Afghanistan's First Metal Band Risk Death To Perform

The band District Unknown say they live "under the constant fear of sudden death," but insist on playing live to spread their love of metal.

Afghanistan's First Metal Band Risk Death To Perform
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Afghanistan's first heavy metal band say they live "under the constant fear of sudden death", but continue to perform live despite the threat. District Unknown is among the first to emerge from Afghanistan's first school of rock, "Sound Centre", which opened in May and mentors young musicians. The band say they discovered heavy metal when two of them were given a Metallica album while studying in Iran, and that living amidst a decade-long war helps them connect with the heavy sound of metal. The Taliban had previously banned all cinema, TV and music that was not based on religion. Although Taliban rule has since been toppled, some musicians at the rock school perform with masks to avoid being attacked by religious conservatives. "Our music is not about heartbreak or boy-girl relationships. We don't live that," says guitarist Qais Shaghasi while wearing a Slayer shirt. "It's about watching a 15-year-old being married off to a 50-year-old man by her father for money. That's what we see." Watch a video of the band perform a cover of "Sweet Dreams" here:

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    N-D
    Huge respect to District Unknown and guys like them - for the fact that they are stronger than the circumstances and telling the truth.
    Machineflame
    Actual reason to wear a mask + Constant fear of death + Courage and passion= Most Metal thing Ever?
    iommi600
    Religion sucks when it starts turning people into radicals... the first thing in religion is to allegedly bring peace to one man's soul, right?
    Phill-Rock
    Well I can respect them for standing up for what they believe in, but musically they seem to be absolutely awful (judging from the video in the article).
    Geldin
    And Axl Rose can't be bothered to get to a show on time. This is the real deal right here.
    N-D
    By the way, amazing song (by lyrics meaning) for this situation...
    ItsApocalypse
    This is really cool, it's really ballsy of them to do what they're doing. i just wish the band was a bit better..
    Trentaru
    Good for them, also a metal song/album based on the religon and politics going on around them would be awesome.
    \m/HUX\m/
    What more can you say? These guys are awesome just for the way they continue to play what they are feeling and know they could die for doing so.
    Vypor
    Similar, there is actually a documentary about a metal band called Acrassicuada and they get credit for being the first heavy metal band our of Baghdad. The documentary is very interesting, and very eye opening. Heavy Metal in Baghdad is on Netflix I do believe.
    kLeft
    These guys have bad-assery seething out their pores. Bring the metal or bring me death!
    jannick
    god they suck. altough if this music center thing thing is new and they're that old, its no wonder they need alot of practice. but hey wtf. no ones ever heard metal over there. they have no idea of what should sound good. btw. props for sticking it to the man(taliban)
    LocoMBC
    I really don't give a damn if they are good or not. This guys have my absolute respect.
    im not mental
    if secular rule ever comes to the middle east, i can see the whole region becoming a new hotbed for metal. they've had enough oppressive religious rule for it to happen.
    eatfresh1736
    iommi600 wrote: Religion sucks when it starts turning people into radicals... the first thing in religion is to allegedly bring peace to one man's soul, right?
    Although I understand and agree with what you're trying to say, I'd just like to point out that inner peace is not the definition of a religion. Some religions focus on that, some don't. Religion is the adherence to a common creed or belief. Using "peace" as a benchmark for validating a religion often confuses people, who then start to discredit certain religions that seem a bit more "harsh" e.g. Catholicism, Ultra-Orthodox Judaism, Extreme Islam (case in point), and so on. I don't mean to attack you, I just want other people to be more tolerant of religions that don't seem to tolerate them. As for the article, i think these guys are pretty cool. It takes huge balls to play metal in a society as scary as that.
    LazyHardRocker
    I tip my hat to these guys. Music is such a powerful force, who knows, they'll get something done...
    437
    iommi600 wrote: Religion sucks when it starts turning people into radicals... the first thing in religion is to allegedly bring peace to one man's soul, right?
    And a gun to a mans hand!
    tdwpozzy
    A for effort but it drives me nuts when he goes one fret too high on the main riff every freaking time
    Enix165
    I didn't listen, but these guys are heroes in themselves. I think it's tough just being shunted by the legions of Yankees cap-wearing rednecks who scream shit at me from cars and shit because I've got long hair and like metal, but in all honesty I've got it easy compared to these guys. These guys are risking their lives every day for their art, and they deserve the highest praise for that. Hail from Canada!
    e7add9
    First best article I've seen on UG in a long while. Fuckin' kudos.
    zn-1
    Vypor wrote: Similar, there is actually a documentary about a metal band called Acrassicuada and they get credit for being the first heavy metal band our of Baghdad. The documentary is very interesting, and very eye opening. Heavy Metal in Baghdad is on Netflix I do believe.
    It is on Netflix - that's how I watched it. Stuff like this really is admirable.
    gray96
    Phill-Rock wrote: Well I can respect them for standing up for what they believe in, but musically they seem to be absolutely awful (judging from the video in the article).
    ItsApocalypse wrote: This is really cool, it's really ballsy of them to do what they're doing. i just wish the band was a bit better..
    I see what you mean. They wouldn't be bad as a noise rock band, though, no? (Half-joking, but still.)
    dscythe
    no doubt these guys are badass, might just be from the crappy recording but sadly they dont sound too great
    <TsC>
    thought they were talking about Acrassicauda at first then noticed it was Afghanistan. good luck guys
    tallica1983
    okay let's be real...they suck. but good for them for trying and doing what they love.
    baumaxx1
    About those commenting on skill level; it's a start, but you have to remember they probably haven't been at it that long compared to a lot of people on this site; what with the musical academy being only fresh and the political and religious oppression. Has the makings of an awesome punk-metal band with that Eastern twist SOAD is known for. They certainly have the attitude.
    MRTTVD
    The Power of Metal. The same thing happened with "Iraq's first metal band" Accrasicauda, check them out.
    betterman5
    Fucking great to see this, thats dedication, not too mention its refreshing to see a band sing about such themes and not the usual girl problems and bullshit.
    Shawskee
    Looks they're a death metal band... ba dum tss. But in all seriousness, good for them. They truly believe in the freedom of music we have and take for granted. So much so, they risk their lives for what they love. That truly is passion.