Saudi Arabian Black Metal Band Al-Namrood Risk Lives With Anti-Religious Music
Many metal fans believe the pinnacle of black metal blasphemy comes from the many Swedish, Norwegian and Finnish acts which vocally desecrate Christianity, utilize Satanic imagery and commit the occasional church arson. But if you think being an anti-Christian band based in Europe is edgy, try forming a project in Saudi Arabia that speaks out against Islam.
Sweden, Norway and Finland are three of the most non-religious countries in the world; with 88 percent, 78 percent and 69 percent of each population claiming no religious affiliation, respectively. In Saudi Arabia, on the other hand, statistics read that just about 100 percent of the country's population is Muslim. However, there are at least three Saudi Arabian individuals who have rejected Islam, and they formed the black metal band Al-Namrood.
The project is an extremely dangerous undertaking, as the creation of anti-Islamic music can be legally punishable by imprisonment or even death. For these reasons, the three members of Al-Namrood have remained anonymous, but Vice was able to score an interview with the band's guitarist and bassist, Mephisto.
"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," Mephisto describes. "We find the title of Al-Namrood to perfectly fit the message of the band." He's right on point, as Al-Namrood translates to "non-believer."
"We're fed up with religion," Mesphisto continues. "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 fulfill each other."
Asked if Al-Namrood has ever played a live gig, Mephesto responds, "It's impossible, because it's illegal. We can be sentenced to death if we do them."
Check out the full and fascinating interview over at Vice.