The 'Releases Of The Year' series are albums chosen by myself as the best release from each country / dependency known to have an official release in the year 2017. These are alphabetized in country order so are easy to navigate. Each award has national flag featured alongside the band name, Release Of The Year' and Facebook link (where provided)
Iran’s first premier progressive rock / metal band Mavara announced to release their new 4th album 'Consciousness' on September, 11th 2017. Mavara have just released a lyric video for the track 'Time Makers', which can be viewed here: https://youtu.be/JErV2chjPtw
The album was recorded by Farhood Ghadiri and James Welch. Mixed by Dean Baltulonis and mastered by Jay Frigoletto. Produced by Farhood Ghadiri and co-produced by Ashkan Hamedi / Sina Khdaeifar.
Ashkan Hamedi - Vocals, Electric Guitar
Farhood Ghadiri - Keyboards, Piano, Synthesizer
Anis Oveisi - Keyboards, Piano
Sina Khodaeifar - Bass Guitar, Electric Guitar
James Welch - Drums
The name Mavara means “beyond everything you think” which speaks to the essence of their music. The band was formed in 2001 by composer/keyboardist Farhood Ghadiri and over the years has had a fluid line-up of members, performing extensively in Tehran and Karaj.
Mavara quickly gained notoriety in Iran, receiving acclaim from the Tehran Industry and Science University as “Best Rock Band at a Live Performance”. Additional honors include an invitation to perform for the internet music festival, “Teheran Avenue” in both 2003 and 2005. Their music is best described in terms of their influences, with a generous helping of Pink Floyd, Porcupine Tree and Marillion being the first bands that come to mind. In other words, more on the melodic side of Progressive Rock.
Mavara began recording their first Persian language album, “Ultimate Sound” in 2003 which was released in 2005. Their first English language album, “Forgotten Inside”, was released at a private concert in 2009. Among their first tour stops, was the Crescendo Music Festival in France during the summer of 2010. In 2013, Mavara released their epic third album “Season of Salvation”, on Transit Music Group Records in the USA.
Since arriving in the American soil, the band has been the subject of television programs [NH Chronicle/ABC Television, ‘Stir It Up’ on MCTV, etc], College radio live appearances [Tufts University, etc.] and countless magazine articles, The Hippo, The Union Leader, and most recently were featured in Spotlight Magazine where they graced the cover of the weekly magazine. Mavara was also invited to be one of 8 bands to perform at the prestigious "ProgDay Festival 2013" the longest running progressive rock festival in the world.
In November of 2015, the Iranian metal duo, Nikan "Siyanor" Khosravi and Arash "Chemical" Ilkhani, were arrested in November of 2015 by the Army of the Guardians of the Islamic Revolution and had some serious charges levied against them: blasphemy, advertising against the system, running an illegal and underground band and record label promoting music considered to be Satanic, writing anti-religious lyrics and granting interviews to forbidden foreign radio stations. At the time, we reported the band faced a maximum penalty of six years in prison, or worse, execution. Very little was public about the case at the time.
Today, Metal Injection published an interview with Nikan "Siyanor" Khosravi, offering his first public comments since the arrest.
Nikan offers an update on the trial, discusses how he discovered metal and reveals words of encouragement he's gotten from the likes of Slipknot frontman Corey Taylor, Arch Enemy's Alissa White-Gluz and even Eminem.
Read the entire interview here.
Satanath Records has a knack of discovering great bands from even the most unexpected countries for metal in the world. This time around, they've unearthed a band from Iran, playing a form of black / death metal that leans towards the Scandinavian template but add their own flavour to the mix. Zurvan have created a sublime blend of semi-melodic, Dissection-meets-Bolzer kind of sound which it infuses with riffs that are distinctly Eastern-sounding. They're on their way to forming their own identifiable sound but even as of now, their music is a breath of fresh air and holds immense promise, especially for a band from a place like Iran. Like Azooma, they're likely to leave a mark in the genre.
