Iranian Metal Band Reportedly Jailed For Making 'Satanic' Music

11 February 2016 | 11:52 am | Staff Writer

The arrested members potentially face execution if found guilty of blasphemy

The international metal community is rallying behind members of groove/nu/thrash metal outfit Confess, who have reportedly been arrested in their native Iran — and potentially face execution — for a range of "offences" including playing heavy metal, owning an independent record label and corresponding with Western media.

Metal Nation Radio was the first to break the story of musicians Nikan Siyanor Khosravi and Arash 'Chemical' Ilkhani after directly receiving a message from an anonymous "close friend and old friend of the guys" who also claimed to be the administrator of the band's official Facebook page. The messenger reached out to the outlet in the knowledge that the site's chief executive, Trev McKendry, had had prior contact with Khosravi.

"He really needs you now by [sharing] it, post[ing] it and [talking about] it in the network and your radio shows and your co-workers and friends," the post reads. "We … need your help."

The message, which — as Metal Nation Radio notes — is written in fractured English and appears to have been translated to the best of the messenger's ability, explains that the men were apparently arrested by the intelligence unit of Sepah-e Pasdaran, aka the Army of the Guardians of the Islamic Revolution, on 10 November last year — a matter of weeks after the band released their most recent album, In Pursuit Of Dreams — and were held in solitary confinement in Evin Prison, in north-west Tehran, until 5 February this year, when they were released after stumping up $US30,000.

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The pair are not out of the woods yet, however, as they are now apparently awaiting trial for the litany of charges brought against them.

According to the firsthand screed from the members' anonymous friend, Khosravi and Ilkhani were arrested "in accusation of [blasphemy]; advertising against the system; form[ing] and running an [illegal] and underground band and record label in the satanic 'Metal & Rock' music style!; writing anti-religion and athiestic, political & anarchistic lyrics and [conducting] interview[s] with [forbidden] [foreign] radio stations".

The message goes on to explain that "all the personal and band e-mails and Facebooks are under the control of the government", and that the men "face the minimum 6 month[s] to the maximum 6 years of [imprisonment] for the majority of the charges, as "the Metal & Hard Rock music (in a oneword, the [extreme] music) in Iran is [forbidden] and [against] the law and because it [is] consider[ed] as a Satanic genre of music it has a [harsh] punishment" including imprisonment and being whipped for their so-called crime.

Worse still, if the court finds them guilty on the charge of blasphemy, they will face the death penalty.

The tone of the message is urgent and harrowing, explaining that its writer is concerned for the safety of their friends, "and now we hope you guys help us [in] telling the world that the life conditions of us is very terrible", concluding with an unsettling statement: "Our [friends] are in … horrible danger."

The story has since been picked up by the likes of Loudwire, Metal Underground, Metal Insider and Asia-centric punk/hardcore/metal outlet Unite Asia, lending quite a degree of credence to the claims, while messages of support — some purporting to be from within Iran itself — have started appearing on the band's Facebook page, on Twitter (#FreeConfess) and under the publications' articles.

Read the full statement (in its original translation) under the track below.

Hello, hoping you doing well.. I have a important news for you! Nikan (Siyanor Khosravi & Arash (Chemical) Ilkhani arrested by the “Intllengante unit of Seppah-e Pasdaran of islamic republic Iran” (One of the main military forces of the country) since November 10th of 201” and the has been under the arrest in Evin perison in Tehran-Iran and up until they released in February 5th 2015 on the “ Rial” (30.000 U.S $) and all of these days they’ve been held in “2-A Solitary Confinemet” of the “Evin”..!

The “23” and “21” years old two Members of the Irannian metal band called “Confess” arrested in accusation of “Blasphmy; Advertising against the system; form and running an illigal and underground band and record label in the satanic “Metal & Rock” music style!; writing anti-religion & athiestic, politcal & anarchistic lyrics and interview with forbidden foregin radio stations.

During the arrestment Lead singer and the Dj of the band has been under a tough conditions and a hard investigations! The current situation of the guys is that they are working with their lawers and waiting for their trial and announce of their judgment dates, judges of the law sutes and untill that they all their activities is sut down.

All the personal and band E-mails and facebooks are under the control of the goverment! As it told the Metal & Hard Rock music (In a oneword, the exterem music) in Iran is forbiden and againts the law and because it consider as a satanic genre of music it has a hursh punishment such as imperisonment and having lots wiplash and consider as a political-religious-securety crime and the criminal is a deteny!

The garges of “Siyanor [-13]” & “Chemical” puts them in the situation that they are face the minimum 6 month to the maximum 6 years of imperisonment in of jail! If the court find them belasfemers even they are facig EXECUION!

The last studio album of “Confess” is “In Pursuit Of Dreams” which released in “28.10.2015” via an irannian music company called “Opposite Record” (That found by the Frontman, Lead Guitaris & Lead Voalist, Composer & Lyricist, “Nikan Khosravi“) The sad thing is that the promoting of this record coudn’t goes well and stop undone for now! After 4 years of international sucsess; after releasing of 33 tunes as the 2 full lenght studio albums, 1 official EP record and 3 Independent singletracks; but now the future of the two main man of the band is blur and so the band as well..!

The reason of this radio silent was the safety of our brothers in prison and now we hope you guys help us to telling the world that the life conditions of us is very terrible and spread the news. we are expriancing a so real times and a dark days and our friens are in a horrible danger...

Thanks for your time; “Peace”

I am (namewitheld); a real close friend and old friend of the guys and admin of the official page of “Confess”. I knew that You and Nikan was friend and he really needs you now by share it, post it and talkabout it in the network and your radio shows and your co-workers and friends! We are need your help.