Here in Australia and other parts of the western world, it's easy to take for granted the freedom of speech that comes along with metal. For Iranian band Confess, they were arrested in 2015 for their music and faced charges of blasphemy, advertising against the system, forming and running an illegal and underground label in the satanic metal and rock style, writing anti-religious, atheistic, political and anarchistic lyrics, and interviewing with forbidden radio stations.
They were also held on a $30,000 bail and potentially faced the death penalty for their 'crimes', before they escaped execution by stating that they were insulting 'God' and not the prophet Muhammad specifically, although frontman Khosravi was sentenced to six years in Iranian prison and was forced to flee to an undisclosed location in Turkey, where their explosive new song 'Phoenix Rises' was written and recorded. He said:
“I wrote it on the concept of this epic creature, Phoenix — which will be reborn through his ashes — and my whole mind state during these three years. I was gonna make a come back and take my revenge, no matter at what cost! Basically it is a ‘diss track’ to the regime in Iran and religious stuff that made this all happen, and also to anyone (in or out of the music scene) who became happy by hearing us getting into jail, the execution possibility and thought we are dead and gone! But it didn't happen and we came back wilder and stronger. That's why you hear a lot of ‘they’ and ‘you’ in this song!”
You can listen to 'Phoenix Rises' below, which is an absolute scorcher of a track, serving as a middle finger to the authorities responsible for their circumstance, signalled by the line "You can't fucking break me". Drawing on both thrash and death metal influence, thew songs doesn't let up over five minutes with savage vocals and evil riffs galore!