As we’ve all heard, the Iranian metal band named Confess have been jailed for playing metal in Iran. When I saw the news, I was sad. That word ‘METAL’ when people just hear it, they have already made up their mind that it is all sorts of evil, and that it leads to the gates of Hades.
Confess is an Iranian metal band, they were arrested by the guardians of the Islāmic Revolution and they are facing charges of blasphemy, advertising against the system, running an illegal and underground band and a record label said to promote Satanic music. Well I have always wanted to write an article on this topic, so labeling of Metal band as promoters of evil and Satanism gives me the opportunity to share my thoughts and the thoughts of a few African metal bands on the issue.
Metal is something I have discovered over the years growing up and here in my country, Nigeria, it was difficult to follow rock music because it doesn’t get as much air-plays as other genres get, but somehow I could relate to rock music and so rock n roll found me. I listened to all genres and my final destination is Metal rock, hell yeah \m/
I have talked to metal bands around Africa and they tell me about how they close down venues where they usually play their music and that’s the only place these bands are opportune to play metal in their local scene. In some cases, security agents will walk them off the stage because of all this satanic talks and labeling them as evil which is bad. There was a time that metal-heads in Egypt got arrested if found playing metal rock music.
Just so you know, there are Christian and Islāmic death metal bands who sing about God, their lyrics are not evil nor does it depict Satanism, so why do people just hear the word Metal and they conclude it’s evil. There are Christian metal bands/underground bands which I have listened to and I get inspired really to do good, sometimes you look back at your life, sigh!!
For example, Slayer, an American thrash metal band, they write satanic songs with anti-religious lyrical contents, but that doesn’t make them Satanic. Their album arts and album names are dead evil, that doesn’t make them satanic. If you meet Kerry King and tell him if he wants to join your satanic church, he is gonna tell you, you are mistaken, that he doesn’t do that shit. In between Tom Araya is a Christian.
Confess is just a band that wants to be heard around the world and they had high hopes of rocking out with famous heavy metal musicians on stage. That is every bands wish, but now that this guys are jailed for playing metal because we all know it roots down to the fact that they play metal music. What hope do they have of achieving their dreams, but we’re keeping it metal for them and hoping that by voicing out, we’re keeping hope alive for these guys.
In Ghanzi, Maun village in Botswana, the so-called metal heads and metal bands that are labelled Satanic are the ones that are fighting corruption and creating awareness for HIV/AIDs through their different shows. Metal is like their tradition there, not only do they listen to it, they dress and act like it by their exhibitions, display, and cowboy dressings which has attracted tourists from far and near to Botswana, to know more about the village, their culture and these guys, click HERE to learn more about the Maun village.
So we Africans are saying #FreeConfess, metal music is not a sin nor does it constitute a threat to the society, as you love your music and sound, that is how we love our metal music, so let’s hear from African metals bands on what they have to say about this issue…
Estiaan Ethorius Petzer of Spectral Realm (South Africa)
As a metal fan and musician I am deeply troubled and saddened by what our Iranian brothers in Confess have been forced to endure by an intolerant government. Freedom of expression is so easily taken for granted in many parts of the world, yet in Iran simply disagreeing with the regime gets you jailed, or worse. I wish them unconditional freedom and long, happy lives so they can continue to create the art that they clearly love and respect. We love and support them simply because we are cut from the same cloth and therefore must unite behind them as one global metal community. I am firmly behind Confess and the #FreeConfess campaign.
Nicholas Swanapoel of The Insomniac Diaries/Crooked (South Africa )
“I feel that everyone should have the right to express whatever they want to express, in the way they want to do it. This is hugely unfortunate because these guys weren’t out hurting or harming anyone, they where just doing what they love. No one should ever be prosecuted for doing something they love, especially if it isn’t harming anyone else. #FreeConfess ‘
Dani of Lust of a Dying breed(Kenya)
I think governments around the world need to recognize that there is no such thing as collective consciousness. To promote liberty we must allow people to feel equal even though they have divergent view points. We don’t have to be the same or enjoy the same tastes in music to be part of society. Ultimately the problem is something that media and religious organisations, the so called conscience of society, have brought about. They have used people’s ignorance about extremism to cultivate hate and used state machinery to entrench fascism. This is not just about heavy metal but every practice that people have very little understanding about. My views are advised by a theory of constitutionalism called ‘the politics of difference’ #FreeConfess
Sam Warui Mwangi of Rash (Kenya)
I think it basically boils down to the kind of government system that runs the country that’s autocratic that controls very single aspect of one’s life. Basically basic freedoms and rights are taken away including freedom of speech, and religion. And that’s basically what democracy is all about.It’s disheartening that I could be in the same shoes where I can’t express myself the way I want to #FreeConfess
MrGao Methyl Boipelo Jnr of PMMA (Botswana)
A lot of people think rock music is against God, some religions are against God. I would like to clarify to people: it is a wrong perspective, I take lyrics like a novel or an article, which can be fictional or non-fictional. No one has to be judged for playing metal music. That should not be the case. I want the band back in action. #FreeConfess
So that’s it guys, well I had to reduce the feedback to 5 comments from different bands, so we’re saying they should free these guys, they didn’t do nothing wrong. From all indications, if they are not freed, they could face a minimum of 6 months to 6 years in prison and if found guilty on the blasphemy charge, they could be executed. Now that’s just sad. Listen to one of their songs titled ‘I’m Your God Now’
Keep on rocking and supporting your local bands \m/.
African Metal BandsAfricansBotswanaConfessDaniEstiaan Ethorius PetzerIran Metal BandKenyalust of a dying breedMrGao Methyl Boipelo JnrNicholas SwanapoelPMMARashSam Warui MwangiSlayerSouth AfricaSpectral realmThe Insomniac Diaries/Crooked