Harstad ICORN artist in residence Nikan Khosravi and Arash Ilkhani have released a new album titled “Revenge at all Cost,” the first album of their band Confess in seven years. Since Khosravi and Ilkhani relocated from Iran in 2018 due to the persecution they faced, the band has added three Norwegian band members. Although in exile, the band remains actively involved with issues in Iran. In 2019, after the Iranian government brutally cracked down on protests sparked by an increase in petrol prices, Confess released the single ‘Army of Pigs’ in the hopes to spread awareness about what was happening. Other latest singles include ‘Evin’ (named after the prison where Ilkhani and Khosravi were detained and questioned) and ‘Eat What you Kill.’
In a feature article in The Guardian, the band speaks about the harassment they faced for their music in Iran and what this new album means for their trajectory. You can read an excerpt below:
“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.
In late 2015, Khosravi and his Confess bandmate, Arash Ilkhani, were arrested in their native Iran. Their crime was writing anti-establishment metal music, for which they were charged with blasphemy and propaganda against the state and taken to Tehran’s notorious Evin prison. They endured 18 months of incarceration while awaiting trial before making bail and, following a guilty verdict that sentenced them to six years in prison, sought asylum in Norway.
Revenge at All Costs, Confess’s first album since the hellish ordeal, documents the last seven years, with Khosravi and Ilkhani now flanked by a trio of Norwegian members. “It’s a storytelling record,” Khosravi states, before comparing it to 2Pac’s All Eyez on Me and Eminem’s Recovery, with a snigger. “It’s a personal take on the stuff that happened. We wanted to make the statement that you cannot keep someone from their dreams. Our second album was called In Pursuit of Dreams, and we were arrested two weeks after releasing it. We were pursuing our dreams and, for our dreams, we went to jail.”
Read the full article here.
Revenge at All Costs is out now on Rexius Records. More information about Confess’ music can be found on the band’s Instagram and Bandcamp pages.