AcrassicaudA & co.

This was due ages ago, but somehow got lost in the brainways, Bill asked sth about the Iraqi Metal Scene and I promised to comply, well, better late than never!


One of the first and more popular metal bands in Iraq was AcrassicaudA (Latin for Black Scorpion, seems that they liked the scorpions and someone came up with this name from a medical hand-book) this band was comprised (as I can remember, and I tend to forget stuff) of:

Waleed (Vocals)
Tony (Lead Guitars)
Firas (Bass)
Faisal (Guitars)
Marwan (Drums)

this band first came to light in the few years BEFORE the war, friends with nothing more than a crash-course in music instruments (tutored by Saad "Yngwie" Zai, the greatest guitarist in the Middle East, He CAN do that Malmsteen stuff at full speed!) and sheer determination to change the music scene..

they set out on a few gigs, I attended most of them, they were ok for an IRAQI band (cuz there were almost no others at the time) but otherwise HORRIBLE..

made their own songs, in addition to the usual metallica-slayer-dontknowwhoelse covers, oh and since this was BEFORE the war, they did a song called "The Youth of Iraq" praising our (then) Lord God Saddam and how he supports the Youth and all that. (after the war they made a song exactly the OPPOSITE, more to that later..)

In those small gigs you really could c the mettle of Iraqi metal heads (stupid pun intended) where psuedo-freaks and watered-down head banging types (oh and Eminem wannabes as well) could be found hanging round the water-cooler trying to show-off who memorises more lyrics to Slayer and Metallica and others..

as for the quality, Marwan was ok, Faisal was in the shadows, Firas was ok2, Tony SIZZLED, and Waleed was ughh..
Among the songs I was repelled from after their cover graced my ears was Metallica's Nothing Else Matters, a beautiful ballad which thru Waleed's vocals was hung by the toes, b**ch-slapped, butchered, and skull-f***ed afterwards..
The guy's voice was simply not as versatile as he thought it was.. the kind of sound you would get from a drunk chicken trying to fend-off the approaches of a horny horse while a sack of wet cats is being swung around against a wall.
They made an Audio Cd of their work, I dont have it.

during the mess that was (and still is) war, they found themselves jobless, I know Waleed and Firas first worked as interpreters for the US forces, the others I really dont know.
after that was the "Kill the interpreter" campaign in Iraq, after a metal head (His name was Omeed, Dirty Omeed, you really dont need to know why) was shot in the head, upclose and 'execution'al, in a restaurant while he waited for his meal, they quit in a hurry and decided to look elsewhere for funds.

They returned, this time backed by a German Metal Magazine (I dont know which) and a new arsenal of vocal abuse, which was worse (I dont know how) than their debut album.
Also, they came out on "Chat the Planet", a US-Iraqi TV conversation between 19-20somethings which was shown on the MOST POPULAR satellite channel here, MBC2.

and this is where the Fit really hit the Shan.

Waleed belted out carelessly how he "hates that -censored four-letter word- Saddam, and how he knew the big S's mother intimately and stuff like that, and how their new songs are anti-dictatorship pro-democracy, and how he (waleed) is unique and how no one in Iraq understands him and he's one of a kind" and so on and so forth, AND, since the "new" Iraq is still a place where if you dont watch your mouth, you could end up without the family jewels, he recieved threats of the "I'll tell God to UnCreate you" type and had to get out of Dodge real fast.
I think he's in Canada now, ranting & frothing about the US occupation-existence (call it what you will).. He can be found here on blogger, commenting under the name Waleed Rabiea.

in any case, the band was no more, BUT, since Marwan (Drummer) has the rights to the name and songs, I think they're waiting for things to calm down before starting over.

I hope they dont do their old songs again.
their own songs were your usual sub-standard generic attempts for HeavyMetal, but they were MILES better than the cover-versions they did. at least you didnt know it when they screwed up something..

one of the other bands out there is Semi-Death, formerly known as Rise of Shit (I swear I thought it was a joke too, a lampoon on another name, Rise of Death, till I was told personally by their guitarist that it IS shit)
I know two guys, in it (three if you count an ex-vocalist)

Ahmed (Guitars)
Sultan (Bass I think?)
and formerly, Psycho.. argh. Vocals.

Psycho was a "Before" picture in a Joe Weider Body-building advertisement, a skinny 90-pound geek who wanted to fit in real bad.
scary to watch a match-stick with eye glasses trying to head-bang. (Hey I'm not prejudiced or what's that word.. I mean I dont have anything against skinny guys with glasses, I wore glasses since pre-school, but I'm not skinny tho.)
Guess that's why they called him Psycho afterall.

I dont know much about them except that they keep intending to release an album but somehow that never materializes in reality.

all in all, the best guitarist in Iraq (and I repeat, the Middle East) is Saad "Yngwie" Zai, who sits in his cramped music shop teaching guitars to squeaky pimply fakers for 30$ for the whole 3 month course.

The "Yngwie" bit is after the lighting-fast guitarist Yngwie Malmsteen from Sweden.

Oh he also plays in local churches (He's Armenian) on Sunday to provide for himself
Nothing can come close to him, he taught himself Guitar, Bass, Keyboards, Drums and working on Violin now I think. I havent seen him since last september maybe.. Poor Guy.

in any case, I cant remember anything else, If anyone has a question, please do tell!

thank you for your time and cooperation, Elvis has left the building.
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