Black Metal ist Krieg (or Black Metal is War) was something that a German band Nargaroth had put an album title of. When noticed the early 90s’ Norwegian movement, black metal indeed was more or less a war, an association that tried to make an impact, defying all organized beliefs and evoking the history and the primitive. While most (or all) of those acts, I feel, were pathetic and should have never occurred, they never succeeded anyway, never became able to make that ‘impact’ they were in seek of, other than being able to publicizing the Norwegian metal scene to an extent. Even Varg Vikernes explained he purposely called police about the murder of Euranymous in order to caste some light to popularize the Norwegian scene back then, ultimately putting him behind bars for years (haha, ridiculous).
Music could be a revolt, a repulse or a revolution. And when the sources of expression are blocked by the most difficult societies possible, some minds trying to convey their resentment see music as the only outlet. So here begins the story of Janaza…
Janaza is a black metal band from Baghdad, Iraq, influenced from acts like Nargaroth, Carpathian Forest, Nattefrost, Graveland, etc. When a circle of Norwegian youths were trying to discard the conventional beliefs and religions and trying to employ their individualism, let’s put it in this way – IRAQ DOES NOT HAVE THAT INDIVIDUALISM. So let’s not compare the two societies anyway. In a place where heavy metal is often cited as satanic music, and if known that someone’s performing such music, the obvious consequence could be death sentence.
And to make it more interesting, Janaza is a project intended towards slaying the trace of everything Islam. And to make it further more interesting, it is a solo project of a 26 year old lady named Anahita. In a country where females are regarded as second citizens, in a society where it is often disallowed for women to get out of house without male companion, it is nothing less than a bold courage to step for something like this.
I discovered this band through a random wander in Encyclopaedia Metallum and I could also read two interviews with the lady (I could have given the links but they’re both dead for now), and it was nothing short of shocking/amazing. The lady had her family killed in an explosion in 2005, which she says to be a turning point in her life.
Just a while ago, I was having a thought of how lame the whole corpsepaint thing in black metal has become. Even the pseudonym names sounded lame. But again, I had a feeling that those couldn’t be any more helpful than in Janaza’s case to hide the actual identity of the person behind the music. Here’s some of the only excerpts of her from the interview I had copy-pasted a while ago:
MC: “What would the punishment for you be if you were caught blaspheming by law?”
Anahita: “Hahaha, I think about that all the time, and this makes me hate Islam more and more. Sure, they will kill me and spread my corpse pictures all over the media to show the brainwashed people that Islam is strong. I will be killed with a smile If I got caught, because I know many people will enjoy the blasphemy of Janaza over the next few years and during the living of the lies of Islam.”
MC: “Islam is often violent and oppressive in Arab countries, but western Muslims are mostly peaceful by comparison. Do you think that Islam can be a peaceful force? Do you think that Islam is any more/less dangerous then other religions?”
Anahita: “To me, Islam is very dangerous because it wants always to dominate the world. The western Muslims are so weak in the western countries. That is why they want to convince the world that they are good. That’s why they act peaceful… But believe me, if Islam dominated the world someday, it would make the greatest of slaughters.”
By the way her 2010 demo “Burning Quran Ceremony” was on free download. Check out her work yourself here.
And here is an Metal-Archives review for the demo.
And above I’ve talked about her corpsepaint thing and all, see her beauty yourself and get some more information about Janaza here.