Metal is a hardy and belligerent beast, determined to survive in the most inhospitable of settings. From Syria’s Maysaloon, though Acrassicauda, whose attempts to record during the Iraq War were the focus of 2007’s Heavy Metal In Baghdad documentary, to the Fatwah placed on black metal by the Malaysian government, metal’s inherent sense of defiance has been both a code of survival and a target for oppressive regimes.
Playing metal can be a matter of life and death, no more so than in Iran. Earlier this year, the death metal band Arsames were forced to flee the country after being arrested and sentenced to 15 years in prison in 2017, having been freed on bail.
Two years earlier, Nikan Khosravi, and Arash Ilkhani core membes of Tehran-based groove/thrash metallers Confess were also arrested, accused of Satanism and faced potential execution for blasphemy. Nikan was ultimately sentenced to 14.5 years in prison and 74 lashes, Arash to two years in prison.
Thankfully, they managed to smuggle themselves out of the country after an offer ofpolitical asylum from Norway – the same country fellow Tehran exile, From The Vastland’s Sina now resides – continuing the band with two local musicians, Erling Malm and Roger Tunheim Jakobsen as touring partners.
Confess are currently working on their third album, Revenge At All Costs, and if you want a taster of what’s in store, they’ve just released a lyric video for the song Eat What You Kill. Featuring all manner of creepy, Victorian paraphernalia, including dead-eyed dolls, wince-inducingly wide syringes and formaldehyde-immersed foetuses, alongside spectacular shots of their adopted home and a host of other images, visually it comes across like a randomised stimulus-response test.
It also provides a suitably erratic backdrop for a song that will sit with you much in the manner of an implanted Xenomorph chestburster who’s gestation period has been given to working out overtime.
Eat What You Kill is a testament to metal’s indomitable nature, and while Confess are far from the Satanists they were accused of, their music is geared to cause a commotion in the only pit that matters.