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“Perform Your Pain”: Arthimoth in Iran

Posted in: General,Islam by Tom Beaudoin on April 23, 2011

I recently viewed excerpts on YouTube of a documentary about the Iranian death metal band Arthimoth. I have never come around to enjoying death metal (that guttural chanting and howling has never fallen within my “I would like to hear that again” zone), but I still find it theologically and culturally important to pay attention to global rock culture, especially when that music sits within a national context saturated with Islam.

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YWTCsUIyJTY

Music as a form of negotiating with religion and with the state is evident throughout these brief clips. (For a related note, see my entry on the documentary “Heavy Metal in Baghdad.”) In the first segment, guitarist and vocalist Ali Azhari speaks of “performing pain” through his work. There is a space of potential overlap — and tension — between rock and theology.

Tom Beaudoin

Hastings-on-Hudson, New York, USA

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