Heavy metal music in Iran

Iranian music: Topics
Iranian rock and alternative Iranian Heavy Metal
Persian traditional music Persian Symphonic Music
Iranian Rap Kurdish music
Iranian folk music Persian pop music
Languages Persian, English, German
Awards Tehran Underground Music Festival
Charts none
Festivals Tehran Underground Music Festival
Iranian Online Rock Radio Stations Zirzamin
Iranian Rock Forum Persian Rock
Online Media Blues Bazar
Major Iranian musicians
Niyaz– Kourosh Yaghmaei; AngbandMeeraVasBaradLalehKioskBuddaheadShahin and SepehrAgah BahariHypernova

Iranian rock (Persian: راک ایرانی‎) is a form of rock music that is largely produced in Europe and Tehran's underground circles, and is rising to challenge "Tehrangeles pop", which has dominated the popular music genre of Iran for decades.

Iranian rock is almost entirely in Persian language. There are however musicians of Iranian descent both inside and outside Iran that produce their rock music in languages such as English or German. Iranian rock has its roots in American rock, British rock and German rock, but has its own distinctive elements mixed in to create a homegrown class of sounds and melodies, whether progressive, hard, or heavy metal. There has been many movements since 1970s.


Rock music in Iran has been influenced by many traditional forms of Iranian music and popular rock bands such as Pink Floyd, The Doors and Deep Purple also inspired by remarkable events like Shiraz Arts Festival, has its beginnings in the 1970s with rock bands like Scorpio that played the songs of Rolling Stones, Santana and other famous bands of their era. soon it became popular among the young generation specially in night clubs and dance clubs in Tehran. [1] The 1979 Islamic revolution did not allow this musical genre to survive long. Ayatollah Khomeini banned rock music, inspiring The Clash to write Rock the Casbah.

During the late 1990s president Mohammad Khatami advocated a more open cultural atmosphere in his domestic policies, Iran came to witness a unique blossoming of an indigenous breed of Rock and Heavy metal musicians. What separates this movement from its Tehrangeles pop counterpart is the young age group and the fact that it is almost entirely homegrown, and mostly underground.[2]

The contemporary scene

Within a few years after the launch of Tehran's underground scene in the late nineties, some bands started using the poetry of Persian literature such as Hafez in their lyrics on top of classical western rock tunes and melodies, and peppered with sounds of traditional Persian music.[3]

Public open live concerts are heavily restricted by the government. Rock bands might obtain permission to perform on stage live, provided their music is purely instrumental or with Persian lyrics approved by Ministry of Culture. Rarely music with English lyrics has been performed by bands such as Barad. Most of the Rock Bands who cannot obtain permission rely on internet and social networks. There has been underground competitions with music press coverage. Occasionally the government allows rock concerts to take place under strict conditions.[4] 127 were the first Iranian underground band to tour the United States and played at South By Southwest festival.[5]

In 2008, power metal band Angband, signed with German label Pure Steel Records[6] as the first Iranian metal band to release internationally through a European label.[7] They released their debut album Rising from Apadana in 2008 and they collaborate with the well-known producer/ sound engineer Achim Kohler (Primal Fear, Amon Amarth) for the production of their second album Visions of the Seeker that came to life in October 2010.[8] the collaboration continues for the 2012 release Saved from the Truth. [9]

Awarded an Un Certain Regard Special Jury Prize Ex-aequo by Cannes Festival in 2009 No One Knows About Persian Cats[10] a film by Bahman Ghobadi revealed the legal challenges and obstacles young musicians in Iran have to face where government is severely confined.

Rising faces in Iranian rock/ metal music

The following samples a list of homegrown Iranian rock bands, mostly active in Iran. Some are approved by the government, other continue to operate underground because of the restrictions imposed by The Ministry of Islamic Guidance.

See also


External links

  • MTV report: Iranian band Hypernova tours in New York City
  • BBC Report on O-Hum's first state sanctioned public concert
  • BBC: "Fresh Iranian bands ready to rock"
  • The Guardian: Rock bands struggling to be heard in Iran
  • Christian Science Monitor: "You say you want a revolution? Iran bands rock on."
  • The Boston Phoenix: "IRAN SO FAR AWAY: Tehran rockers 127 make it to America at last"


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