Acrassicauda / Heavy Metal in Baghdad

Wow, sometimes neat surprises are awaiting you when you do give unknown stuff a chance. I did this with the documentation Heavy Metal in Baghdad a while back which was broadcasted from the german TV station 3SAT. Already the intro made me smile and being interested. You can see Eddy Moretti who is putting on his bullet protection while explaining the goal of the mission:"(...) to find out, if the so-far only known active heavy metal band Acrassicauda is still active, because you know - Heavy Metal rules!(...).

That was the point where I knew I was going to watch it 'til the end. First, the title of the feature film "Heavy Metal in Baghdad" made me aware that this could be of particular interest to me and this intro scene got me. Here is a short synopsis taken from the website of the film telling you what this one is all about:

"(...) Heavy Metal in Baghdad is a feature film documentary that follows the Iraqi heavy metal band Acrassicauda from the fall of Saddam Hussein in 2003 to the present day. Playing heavy metal in a Muslim country has always been a difficult (if not impossible) proposition but after Saddam’s regime was toppled, there was a brief moment for the band in which real freedom seemed possible. That hope was quickly dashed as their country fell into a bloody insurgency. From 2003-2006, Iraq disintegrated around them while 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.(...)"

Having watched the movie I asked myself how it might have turned out the past years for the band, if there's a website around and if there's a chance to hear some more stuff from them. And happily the band can be said to be still alive! They do live in the U.S.A. by now and have recently released their first EP entitled Only the Dead See the End of the War. You can hear the full EP as a free stream on the band's mypspace site.  The EP was produced by Alex Skolnick, I guess a lot of you know him as the guitarist of Testament. If you like it, you can purchase it via itunes or buy it on Amazon.

As for the style of their music I would describe it as a mixture of elements from Metallica, Slayer, Megadeth and bands the like combined with a bit more melodic vocals. Additionally they also do use some parts that are sort of progressive like Rage against the machine and other modern bands include them in their sound. In some ways they remind me of the first, self-titled album Random Damage did some years ago. Like it very much, though.

Additionally the band has filmed a video for the song "Gardens of Stone", the song itself has also been set up for free download from the films website. The video is well worth watching so I've included it here,too.


Actually the band seems to be busy with putting together their first full-lenght album. This wikipedia entry has some more information about the actuall situation of the band. Looking more and more around I found also a cool interview with Drummer Marwan Riyadh.


Wild Side Night - legendary Radio Show returns for one night

Does anybody remember the radio show Wild Side on the german radio station Bremen 4? I did listen to this show for numerous of hours. It was the only radio show being around from 1987 – 1997 that talked about Heavy Metal locally at Northern germany as well as about bands in the whole wide world.

They often had exclusive stuff that could be heard weeks before the official release. I recall having heard about Annihilator's new album "Set the world on fire" exclusively at that show, where the host played the title-track of the album. Some time later he had some tracks of the very first album of a band called "Fight". That band was the first project that Rob Halford did play in after he left Judas Priest so I was very pleased that he did play some tracks of the album, which made me buy the "Nailed to the gun" EP as well as the full album "War of Words".

Now the host of the show DJ Frank Hinz will do a one-night club-show that shall bring back some of the memories of the past. It will take place in Bremen at the Club Moments on Friday 26th of October 2012. Please take a look at the shared show invitation at facebook for more info on this. In addition there's also a facebook group up and running that is asking for song suggestions that should be played at this very special event. The club has also a own website and a facebook page if you like to check out the location first.


Looking back on Bang your head Festival 2012

For all those who attended Bang your head 2012 this is a nice way to look back on the festival, can be read online and even downloaded as pdf file. Nice that the festival organisators spread this freely on the web, in the years before you had to buy it with the "Heavy" magazine.

Find the online mag here.

More stuff without pictures can be found on the official BYH website. Enjoy!


NDR to broadcast shows from Wacken 2012 & documentary

Wacken without end! :-) To all those how'd like to fresh up the memories of this years Wacken Open Air the german TV station NDR will help you out.

They will broadcast shows from Wacken 2012 (Graveyard, Leningrad Cowboys and Saxon) as well as a documentary report entitled „Heavy Metal trifft Karniggels” on September 14th 2012 on TV (starting time 21h in germany) and via internet on their Wacken subpage. After the stream the documentary has been annouced to be available as a free stream on demand divided into several small sections that will remain on the linked website. Actually there's already a talk with the director of the documentation online here.

To find your personal starting time of the stream I've discovered a fine website. Just click here and it will show you a selection of countries so you'll easily be able to find the correct time for your timezone. :-)

Update 2012-10-19: Meanwhile the documentary has been uploaded to this location. Having taken a look at the stuff it seems to me that the documentary stuff has been left in but the videos from the band performances have been cut away. Guess that's because of legal rights missing to stream this stuff. Anyway, nice they did put this one up at least as flash videos and additionally also as Windows Media Stream in three qualities.


Info and Cover for upcoming Mob Rules album revealed

German powermetal band Mob Rules, that did recently put out the great album "Radical peace" out in 2009 have now revealed the first details on their upcoming album "Cannibal Nation". The new silver disc will see the light of day on October 19th 2012 and contain the following tracklist:

01. Close My Eyes
02. Lost
03. Tele Box Fool
04. Ice And Fire
05. Soldiers Of Fortune
06. The Sirens
07. Scream For The Sun (May 29th 1953)
08. Cannibal Nation
09. Sunrise

Bonus track on ltd. ed. digipak
Children Of The Flames (Live In Atlanta)

The band has released some short info on the musical direction of each song along with the cover of the album on their website. The info says that that ´Ice & Fire` will be the first single of the album.

Keeping up the fine tradition of setting up a release show for the album the band will continue to do so with "Cannibal Nation" on October 20th  in their hometown Wilhelmshaven, Germany at the Pumpwerk. Tickets have gone on sale by now also online at this location. You can choose between a standard ticket for 16,40 Euro or add some bucks and get a exclusive T-Shirt with the ticket (this ticket will cost 19,70 Euro).
As the info for the release party further reveals that the band will use this event to film material for the upcoming videoclip of the first single. So being there sound like a good idea. :-)

Other shows that have been confirmed are:

2012/11/03 Ganderkese 3. Schützenhof Rocknacht
2012/11/10 Köln Bunker Blast