After their songs were deemed blasphemous propaganda, the duo were forced to flee to Norway and claim asylum. Now a band, they are writing angrily about what they faced
For almost as long as it’s existed, heavy metal has been used as protest music. On Black Sabbath’s Paranoid, the first thing you’re barraged with is War Pigs: a seven-minute savaging of the politicians who instigated the Vietnam war. Iron Maiden once had their mascot, Eddie, murder Margaret Thatcher on a single’s artwork; Metallica and Megadeth spent the 1980s lambasting cold war superpowers that didn’t know whether to shake hands or nuke each other.
Nikan Khosravi, singer and guitarist of Iranian/Norwegian thrashers Confess, views his band as another protest act in the metal lineage. “I’m the kid who told the emperor: ‘You’re naked!’” he exclaims with pride and excitement on a call from Norway. However, the five-piece don’t write their brutish tracks about some faraway conflict, or satirise a government certain to ignore them.