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Al Namrood

Toen ik een maand geleden een album van Al Namrood kreeg ter review, viel het mij op dat deze band, naast een unieke eigen stijl, een afwijkend iets had. De heren komen namelijk uit het extreem fundamentalistische Saoedi-Arabië. De band maakt echt zeer blasphemische muziek, iets wat mij vrij gevaarlijk leek, dus heb ik eens wat vragen aan ze gesteld over hoe het is om als black metal band te wonen en werken onder de Islam.

Door: Kevin | Archiveer onder black metal

First off, welcome to the unhallowed pages of Lords of Metal. Recently I received a promo version of your latest album and I was surprised by both the originality of the music and the origin of your band. First question has got to be this; What is it like to be in a blasphemous band in Saudi-Arabia? Is it dangerous? Are there any other bands in your situation that you are in contact with?
To be a blasphemous band is equal to raging war against the entire country, Islam is the constitution of the country and Islamic regime is the approved system of politics and law. Moreover to announce anti-religion is to announce apostasy which is directly punishable by death in the Islamic law of Saudi Arabia. We are not in any contact with anyone here, most metal bands detest us for the message we deliver when we started the band, we cut our connection to stay safe. I have to point out that these local metal bands want to align their music with sharia law which for us is contradictory. Our approaches do not meet with them.

What drove you to start playing not just metal, but black metal and literally risking your lives for it?
Religious regime oppression was the main drive, obviously we are one of the few people in the country who rejected the Islamic law to be imposed on our life, we are not tools for the government or to any sick religious regimes. Black metal gives a clear message of our defiance, along with some elements of punk metal anarchy.

You use a lot of indigenous instruments besides the standard drum/guitar/bass line up. I applaud this! Why did you choose this approach instead of just going for the typical black metal sound.
Well the idea of this combination came when we wanted to indicate our life issues in the music, especially the origin of religion control and tyrannical rule in middle east, this is not exclusive to Saudi Arabia but also extends to the whole middle east. For us, it is very important to show the brutality of Islamic regime and government oppression practiced in the area, which is fuelled by people ignorance and fear that originated from thousand years ago.

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How did you actually record your album? I can imagine there are not a lot of studios around, did you do everything yourself?
Using a PC and basic recording equipment ordered online, we manage to get our sound in decent form but also pleasing to our ears, of course there are no studios here as they are “Haram” everything is done in home base in very discreet environment away from the public eye and ear.

Next, I would like some more insight to your lyrics, as far as I can see it is about ancient Arabian magic and such, can you tell us some more about this, for us westerners, more unknown side of the occult? Do you use this themes mainly as a way to rebel against the oppression you endure, or is there a deeper occult learning you follow?
Of course, our defiance is stated in our lyrics, that is why we cannot publicize them, it will be a clear cut evidence on us, as you already know we keep our identity anonymous we avoid that exposure. Our lyrics little bit vary on each album, but generally serve the same goal. For example, the album “kitab al awthan” translates to “Book of idols” was focused on pre Islamic era of Arab where paganism was practiced and lots of brutality along with ignorance extended to our modern age, Arabian myth like god of war and chief god of gods “Hubal” was mentioned. But in the next album “Heen Yadhar Al Ghasq” translates to “When dusk appears” we illustrated the fall of tyrannical kings and oppression that people are facing with authority, followed by that the EP “Ana Al Tughian” translates to “ I, Tyranny” and the new album “Diaji Al Joor” translates to “Darkness of injustice” carried the same concept of how tyrants are glorified and worshiped, slavery class diversity of rich superiority and poor inferiority, real life situations from middle east was quoted in this album, in addition to the phenomena of enslaving and creating different classes in the society.

Would you ever consider moving away from Saudi-Arabia to a more free country, or is this impossible for you to even think about?
The idea is the main target for our future, but right now we cannot leave as we are invloved in many shits that we must clear out. But our war is still ongoing and we won’t give up our freedom.

Last question, what does the future hold for Al Namrood?
One day we will be liberated and play a live show in Europe.

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