Iraqi metal band Acrassicauda are no strangers to overcoming adversity. They rose to fame in 2007 as the first Iraqi metal band, where dressing in metal shirts and playing shows was seen as an act of defiance. Now they’ve persevered again, this time successfully crowdfunding enough money to record their debut full-length album. Billboard reports that the quartet raised $37,383 of their $33,000 goal, and plan to begin recording the new album, Gilgamesh, on August 1. The album will be based on The Epic of Gilgamesh, a Mesopotamian depicting the adventures of the historical King of Uruk.
As the subject of Vice’s documentary Heavy Metal in Baghdad, the film showed Acrassicauda successfully attempting not just to make it successfully in Iraq, but just to play shows after, for example, their rehearsal spot was bombed. Eventually, they made it to America. What the film doesn’t show is the “culture shock” that they experienced upon reaching America. While they thought they’d be playing arenas, band playing their first show, in the basement of Brooklyn dive bar The Charleston. The band were signed to Vice Music, who released their 2010 EP Only the Dead See the End of the War. And while they toured and got to meet their idols, including Slayer and Metallica, it didn’t lead them to fame or fortune, and they’re now free of their Vice contract. And while Billboard says the band is extremely psyched about their new album, they’re also concerned about their family back in Iraq, as ISIS is seizing parts of Iraq. Drummer Marwan Hussein has nine family members back home who are hoping he can help get them out.
[photo via Slapz Photography]