Formed in 2000 by a group of young underground metal heads, Tarantist originated in the basement alternative rock and heavy metal scenes in their native Tehran, Iran. Having to perform secretly-but-loudly often proved to be difficult, but after sparking a following via word of mouth in the underground, the band soon began to garner international recognition. Within just a few years, international media correspondents inspired by their story (including BBC, SKY, CNN, NPR, Metal Hammer and Kerrang) started visiting Tehran to meet and talk with Tarantist. These news reports and articles aided Tarantist in cultivating a worldwide following - motivating the band to relocate to the United States Los Angeles in 2008.
Although remaining positive, Tarantist quickly found that they weren't able to fully escape the pressures they faced back home, stemming from "not being Muslim enough". Once they arrived in the United States, they experienced opposite - uncomfortable stereotypes and assumptions directed at them simply based on their culture and/or how they looked - all the while never practising religion in the first place. Determined, Tarantist didn't let this slow them down. After growing some roots in North America, the band was invited to play several festivals like SXSW, CMJ, Canadian Music Week and Intergalactic Fest. Tarantist quickly added to their touring repertoire, performing on the same stages as Metallica, Motörhead, Stone Temple Pilots, Muse, Cheap Trick, Voivod, Sum 41, My Ruin, Ben Harper and many more.
After releasing three full length albums, an EP and several singles, Tarantist is pleased to announce the release of their new full-length album, Not A Crime, out now via iTunes, Amazon, Google Play, Spotify and all other digital retailers. You can listen to a track from the album, "Rain, Pour Down", here: https://youtu.be/IZ0C0voT0y4
Similar to what their name suggests (tarantism is defined as a mania characterized by an uncontrollable impulse to dance, popularly attributed to the bite of the tarantula), Tarantist's music is energetic and keeps the listener moving and headbanging, incorporating a true heavy metal sound mixed with exotic, Iranian flavour. The band's lyricism focuses on themes of anti-extremism, anti-corporate system, human rights and support thereof - including women's rights, religious rights, and freedom of expression in the arts.
Bassist / vocalist Arash says, "Instead of writing and singing in English like we usually do, for Not A Crime, we decided to sing/write in Farsi because we felt we need to pay our dues to the Farsi-speaking community and make history with something like this. The kids of Iran (like everywhere else) are being brainwashed by the propaganda and state media. We feel the new generation needs a fresh and uncensored source of awareness, un-diluted music and content, and original material. With this album, we aim to raise awareness regarding human rights issues/violations, freedom of expression in art and music, as well as educating the society and new generation through the story of our lives and what we've been through as of today. If interested, all of our lyrics are available in English at www.tarantist.com.
Musically, we've incorporated some traditional Persian instruments (Zarb, Santoor), with electric guitars, bass, synths and heavy riffs. Like always, we strive to create combination of new sounds and tones in a groovy way that we ourselves love!"
Tarantist remain constantly active - releasing new music and videos and spreading the word of freedom throughout the international arts community. Stay tuned for more coming from Tarantist in the months to come!
Arash - bass guitar, vocals (producer, music, lyrics)
Arsy - guitars
MadMetal - vocals, lyrics
Aidin - guitars, vocals
www.TarantisT.com (merchandise available here)
Spotify and Pandora: @TarantisT
With great pride Club Inferno presents the single "Lithium", the fruit of the strong work our band The Unknown had with the amazing and talented Amy Lee.
The song is the expression of a strong collaboration that The Unknown, Iranian based band, had with Evanescence singer Amy Lee..
THE UNKNOWN ft. Amy Lee "Lithium" is available here: http://smarturl.it/THEUNKNOWN-LITHIUM
- CLUB INFERNO ENT.: http://www.facebook.com/clubinfernoent
- THE UNKNOWN: http://www.facebook.com/TheUnknownOnline
- Digital order: http://smarturl.it/THEUNKNOWN-LITHIUM
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