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Black Metal From Saudi Arabia: What you can learn from Al Namrood about the meaning of life

Every Heavy Metal fan knows who the guys in Metallica are. And every Black Metal fan knows who the guys in Mayhem are, who killed who, and who’s burned most churches in Norway.

Varg Vikernes from Burzum, who gained notoriety for the infamous murder of Mayhem singer Euronymous has come out of prison and has a sizeable Youtube following. Yep, he’s still a Rock Star to his cult.

Every Black Metal fan knows who Varg Vilkernes is.

But nobody knows who the members of Al Namrood are. Nobody.

Al Namrood are the three people behind this music video and other high quality albums of Arabic Black Metal.

I love Al Namrood’s music but more than that, I love them, and what they represent.

Though I don’t know who they are.

No one knows, not even their own parents.

Music, all sorts of music, is frowned upon in Saudi Arabia.

Blasphemy is punishable by death.

Anti-Islam Black Metal is the worst sort of blasphemy imaginable for the Saudi regime yet the guy who goes by the name of Mephisto, and the rest of the band, keep releasing high quality record after another while actually living there.

In an interview with VICE Mephisto describes how ever instrument, album, anything related, not only to Black Metal, but to music itself, has to be smuggled illegally and kept in a secret place.

If one thing goes wrong – if the authorities discover who the members of Al Namrood are – the risk is punishment by death.

 

Why do they do it? What makes people risk their freedom and their life just to release records?

From a Rock fan and musician’s point of view, I can understand that the passion for music is worth every price, but from Mephisto’s words, I could sense it goes even deeper than that a person living in a safe democracy can understand.

They risk their life and their freedom, because playing Black Metal at the hearth of Saudi Arabia was their freedom and their life in a place where being yourself could get you killed, unless you’re happy with following every rule that people who don’t know what they’re doing are imposing on you. And many people want more from life than that.

What Al Namrood did was figure out a path to happiness in a country where happiness is next to prohibited.

To shove it to God’s laws in a country where God’s Police followed your every move, and are willing to use violence on you if you violated his rules, no matter how irrational or outdated those rules are.

That secret rehearsal space is a beacon of freedom of speech and releasing those albums is the ultimate act of defiance against the regime.

I can imagine the guys laughing at the irony of it all while using the Egyptian scale in Heavy Metal solos.

I can imagine their sense of freedom.

And they inspire me.

They show me, that no matter what, happiness and freedom come from within.

And that if one of the most brutal dictatorships in the world couldn’t stop Al Namrood from releasing killer records, there’s no way I will allow my irrational fears destroy my creative flow.

It can also send a message to those predicting Rock music will die. Not even the worst tyranny can stop the kids who want to Rock N Roll!


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