From left, Iranian thrash-metal band members Nikan Khosravi, Shantiya Shokri and, in Hosty Duo T-shirt, Arash Ilkhani. (

Imagine if the U.S. government killed people for making music it deemed “blasphemous.”

In America, a country founded on the principle of religious freedom, it’s shocking to hear that other countries still execute their citizens for music that moral and legal authorities consider to be “impiously irreverent.”

On Feb. 8, Trev McKendry, CEO and writer for the Metal Nation News blog, posted a report from the website admin for Iranian thrash-metal trio Confess. The admin, whose identity McKendry withheld to protect him, claimed two-thirds of Confess had been jailed on Nov. 10, 2015, by members of the Army of the Guardians of the Islamic Revolution in Tehran.

The charges against Nikan “Siyanor” Khosravi, 23, and Arash “Chemical” Ilkhani, 21, range from blasphemy to interviewing with foreign radio stations. The pair had sat in solitary confinement at Evin prison, a detention center notorious for its torture and murder of inmates, before posting bail of about $30,000 on Feb. 5 and currently await trial.

“Because of their heavy-handed religious rule, many countries in the Middle East view rock and metal as the devil’s music,” the admin wrote to McKendry. “In many cases the musicians or those who just listen to the music risk being jailed and in some cases executed for it.”

Charges include:

  • blasphemy
  • advertising against the system
  • forming and running an illegal and underground band and recording label in a musical considered to be Satanic
  • writing lyrics that are anti-religious, atheistic, political and anarchistic
  • granting interviews to forbidden foreign radio stations

If convicted, the heavy metal duo face a minimum of six months imprisonment and up to a maximum of six years. If convicted specifically on the blasphemy charge, the pair could be executed, according to Confess’ website admin cited on Metal Nation News.


Qom, Iran

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More likely, according to a researcher with Human Rights Watch, the pair will receive a sentence of about five years’ imprisonment, as reported on

To avoid potential imprisonment or the ultimate fate for their brothers in metal, fans have banded together to create, sign and distribute a petition to the United Nations in the hopes they may champion the cause of freedom for Khosravi and Ilkhani. The petition has about 12,000 “signatures” as of the release of this story, just shy of a 15,000-signature goal.

Below is an example of one of Confess’ songs, by far the most popular on the band’s SoundCloud page, followed by a copy of the lyrics as pasted from YouTube.

Ticking My Hate Bomb Your Life In Danger
Makes Me Inspire Your lies ; Fury Way More

Locked Up Inside Of Shell That Makes Me Look,
Like Every Other One Who Try To Get Through…;

The Entrance Of Hell Of My Rage Fulls
Heart That Makes All Of You Fucks Scapegoat
You Can Run ‘n Run ‘n On ‘n On…,
But You Know That You Can Not Get Out Of My Sight!

To Late For Repent! Saw You In Regret!
Tears Of Blood Even Makes You Torn Apart!
You Never Get Out Of Circle Of My Eyes…!

I’m Always Over Of Your Head
Because From Now…, I’m Your Mother Fucking…,

God ((Now!)) [I’m Your God]
I Am Your God ((Now!)) [Do my Rule!]
Cause I’m Your God ((Now!)) [I’m Your God]
That’s Right ; Your God ((Now!)) [My Greatness Is Full…]

((Bend On Me Right Now…!))

I’m Unleashed Prisoner ; Guiltiest Sinner
My Yesterday Your Tomorrow , Your Dream Memory In Me!

On The Way Now Just Tell You Somehow
my Dominion Starts From your Life Right Now!

Your Life Style Determines Your Death Style
But My Style Mostly Makes You Cry!

Once For All I Will Get It Done
Turning To Black Have Got All My Rhymes…

Stick Up Your Fingers In Your Mouth!
Save Your Breath All In Your Lungs!
My Justice Is Most Evil Thing!
Your Shoulders Will Crash Under It!

I’m Always Over Of Your Head
Because From Now…, I’m Your Mother Fucking

God ((Now!)) [I’m Your God]
I Am Your God ((Now!)) [Do my Rule!]
Cause I’m Your God ((Now!)) [I’m Your God]
That’s Right ; Your God ((Now!)) [My Greatness Is Full…]
((You Can’t Take My Wrath…!))

You Spited At Me , I Spit Right Back At Your Face!
You Never Comprehend How It Tastes…;
To Being Denied With All Your Powers
I’m Hated At Last I’d Made Name!
Tonight I Showed Up As Who I Am
Assassinated Your Demi-Lord And Sit Upon Him
You Will Recognize My Greatness
When My Rage Unleash As Shape Of Fist!

[Die…!] It’s Order Of Your God!
[Just Die…!] Your Life’s Taken It’s Mine!
[So Die…!] Now I Confront All I Hate!
[Just Die…!] Consumed By Flame Of My Hell!

I’ll Take Your Soul Not Because I Need It…;
I’m Taking It Just Because Want You Don’t Feel It!
let me tell you all in one phrase…;

I’m Your God And Here Comes Your Death…!

I’m Your…; [God Now!] I’m Your God!
I Am Your God Now! [Do My Rule!]
Cause I’m Your God Now! [I’m Your God]
That’s Right , Your God Now! [My Greatness Is Full…]

[God Now!] Yeah…
[God Now!] Now…


Value your freedoms

While the musical style and lyrical content of heavy metal may not be your cup of tea, it’s certainly not the kind of thing Americans jail people over, and the prospect that either or both of these young men could be executed for their art should shock us into a deeper appreciation for the freedoms we often take for granted in America.