Wednesday, September 17, 2014

ALNamrood: censorship and black metal in Saudi Arabia

AlNamrood (Saudi Arabia)
AlNamrood’s first recording, according to Metal Archives, is from 2008. Ever since then AlNamrood has been releasing its own style of black metal, and in 2014 the band has another album, about which Metal Bulletin Zine sent some questions. Very interesting story about metal music in Saudi Arabia. Read on.
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How’s life for your band in 2014 in Saudi Arabia?
Generally, life is limited in the country especially for metal music. In fact, the all the support that the band receive is from overseas, whereas, we didn’t receive any support from local bands. Moreover, our decided to keep project strictly private, we don’t want many local people know about it, it can get us in real troubles. So regardless of what city we are in, nobody really knows AlNamrood.
The first AlNamrood recording was the EP from 2008. How many years before 2008 had you been playing?
We’ve been playing music since 2006, as mentioned we had no connection with any other musician, we self-learned and self-produced our music. All the instruments were bought online, we learned playing through online tutorial videos, so yeah, the internet was a big favor to us.
Metal musicians in Saudi Arabia buy instruments online, but when the instruments arrive to your house, do the authorities not say anything?
It’s possible, we get our instrument delivered to pick up point NOT to our houses, then get it to our home discreetly, it’s possible if people noticed that might report us to religious police. We don’t know about the local scene as we are not connected with them, but for us, we faced problems with authority, some of us managed to get bailed eventually.
Is it a problem for metal bands to have websites? Does the government investigate? [I have read that there is a rock band called The Accolade, from Jeddah and they are three women; I have heard the songs on Facebook, too.]
Technically, no, however, if the website became known among people and everybody is talking about it, then the government could possibly arrest in the claim of “making a bad influence on Islamic culture.” The internet in Saudi Arabia is monitored and lots of websites are concerned, these are typically: other religious websites (non-Islamic) political, pornography, some forums, philosophy, astrology, etc.
In regard of band, Accolade we are not sure if they exist, but definitely no one can play live shows, arrest can happen immediately, unless if they do it strictly private without authority awareness, however, they are some cases that the police broke into some private compounds.
It is well known that the social media are monitored in Saudi Arabia, they are several known cases that people got arrested through Facebook because of sharing their opinion about religion or politics. And some metal band got disbanded due to governmental threat to arrest if they don’t shut down their account. The only way to manage this repressing is to be completely anonymous, having nicknames, fake addresses, and never publish any photos or lyrics that can be used a prosecution. Typically, punishment can be radical to those who oppose the Islamic regime, it can vary from prison time, 100 lashes to public execution (beheading).
About the album. For the first song, "Estahalat Al Harb," how do you create the main melody: keyboards?
We use some physical instruments, such as oud and Durbaka and the others are composed through Middle Eastern keyboard that have realistic Arabian instruments. The keyboard is equipped with variety of Middle Eastern instruments choices, quarter tune settings, effects, Arabian scale guide, etc. The song “Estahalat Al Harb┝ focal instrument and lead melody was Kanoon (or Qanoon) we use kanoon a lot in our music.
What types of drums/percussions did you use on "Heen Yadhar Al Ghsaq"?
It was Darbuka. This is the main traditional percussion we use in addition to drums.
Do you use other string instruments besides guitar?
We play Oud, the other stringed instruments are played through keyboard.
I wonder if you would explain a little about the themes and matters that you explore with your lyrics?
The band focal theme is tyrannical historical themes, we illustrates the era where injustice and religions were taking control over Arabian people’s life, in addition to glorifying tyrannical leaders and kings, bloodshed battles in the name of religion and tribal conflicts to devour each other’s, ideologies of deities (and sometime people) worship and dark matters.
Mainly we try to bring the darkest real-event or literature from the Arabian history, however, we also emphasized on the ignorance era and believe in super natural power or myth of that took over, where it opposed the development of art and science in the area, in fact this is still happening in modern day but through different methodologies.
The band name refers to the ancient Babylon king who defied deity, his name is King Nimrod (pronounced in Arabic as AlNamrood).
I'm curious, what do you think about the Egyptian/Arabian/Middle Eastern melodies of Nile?
We highly adore the work of Nile in addition to Melechesh as well. Nile sounds like ancient Egyptian BC culture, not precisely Arabian, I would call It Middle Eastern, they use selective instruments that has dark tune. We read their lyrics carefully, they did an excellent job embodying the pharos literature. They music is way dark, tyrannical descriptive and evil, it’s fitting their brutal concept demonstrably. We wish we could share the stage with Nile one day.
Thank you for your time!!!
Cheers for your support, we appreciate it. Takes us away from all life commitments and routine.
DISCOGRAPHY
أتباع النمرود EP 2008
Narcotized Split 2008
استفحل الثأر Full-length 2009
Estorat Taghoot Full-length 2010
Kitab Al Awthan Full-length 2012
Jaish AlNamrood EP 2013
حين يظهر الغسق Full-length 2014
Al-Namrood - Estahalat Al Harb
Al -Namrood -- Heen Yadhar Al Ghasq
Al-Namrood - Bat Al Tha ar Nar Muheja (Official Music Video) 2014
www.alnamrood.com
www.facebook.com/alnamroodofficial

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