This article explores the possibilities of heavy metal as an active and vital part of Iraqi civic life. Using a rhetorical analysis, the public dimensions of Iraqi heavy metal are shown to offer cathartic relief and public critique, craft identities and community, and foster modes of identification between Iraqi and Western public spheres. A survey of resources (over 100 texts total) was conducted primarily around the bands Acrassicauda and Dog Faced Corpse. Texts for analysis narrate artists' relationships to their music, to Iraq and to their sociopolitical condition. This article concludes that heavy metal acts as a modality, or way of crafting publics, in Iraq. Rooted in the sounds and social fabric of today's Iraqi youth, heavy metal modalities offer a unique amalgam of personal pain, public commentary and global cultural ties that succinctly capture the tension and struggle of a transitioning new Iraq.