Hazeen is an anti-racist Muslim death metal band comprised of Can Yalcinkaya (drums), Safdar Ahmed (vocals and guitar) and Kian Dayani (bass guitar). We are very excited to announce the release of our debut album , ‘Sovereign Murders’ on 17 June 2022, to be printed as a vinyl LP through Piranha records. We recorded the album with Michael Imielski at Shhh studio in Granville in late 2020 and it features our good friends Kazem Kazemi and Susie Hurley as guest musicians. Sovereign Murders will be released as part of a larger artwork, called Border Farce, to be shown in the upcoming documenta fifteen exhibition in Kassel Germany, which runs from 18 June to 25 September. Below is my painting for the album cover.
‘Sovereign murders’ was a slip of the tongue made by Immigration Minister (later to become Prime Minister) of Australia Scott Morrison to the media in 2014. Morrison was lauding the government’s policy of refugee deterrence, for which his department devised the title ‘operation sovereign borders’ — which he accidentally referred to as ‘operation sovereign murders’. This slip occurred just weeks after the death of the Iranian refugee Reza Berati, who was killed within the Manus Island detention centre by two men contracted by the Australian government to protect refugees.
For any who are curious, we actively support anti-racist causes (and believe you should too) including the Palestinian-led BDS movement, which you can read a statement about (written by Safdar) here.
Our music addresses the expanding field of Islamophobia and bigotry in contemporary Australia. In our songs, as in our performances, we aestheticise prejudice, appropriating the reductive essentialisation of Islam and the paradigm ‘Islamic terrorism’—to highlight and subvert its politically confected nature. Our tunes comment on terror-alert politics, Muslim veil controversies, ‘timebomb’ demographics, refugee panics and taqiyya/halal-food conspiracies. This is no mere intellectual exercise but stems from a deep well of frustration about the incessant stereotyping, racialisation and subsequent dehumanisation of Muslims in Australian and global political discourses over many years.
Extreme metal, with its high-level of artifice, performativity and underlying misanthropic (spiritual-Romantic) themes is useful in this context. A form that self-consciously mimics the vernacular of social hate and exclusion provides a useful analytic-deconstructive tool. Amongst the already obscure subgenres of the metal underground, ours would count as insurgent Muslim death metal – with the occasional foray into softer, perennial Sufistic/batini themes. In corpse paint we become the living dead, the victims of illegal wars, indiscriminate drone assaults, and their self-appointed avengers.
By appropriating the enormous and ever growing repertoire of historical Islamophobia, we create a poetics of terror. We are the death cult – a natural outgrowth of late capitalism – forging a new Occidentalism.
Below is a short video documenting our gig and communal zombie-cake eating performance, which took place at Shh Space in North Parramatta in April 2017. The zombie is employed as a signifier for racist, Islamophobic hallucinations of an acopalyptic Muslim takeover, which we reverse engineered in a macabre zombie-brain eating ceremony. You can read about my theory linking Orientalism/Islamophobia and the modern zombie here.
You can hear some of our music on Bandcamp here.
For the latest Hazeen news you can follow our facebook page here.
Safdar in front of his Muslim zombie posters.
Can relishing a dismemberment!
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