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Metal band pisses off government, has to flee country

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At it’s heart, Rock-n-Roll is really about rebellion, and nothing captures that spirit more than the story of a certain metal band from Iran.

The band is Confess, a metal band from Iran. In 2015, Iranian authorities arrested Confess singer and guitarist Nikan Khosravi and his bandmate Arash “Chemical” Ilkhani. The mullahs charged the two metalheads with blasphemy and anti-government propaganda for their pointed anti-religious lyrics and criticisms of the state. Who is surprised that a metal band would be critical of those who hold power in their society? Khosravi spent 18 months in prison while awaiting trial, three of them in solitary confinement. They two musicians were found guilty and sentenced to six years behind bars. However, Khosravi and Ilkhani were able to flee their home country and were granted political asylum in Norway.

Their oppression and persecution is encapsulated in their third album, “Revenge At All Costs”, released in late January, 2022. The bands anger is concrete, political, and personal. When Khosravi sings “They can’t fucking break me for who I am” on “Phoenix Rises,” a track from the new album, it hits home as authentic and righteous. “EVIN”, another song from the album, is named after the infamously brutal prison where Khosravi and Ilkhani served time. The song starts with recording of state-backed Iranian media broadcasts, which meld into the bands signature metalcore sound.

The Revolutionary Tribunal of Tehran gave “Phoenix Rises” a negative review when it was released. Khosravi and Ilkhani’s combined sentences were increased to 14 and a half years in prison and 74 lashes in absentia, which is probably a better advertisement for it than any promotional materials their record label could cook up.

You can find the album “Revenge At All Costs” here:


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