Kurban -- a quartet comprised of vocalist/guitarist Deniz Yilmaz, drummer Burak Gürpinar, bass guitarist Kerem Tuzun, and lead guitarist Umut Gokcen -- were formed in 1995 under the name Outside. Two years later they took third place in the Roxy Music Days contest with their new name, Kurban -- which had a double meaning, either "victim" or "sacrificial animal" in a religious context. In 1999 the band released its self-titled debut album. With an approach rarely seen in Turkish rock, combining heavy hard rock riffs with a punk attitude, the band quickly drew widespread attention thanks to the hit "Yalan." Kurban were quickly chosen to open for Metallica that year in a stadium concert in Istanbul. Taking to the stage wearing skirts, they had to play under the boos of the crowd -- as they weren't metal enough to open for the thrash gods.
In 2001, lead guitarist Umut Gokcen was replaced by Özgür Kankaynar. A covers album, Sert, was released in 2004, and heavy versions of "Sari Cizmeli Mehmet Aga" and "Aglama Degmez Hayat" were well received. A year later the band released its second album of original material, entitled Insanlar. Moving further away from punk influences and blending in more Turkish-style vocals with a darker tone, Insanlar showcased the band's mature face while retaining its naughty side. In May 2005, the members of Kurban decided to part ways. Deniz Yilmaz formed a new band called Panik, drummer Burak Gürpinar joined Athena, and bass guitarist Kerem Tuzun began playing alongside Demir Demirkan -- however, in late 2006 Kurban announced their reunion.