From series. Parts 1-5 up now on

In 2003, just after the US toppled the regime of Saddam Hussein, Vice magazine published an article on the only heavy metal band in Iraq, Acrassicauda. The Baghdad-based band was formed in the last few years of Saddam's rule and aside from the typical problems every band has, they also had to deal with the stigma of playing dark western music in an Islamic state under Baath party rule, while coming out of a decade of war, sanctions, and poverty. We found their story inspiring. When we interviewed the band they were excited to be living in a newly freed Iraq, and their future seemed limitless. They even talked of recording an album. Things took a turn for the worse, however. After a few months respite, the situation in free Iraq deteriorated quickly and by the end of the year, after a few key insurgent attacks‑the bombing at the UN building, the massive strike at the grand Shi'a mosque in Najaf‑Iraq started to unravel. We stayed in touch with the band through this time and in the fall of 2006, with the insurgency reaching a fevered pitch, VICE Co-Founder Suroosh Alvi and VBS Producer Eddy Moretti decided to visit them.