Syrian Metal Is War | A Documentary By Monzer Darwish

Since 2011, war has greatly ravaged Syria’s cities and villages, claiming the lives of almost half a million individuals and leaving several other millions internally displaced or seeking asylum abroad.  In light of this human tragedy, we wonder as metalheads: what has become of the Syrian Metal scene? “Syrian Metal is War” tackles the issue at hand. 

Syrian Metal Is War a Film that documents the lives of Syrian metalheads during the war is finally released!

“Syrian Metal is War”: a compelling documentary that showcases the arduous lives of metalheads in war-torn Syria was finally released on the 29th of January. A project that took shape over the course of four years, it brings to light the daily risks that metal musicians and fans endured to keep their scene alive; from playing and recording music together in DIY studios to the sound of bombardments echoing in the city, to organizing underground concerts while risking suicide bombing attacks.

In 2013, Syrian metal musician and filmmaker Monzer Darwish decided to document the lives of fellow metalheads. His drive was coming face to face with the reality that this small scene, due to social stigma and the growing darkness of the war, is transforming into what he referred to as “the New Wave of Syrian Metal”.

The project is based on footage taken between mid-2013 and late 2014 in the Syrian cities of Aleppo, Damascus, Homs, Latakia, and the Lebanese capital Beirut. Through a mobile phone and a digital single-lens camera, Monzer takes his audience along the perilous trips taken by these guys across the scarred landscapes of Syria. In conversations over tea and metal symphonies, he captures the blend of knife-twisting despair paired with a passion to music and life that kept metal strong in such difficult times.

This film is an honest and beautiful piece of art that commemorates Syrian metal artists. It speaks to every metal musician and fan across the globe as the struggle to create music with limited resources and lack of social support is shared by many. It particularly however reflects the battles that Middle Eastern metalheads have to fight living under authoritarian regimes and times of conflict.

The documentary is freely accessible on YouTube:

The filmmaker is accepting donations here:

-by Dahlia Noir

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1 Comment

  1. Adel Hasan

    I watched it 2 times and it’s well done. Despite the auto-focus problems it’s was realistic and not fabricated to meet a certain point of view. Amazing job by Monzer Darwish.
    We need more long documentaries about metal in the region.

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