDA honed their English by singing along to black-market MEGADETH and METALLICA CDs. They developed their stage moves by copying what they saw on pirated videotapes of American rock concerts. Now they’re learning a different lesson: the difficulties of reviving culture and entertainment in a society ripped apart by war.

The four members of ACRASSICAUDA, which means Black Scorpion in Latin, hope they can prove just as resilient. The young men — singer Faisal Talal, bassist Faris al-Lateef, drummer Marwan Mohammad Riyak and guitarist Tony Aziz — met as high-school students and formed the band, along with another member, in 2000. Scions of prominent families, they were drawn together by their love of Western heavy-metal bands like SLAYER and JUDAS PRIEST, which appealed to their feelings of isolation and disillusionment.

"It's about feeling powerless and lonely and wanting to scream out because no one else is paying attention to what you’re feeling," says Mr. Lateef, 23, who has spiky hair, a goatee and tinted sunglasses that he wears indoors. "The songs were sung by Americans but they could easily have been written by us as Iraqis." Read more.

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