Groove Metal, Hardcore
Come Hell or Persecution
Iranian groove metal/hardcore band Confess describe themselves as a “five-piece street protest”. It’s not a figure of speech: Nikan Khosravi (vocals/guitar) and Arash Ilkhani (DJ / Sampler) have experienced political persecution first-hand. The band’s upcoming album “Revenge at All Costs” is a cry of outrage in the form of chunky down-tuned riffs marinated in the Norwegian winter.
The journey started in junior high school in Tehran when Nikan got a CD from a classmate. It contained music videos by metal bands from the 90s and 2000s. “I was fascinated by the sound of the genre.”, he tells us. “Ever since this music has been the center of my life.”
Nikan and Arash started the band as teenagers in 2010, releasing their first album “Beginning of Dominion” in 2012. Their early sound gravitated towards old-school death metal and 90s hardcore, always with some grooviness to it.
Nikan started his own label “Opposite Records” in 2014. Up until here, this could sound like the story of any European band. But change the context, and being a metal musician could mean anything from government surveillance to execution.
Arrest and prison followed the release of the band’s second album “In Pursuit of Dreams” in 2015. The experience of confinement in one of Iran’s harshest prisons inspired songs like “Evin” (2019).
Fast forward to 2018, when both Nikan and Arash obtained refugee status in Norway. Confess started experimenting with seven strings and adding modern death metal sounds. But the groovy headbanging spirit of their musical DNA is very much alive.
Confess has played in public without fear of repercussions ever since. After several concerts in Norway, their latest milestone has been opening for Mayhem at Festspillene i Nord.
Confess got signed to Rexius Records in 2021 and is currently preparing for the release of “Megalodon” (single) in September, followed by another single in November and an album in January.
Press photos by Camilla Norvoll.