Today in "Having Giant Balls News," Al-Namrood is breaking all the rules! More specifically, Al-Namrood is an anti-Islamic black metal band that plays its music in Saudi Arabia, where it is un-fucking-believably illegal to be doing that. We're talking serious jail time or execution level illegal, alright?
We've cover Al-Namrood before with a review last year and a mention in our short-lived Heavy Metal Underground series. But, Vice News went in-depth with the band recently, who never identify themselves or allow pictures of themselves to be taken for obvious reasons. The group, specifically guitarist and bassist Mephisto, talks about its super upfront name-
Al-Namrood is the Arabic name of the Babylonian king Nimrod, who was a mighty tyrannical king who ruled Babylon with blood and defied the ruler of the universe, according to the tenets of monotheistic religions. We find the title of Al-Namrood to perfectly fit the message of the band. [Literally, Al-Namrood translates to "non-believer."]
And why they're totally sick of religion.
We're fed up with religion. The fact is that everything that is connected to it makes us nauseous. I personally spoke to a shrink. He advised me that whenever I get inflamed I have to express [what I'm feeling]. So here we are, expressing. What can be more motivating than living in a place where everything is controlled by religion? Basically, individuals here have no rights to do anything. We're owned by the Islamic sharia. Everything we do must be justified by Islam and acknowledged by society. There are two outrageous powers: religion and our society. They both interact and fulfil each other … While there's a lot of hypocrisy, it has been demonstrated that the local people are very much in agreement with the Islamic system. For example, in Islam, music is generally forbidden, but Muslim people listen to it on the basis that "God forgives." But when it comes to freedom of choice, "God never forgives." Everything is chosen for an individual from birth until death. A child is born and raised to become Muslim and never given a choice to look at other religions. Education is highly biased and focused upon the Islamic world. There is no chance of considering multiple points of views. The only view that can be adopted is the view of the acknowledged tradition and approved religious practice. Freedom of expression is a crime, justified by the fact that "it can disturb the peace." Even in marriage you cannot choose your partner. Rather, the elders choose for you. This social approach mixed with religious control is normally practiced in our country with no objection.
It's so interesting to see a band that is doing this. My perception of black metal always stopped at "anti-Christian metal from Scandinavia in the 1980's" and never really got past that, but with Islam being so rampant in that particular part of the world to the point where it's the government, it makes sense that there's some rebellion against it. Could Al-Namrood be the first in a wave of anti-Islamic black metal groups from a largely Islamic territory fed up with the religion?
Mephisto also touches on why Islam is never the target of anti-religion music and why religions such as Christianity is.
Simply because they haven't experienced it. Christianity nowadays is passive. The church doesn't control the country. I think whatever rage that people have got against the church cannot be compared with Islamic regimes. You can criticize the church under freedom of speech in European countries, but you can't do that in Middle Eastern countries. The system doesn't allow it. Islam has inflicted more authority on the Middle East than any other place in the world. Every policy has to be aligned with sharia law, and this is happening right now in 2015. We know that, 400 years ago, brutality occurred in the name of the church, but the same is happening right now in this age with Islam.
That is a great point- Christianity isn't as domineering in basically any country as Islam. Granted, the religion definitely influences politics here in the United States, but nothing like the control of Islam in other countries.
When asked if black metal would become more popular in areas like Saudi Arabia, Mephisto answers confidently.
Judging by the direction that the country is heading in, I would say not in a thousand years.