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Unearthing The Metal Underground: The Metal Scene In Turkey

Every week in Unearthing the Metal Underground, we take a look at three quality bands that perhaps haven't received as much exposure yet as they should. This week, we'll be taking a trip to Turkey, the country where Europe and Asia meet, which shares its borders with no less than eight countries, including Greece in the West and Iran to the East. It's a country with a fascinating history (the Ottoman era of which was covered brilliantly in the PBS Series, "Islam: Empire of Faith") and remains an intriguing place today. It attracts many visitors every year, including heavy metal fans from Arab countries, who are unable to attend rock and metal shows in their homelands. Turkey was also at the heart of one of the more interesting stories in last year's metal news, when Israeli progressive metal band, Orphaned Land, announced that they becoming Turkish citizens, having established a strong fan base in the country and previously winning an award for their efforts towards reaching peace. This week, MetalUnderground will be examing three home grown Turkish bands, in an attempt to showcase it as one of the most exciting places to visit.


Kirmizi (Turkish for "red") is one of the more unique bands covered this week, seeing as it's an all female group. The outfit was founded in 2005 by vocalist Idil Cagatay and drummer Asli Polat and performed tirelessly in clubs like Dorock in the country's largest city, Istanbul. They released their first maxi single in 2010 and recorded two music videos for the release, "Kirmizi" and "Veda Etme," before being personally selected by Ozzy Osbourne to open for him in Istanbul later that year. In 2011, they released their first album, "Isyan," and are currently working hard to bring their sound across Europe and eventually to the United States.

Kirmizi - "Kirmizi"

Kirmizi - "Geri"

Soul Sacrifice

Staying with Istanbul, this next band hails from the city's, Bakirköy district, having been founded there in 1997, though it took eight years for the group to release their first album, "Stranded Hate" through Major Müzik. Soul Sacrifice are one of the longest running death metal bands from Turkey and are still going strong today, having signed with Massacre Records in 2012, and releasing their album, "Carpe Mortem" soon afterwards. They toured across Europe in support of the record, performing from their homeland to France to Romania and many places in between.

Soul Sacrifice - "Comatose"

Soul Sacrifice - "Exile"


Another of Turkey's most seasoned death metal bands is Cenotaph, who were formed in 1994 in the Turkish capital city of Ankara by vocalist, Batu Çetin. They released their first demo, "Life Immortal" the next year, before a second demo, "Promo '96" and a full length album, "Voluptuously Minced," were released in 1996. They released a second album, "Puked Genital Purulency" in 1999 through Hammer Müzik, the same label which had released their 1996 full length debut. Changes soon came for the band when they replaced bassist Bülent and guitarist Coskun with Basar Çetin and Cihan Akün, then signed to American label, Guttural Records for their third album, "Pseudo Verminal Cadaverium." They continued to increase their profile worldwide by performing at many festivals across the globe, including one at the Maryland Deathfest in 2007, to coincide with the release of their fourth album, "Reincarnation in Gorextasy." Following the release of their fifth album, "Putrescent Infectious Rabidity" in 2010, the band released two compilation records, "Complete Demos & Rehearsals 94-96" and "Re-puked Purulency," as well as a DVD, "Guttural Sounds of Morbid Putrefaction," all in 2011.

Cenotaph - "Less Than Human Urinal"

Cenotaph - "Human Flesh Wax"

Cenotaph - "Schizoid Acts of Mental Defloration"

What did you think of this week's bands? Please feel free to comment about your favorite bands in this article in the comments below, and check back in next Monday as we continue to unearth more underground metal bands.

Diamond Oz's avatar

Ollie Hynes has been a writer for Metal Underground.com since 2007 and a metal fan since 2001, going as far as to travel to other countries and continents for metal gigs.

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4 Comments on "Unearthing The Turkish Metal Underground"

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cbella's avatar


1. cbella writes:

Great article Oz! How did you get to know about these bands? I'm very impressed with them! I really like Soul Sacrifice!
Unfortunately, despite the close proximity of these bands to me; the conflict between Turkey and Cyprus will mean they will not be able to play here.
But now you've shown me that there are bands worth traveling to Turkey for, I'm gonna have to give it a go!
Do you know anything more about the metal scene there? How popular is metal there?

# Feb 11, 2013 @ 2:10 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Diamond Oz's avatar

Senior News Correspondent

2. Diamond Oz writes:

Thanks Cbella! I found all these bands today purely because it was my turn to write the Unearthing article and for whatever reason I decided Turkey would be a good place to look at since it's more secular than some of the other countries I've covered like Pakistan and Malaysia. As far as I could find, the Turkish metal scene is a growing one, it's bigger and more accepted than most, if not all countries with a predominantly Muslim population but it still faces difficultues (an example being when their leg of Sonisphere was accused of being organised by the Mossad.) Maybe these bands will come to the Turkish part of Cyprus at some stage though? I know someone that's half Greek Cypriot who won't set foot near a kebab place because he hates Turks so much, which is pretty sad, if a little understandable. I'll have to do some write ups on the metal underground in Greece and Cyprus at some stage though.

# Feb 11, 2013 @ 2:39 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
cbella's avatar


3. cbella writes:

Thanks! Really good to find out about bands that I would never have heard of but are nearby!
It would be great to read what u have to say about Greece and Cyprus. I know that metal in Greece is light-years ahead of Cyprus, as far as diversity goes. They are very much into the 'classic' metal here. Although, there have been some recent developments of some more (melodic) death metal bands lately.
From what I heard here, I'm very impressed with the Turkish metal offerings and am keen to find out more. I'll be hard pressed to find anyone willing to travel with me to the north side, let alone Turkey. So much for music unifying the masses!

# Feb 11, 2013 @ 2:56 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Diamond Oz's avatar

Senior News Correspondent

4. Diamond Oz writes:

I'll probably do Greece first to be honest since there seems to be more there metal wise. I'd love to visit Turkey and Greece (and Cyprus for that matter) but I don't think I'll head to Greece until things have calmed down a bit.

# Feb 11, 2013 @ 3:53 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address

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