Enlarge Photo by Mehdi Daneshi

Iranian Death Metal Band Arsames Face 15 Years in Prison for Playing “Satanic Music”

  • Axl Rosenberg

For the second time in recent memory, an Iranian band has been jailed for playing metal, which the country considers to be “satanic music.”

In 2016, Iran’s Confess were arrested by the Army of the Guardians of the Islamic Revolution and charged with blasphemy, advertising against the system, forming and running an illegal and underground band and recording label in a musical style considered to be Satanic, writing lyrics that are anti-religious, atheistic, political, and anarchistic, and granting interviews to forbidden foreign radio stations. Its members are currently residing in Norway, where they’ve been granted asylum, and may never be able to go home again: last year, the Revolutionary Tribunal of Tehran sentenced the band members to a combined14 and a half years in prison, with  frontman Nikan Siyanor Khosravi also sentenced to 74 lashes.

Now Metal Injection reports that members of the Iranian death metal band Arsames were arrested last month “and charged with 15 years in jail for being in a satanic metal band and being against the Islamic government,” according to official government documents. They are currently out on bail and awaiting trial.

Formed in 2002, Arsames have dubbed their music “NWOPDM,” for “New Wave of Persian Death Metal.” They’ve played fests in Turkey, Dubai and Armenia, and released a full-length album, Immortal Identity, in 2010; I’m listening to it now, and it’s pretty great. They’ve also recorded a number of covers, including this particularly inventive take on Slayer’s “Raining Blood”:

If you wanna help out the group, MetalSucks encourages you to buy something from their Bandcamp pageImmortal Identity is $7, while their covers are all name-your-own-price. You can also follow them on FacebookInstagram and YouTube.

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