Only the Dead See the End of the War
Thrash metal from Baghdad
Acrassicauda are a bit famous for being featured in the documentary Heavy Metal in Baghdad. After forming in 2000 the band had to keep their musical operations quiet since the religious and political sections of Iraq try to censor metal music and, those who express it openly, are punished by death (remember the stunt with Arckanum when they had to smuggle their tapes out of the country to Moribund Cult- unblessed be- to avoid getting caught?). They released a demo in 2004, and now, after relocating in Turkey, Acrassicauda felt safe enough to release their EP.
The EP is brief, only four tracks, each very thrash inspired. According to the band the music is 'dedicated to Baghdad,' and involves graphic, dark, and violent lyrics. Considering the Iraq war going on, there is no specific faction targeted, but it is safe to assume the band may talking about all of them. The music doesn't seem to reflect the intensity of the lyrics as it is very mid tempo, very groove laden. There's a lot of melodic guitar passages such as on "Massacre" and interesting percussive drumming. "Garden of Stone" has a very rhythmic chug among the gruff vocals, sung in really good English, and offers some decent backing melodies. The opening track almost sounds like power metal, and the last track is the most violent of them all, cataclysmic and raw, which finally reflects the darkness of the lyrics.
Altogether it's good stuff. It's cool to see a thrash metal band that isn't a Slayer or Metallica rip off, and Acrassicauda bring a bit of Middle Eastern flavour to their music with the drums. There aren't any mind bending solos as the music is mostly focused on catchy riffs, and it's actually slower in tempo than most thrash fans are used to; some may call it a bad thing, others good. What's certain is the militaristic tone of the music, through the lyrics and crunching rhythms that deliver Acrassicauda's message. A message of tragedy and metal.