Anarchism and metal are like fish and water. Metal has a long history of counterculture and antistatism. In fact in many areas of the world metal is illegal but bands exist anyways (proving once again that laws can’t control behavior). Vice recently did an interview with members of Al-Namrood. Al-Namrood, for those who are unfamiliar with Middle Eastern metal, is a Saudi Arabian black metal band. They’re worth nothing not only for their music but also for the fact that they stand the real chance of being executed for playing their music:
Black metal bands have never been keen on religion. However, in parts of the world where religion can actually be oppressive, bands inspired by Bathory and Mayhem and Burzum are few and far between.
That’s presumably because it’s a lot easier to be in an anti-Christian metal band in the US, than in an anti-Islamic metal band in Saudi Arabia. In America, your obstacles extend to overhearing your mom tell a friend you’re just “going through a phase.” In Saudi Arabia, you face social ostracism and the possibility of imprisonment or death.
With that in mind, you’ve got to give it to Saudi Arabia’s only black metal band, Al-Namrood, whose lyrics include all sorts of things that could get them executed. I got in touch with guitarist and bassist Mephisto for a chat.
It’s an interesting interview. Al-Namrood is one of those bands that I look up to for its willingness to give a giant middle finger to the state. It also gives me hope because even the oppressive Saudi government can’t find the members of Al-Namrood. If an oppressive regime such as Saudi Arabia can’t find a single band that sells physical merchandise then there’s hope for all of us agorists.