Afghanistan’s First Heavy Metal Band: ‘We Live Under The Constant Fear Of Sudden Death’

Reuters published a story today focusing on the growing influence of American rock music on Afghan youth.

DISTRICT UNKNOWN, which is said to be Afghanistan’s first heavy metal band, is one of a handful of groups to emerge with mentoring from Afghanistan’s first school of rock, Kabul’s “Sound Centre”, which opened in May.

For young Afghans, the fast-paced, aggressive sound of heavy metal gives them a chance to vent their anger at the violence they have witnessed during years of war before and after the September 11, 2001, attacks in the United States.

“We live under the constant fear of sudden death,” said DISTRICT UNKNOWN guitarist Qasem Foushanji.

One of DISTRICT UNKNOWN‘s songs, “The Beast”, has lyrics like: “I scream loud and harsh; For you to run away”.

“The beast in the song is fear, and if one can defeat fear then they can make a better reality for themselves,” says Pedram Foushanji, Qasem‘s brother, and band’s songwriter and drummer.

Two of DISTRICT UNKNOWN‘s members said discovered heavy metal in part because they were given a METALLICA album while studying in Iran. They added that living at war for a decade helped them connect with the music’s heavy sound.

Read the entire report from


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