Heavy Metal in Baghdad : The Story of Acrassicauda - Andy Capper

Heavy Metal in Baghdad

The Story of Acrassicauda


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Born out of a basement rehearsal space in Baghdad, Acrassicauda (Latin for a deadly black scorpion native "Black Scorpion") is Iraq's only heavy metal band.

They began writing and playing metal in 2001 and soon learned that their dream of performing live in Iraq was going to be no easy task.

Acrassicauda were only able to play 3 shows before the war started in 2003. Due to increased security precautions throughout Iraq, it became difficult to practice or even get through a show without serious problems.

As the situation worsened in Baghdad they began receiving death threats from insurgent groups and religious fundamentalists accusing them of Satan-worship. Eventually, it proved impossible to find any venue that was safe to perform in.

Acrassicauda is literally a band on the run. While Iraq disintegrated around them, 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.

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