Iraq metal pioneers Acrassicauda, now fourteen years strong, are launching their new Kickstarter campaign to rally support for recording, mixing and mastering of their first official full length album. The new album takes the band’s signature thrash and metal into new territory, digging into their middle eastern roots. Allies and fans can get music, merch, DVDs, and personalized rewards to take part in the campaign.
Breaking away from the old adage of politics, exile, war, death and destruction, Acrassicauda’s new take on things brings a breath of fresh air into the lives of the band members and allows them to break away from the past traumas and uncertainties of war torn Iraq. The new album pays homage to the ancient Mesopotamian civilization using the Epic of Gilgamesh, an ancient poem written in the Acadian language in the 3rd millennium BC, originally inscribed on 12 tablets in cuneiform script. Delving into themes of exotic journeys, life and death, love, the divine, success and failure, the Epic of Gilgamesh has much in common with the experiences of the band —it is a humble yet honest comparison. The LP is an ode to the modern Iraq, a home from which they are exiled today.
“The whole album’s concept is about journeys, life and death, love, the divine, success and failure, and the eternal struggle for immortality. Acrassicauda immortalizes the legacy of this character and his struggles through music, thousands of years later…” – Marwan Hussein
For some musicians, playing and performing depends on how far they are willing to work to pursue their passion and how eager they are to learn. But not for this band. The challenges that stood between Acrassicauda and their music is unimaginable.
In 2001, when Marwan Hussein (drums), Faisal Talal (vox, guitar), Firas Allateef (bass), and Tony Aziz (former guitarist) formed Acrassicauda in Baghdad, Iraq, they faced barriers that young Western bands cannot even fathom. While the band played local concerts in Baghdad, it was a continuous struggle for them to avoid getting imprisoned by the dictatorial regime.
Even after the fall of Saddam Hussein in 2003, the band continued to be harassed and falsely labeled as devil worshipers. They received countless death threats for playing “Westernized” music. Despite these threats and defamations, in 2005, in the midst of war, they performed a historically high security, live heavy metal concert at the Al-Fanar Hotel in Baghdad. But a few weeks later, a missile destroyed their practice space, alerting them to the war’s painful turn. They fled Iraq the same year to live as refugees in Syria.
This gruelling adventure landed these young musicians the leading role in a documentary called Heavy Metal in Baghdad produced by VICE magazine. The documentary tells the story of Acrassicauda through their ups and downs and personal struggles. It follows them as they try to survive and play the music they want throughout a dangerous war, and it depicts their difficult journey to rebuild their lives in Syria. The documentary, which was officially, selected at the 2007 Toronto International Film Festival, transformed Acrassicauda overnight into a household name in the metal community. It even garnered the attention of members of Metallica who eventually invited the band to one of their shows shortly after their arrival in the United States.
Eight years since Acrassicauda escaped Baghdad, the band has settled in New York where they perform live and recorded their first EP, produced by Testament guitarist, Alex Skolnick. The band has also toured the US from coast to coast, playing packed houses across the metal circuit.
Based in New York, Acrassicauda added Muhammad Al Ansari (ex-guitar) and Marwan Grada (guitar) to their powerful lineup. The five have toured North America together as the permanent band for three years.
Now Acrassicauda announces the launch of their new Kickstarter fundraising campaign for support to fund the independent production of their much-awaited LP. Fans all over the world can reach out to the band and be part of this new album. Supporters earn gifts ranging from mp3s, posters, shirts, DVDs, personalized rewards, band equipment and more.
Undoubtedly, this album will lay the foundation for a turning point in Acrassicauda’s music; it’s a culmination of a collective effort – a labour of love and dedication. Acrassicauda is ready to conquer the heavy metal world.