A view of Iraq you’ve never seen

Hard-rock Iraq?

Yes. Seriously.

The perverse pop-culture magazine Vice has kicked off its new video site, VBS.tv, with a short documentary about Iraq’s only heavy-metal band. We’re pointing to the fifth and final dispatch from Baghdad by Vice journalists, in which they track down the elusive Acrassicauda (Black Scorpion) to get a sobering, personal view of life in Iraq from the world’s unlikeliest headbangers.

Turns out half the band has fled to Syria, but bass player Firas and lead singer Faisal talk candidly, in weirdly near-perfect English learned from American movies (“Dude!”), about their fans (“Either dead or out of this country”), everyday fatalism (“I’m ready to die”), and gratitude (“It’s so amazing that we’re still talking and breathing and eating and laughing sometimes”).

Firas and Faisal, by the way, live 15 minutes away from each other. Before their VBS-sponsored reunion, they hadn’t seen each other in six months; the risk inherent in local travel is simply too high.

“>VIEW part 5 of 5, Heavy Metal in Baghdad

“>VIEW all five installments of Heavy Metal in Baghdad; click on the individual episode titles under RECENT EPISODES (the first four installments mostly cover the harrowing, surreal ordeal of a Vice co-founder and a VBS producer arriving in and attempting to explore Baghdad)

“>VIEW Acrassicauda’s homepage

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A view of Iraq you’ve never seen