Friday, February 10, 2012

Janaza – Burning Quran Ceremony

Janaza is one of the most unique bands in all of black metal. It's a one-person black metal band fronted by a woman living in Iraq speaking blasphemy against Islam. Anahita, the woman behind the music, is seriously one of the bravest individuals I've ever seen. On a partially related note, according to this story I heard, she lost her entire family during the American occupation of Iraq around 2003. She's been angry about it ever since, and this anger is omnipresent in her music. Many black metal bands like to sing about war, but the woman behind Janaza has actually seen the horrors of war. Very few bands have this level of authenticity.

Some people will have problems with the extremely muddy production, but I've listened to albums with far worse production values, so it doesn't really bother me. First up is the absolutely violent song “Burn The Pages Of Quran”. The drum machine may sound obvious and the riffs may be simple, but in this case, it's the emotion that matters. She is disgusted with the countless atrocities committed in the name of Allah, and in her rage, she suggests a solution: burn the Quran. This unfettered rage is the pure essence of black metal, back before it was polluted by post-rock and shoegaze bullshit.

After hearing this blasphemous assault, I was rather disappointed with the rest of this album. It never reaches the level of brutality seen on “Burn The Pages Of Quran”. “Islamic Lies” is a mid-paced piece that just sort of plods along. “Arise” has worse production than the first two songs, and “Black Metal Ist Krieg” feels more like an afterthought than a real song. However, I do like the mournful feel of the last track.

This album may not be all that great, but it was a pretty interesting listen, and I hope she hones her craft in the near future. In the meantime, I'll just play “Burn The Pages Of Quran” on repeat.
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