Heavy Metal in Baghdad: The Story of Acrassicauda

I heard about this book from the video of the same name – MTV sent a crew to Baghdad to record the heavy metal scene there after the US invasion, and the film and book center on Acrassicauda, which is the Latin name for the black scorpion. The book is a transcription of the interviews along with the screen play from the film; the film is really extended from a four-part television series.

The band members had very different experiences and viewpoints, and these come out clearly from the book.

I wish, however, that there was some broader material, some editorial choice beyond just printing the spoken word. This makes it much harder to read and somewhat disjoint.

But, if you want to get a first-hand view of the effects of the US invasion of Iraq along with a view of how fringe music can thrive in the Middle East, this is a book for you.


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