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The Real Underground: Persian Metal Festival Spotlight
With the inaugural Persian Metal Festival set to take place this Friday in Yerevan, Armenia, we take a look at the all-Iranian line-up. This festival represents inspiring defiance in the face of oppression, and boasts an impressive array of acts…
Tehran’s Slave Mark are challenging for the title of Iran’s most extreme act, and their vicious, censor-baiting deathcore/tech-death is mightily impressive. With serious chops and an utterly defiant ethos, they demand respect, and should prove a highlight at the festival.
Evolving away from their nu-metal roots, Death-Fuse have swiftly become a crushing-as-fuck metalcore crew who take no prisoners live or on record. The Tehran mob’s new record ‘Before The Story Ends’ is set to drop soon, so it won’t be long before even Western listeners are able to appreciate their distinctive strain of brutality.
Another act to emerge from Tehran’s underground death metal scene, Mordab have been around in one shape or form for over a decade. Drawing from traditional Persian music as well as DM old and new the five-piece have carved out a distinctive and heavy-hitting sound, culminating in their killer third album ‘Room No.X’.
After starting off by playing Opeth and Lamb Of God covers, Tehran natives Persian Force have developed into a versatile and potent live act, colliding black, doom and death metal to memorable effect. Aptly named, they’re one of the most extreme acts on this bill, and should not be taken lightly.
It takes serious guts to join an Iranian metal band, and that goes doubly if you’re a woman. In a country where gender inequality is the status quo 5GRS’ frontwoman Sanam is blazing a remarkable trail, and despite being unable to appear in the band’s videos, she gives their catchy trad-metal an additional melodic edge.
Formed by school-friends Arash and Shervin back in 2000, Avesta play thrash-inflected classic metal, and their passion for the art is indisputable. Despite clashing with the Iranian authorities while attempting to get their debut album released the band (now expanded to a four-piece) are still going strong, and their set is much anticipated.
Taking influence from Metallica among others, Credenc began by covering their heroes, and have since begun developing their own original material. Hailing from Shahsavar this lot were the last act to be confirmed for this year’s line-up, and though they’ve yet to release recorded material they’re said to be well worth a watch.
Proving that folk-metal respects no national boundaries, Mashhad’s Master Of Persia incorporate an array of musical and thematic elements into songs like ‘Prince Of Persia’ – inspired by the video game – and ‘Grief Is The Shadow Of Death’. Having performed internationally this lot are comparatively seasoned campaigners, and look unlikely to disappoint at this year’s event.
Driven by the ambition of breaking out onto the international death metal scene, Scox have only been around for a couple of years, but their reputation in Iran is second to none. With a shared interest in ‘psychedelic philosophy’ and a healthy respect for the DM greats this lot are sure to bring the brutality up a notch at Persian Metal 2012.
Headlining this year’s festival are melodic death metal masters Arsames. Living under the constant threat of violence – like all of the bands on the bill – this Mashhad outfit have persevered and succeeded in drawing the attention of the international metal community, making them heroes for metalheads both in and outside of Iran. As such they’re the perfect band to round off this celebration of Persian extremity, and their set should be one to remember for all present.