Acrassicauda made their name as Iraq's only heavy metal band . That status turned out to be short-lived -- not because of a new crop of metal bands forming in their home country, but because its members were forced to flee the violence in their homeland and death threats for playing "evil" Western music. Now all four members are settled in the United States.
As chronicled in the documentary "Heavy Metal in Baghdad," Acrassicauda's tribulations included the destruction of its practice space by a bombing and being compelled by authorities to write and perform a song praising Saddam Hussein in order to be allowed to play a concert.
After leaving Iraq, band members sought refugee status in Syria and Turkey . Drummer Marwan Riyadh said they were not welcomed in Turkey and feared the band would be forced to move back to Baghdad. Before that could happen, the United States granted all four members refugee status and the International Rescue Committee placed them in an Elizabeth, New Jersey apartment, the New York Times reports .
Sunday night, Acrassicauda got an appropriately metal welcome to America: a backstage meeting with the members of Metallica, who played a show at the Prudential Center in Acrassicauda's new home state. Frontman James Hetfield presented the band with an autographed guitar and told them to "write some good riffs."