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Beyond Baghdad: Acrassicauda Crowdfund Debut Album

Publlished July 20 2004.

  by Jonathan

Often we take a lot of things for granted, like being able to go out to a show, pick up a record, or stream an album on Spotify. If you live in the west and despite many issues, you enjoy access so many different kinds of culture, especially if you’re willing to do a little digging.

The ever growing metal scene in the Middle East has never quite had that luxury, being forced to play and rehearse in secrecy and reluctant to display your love of a band on a t-shirt. Iraq’s Acrassicauda knows this all too well, often referred to as the very first metal band to come out of the embattled country; the first to emerge to a global audience at the very least.

Forming and playing their first shows while Iraq was still under the throes of Saddam Hussein and the eventual US invasion in 2003, Acrassicauda finally released their first EP, Only the Dead See the End of the War, in 2010 and would become widely-known to metal fans through the critically acclaimed documentary Heavy Metal in Baghdad. “The band is all we have, we’ll never stop,” they say on surviving much of the turmoil in their home country.

The band has an admittedly mainstream sound with grooving riffs, Lamb of God tinges, and metalcore flourishes. For most bands this would mean they would have a good chance of getting at least some attention, if not necessarily standing out from the pack. Acrassicauda are not most bands though.

Now based in New York, the band have been quiet on the recording front and as a result turned to crowdfunding, like myriad other metal bands, to try and bring new music to life via Kickstarter.

With so many bands looking to Kickstarter, Indiegogo et al. you must begin to wonder when it will run out of juice. There can only be on any success stories like Protest the Hero but Acrassicauda need not worry right now though. The band successfully funded their campaign for their first full-length album, Gilgamesh, on July 9, surpassing their $33,000 goal by a couple of grand with 640 backers in tow.

The band have since wasted no time and thrown themselves straight into the studio to begin work. Much of the material is in fact two or three years old and has been honed at many gigs, meaning Acrassicauda have been geared up for a while to get started. “This band has never stopped writing new material,” says bassist Firas Al-Lateef.

A successful crowdfunding campaign means the band can maintain their independence, something that they have championed since releasing their first notes of music.

The band hasn’t provided any indication of when they hope to release Gilgamesh or if they’ll be seeking a label to assist in its release. For now, the focus lies on completing the recording process.