Long have I had a weakness for Middle Eastern/Arabic metal. There’s something special that comes from fusing together folky melodies from the region – all the way from western Africa to where the mighty Persian Empire once stood – with heavy music, especially the death metal that I love. ANOUSHBARD is a fresh Iranian progressive death metal band, formed recently in 2017, and they began the new year in 2020 by releasing their debut album, entitled “Mithra”. We had the opportunity to discuss the new album with the vocalist and guitarist, Sherwin Baradaran. Read the complete interview here. Check out our review here.
Where does Anoushbard’s name come from? What does it mean?
It is a Persian name and it belongs to a political prison in Sasanian in the era 224 – 651 AD, which was very frightening because when they wanted to make someone disappear – for example, a very important person like the king’s brother – they sent them to that prison and the deeds and also the name will have disappeared forever and so the meaning of the word as well is “you will be forgotten forever.”
Mithra is an ancient Persian deity – why is the album named after him?
Well, we are really interested in Persian history and it influences us, that’s why most of the tracks are about Persian history. In fact, three out of the six tracks are related to Persian history. In addition, we really admire Zoroastrian culture. That’s why we have chosen Mithra as the name for our debut album.
What were the biggest obstacles in releasing this debut album?
As you know, we are living in Iran and obviously because of our government and restrictions, we couldn’t release this album in our country. Although metal music is very popular among our people (new generation), our Islamic government remains totally against metal music.
What is the Iranian metal scene like? How can metalheads find each other?
Well, I have to say people really like metal music nowadays. There was some small metal concert in our country but it is since about two years ago that there is no permission for having these concerts. People search in social media and find bands and players also I think there are still some rehearsals in studios. We have hope someday we can have a concert in Iran!
Do you have any upcoming shows?
We are trying to move to another country and we are preparing for some festivals; it depends on our condition but we are planning for some of these events.
How were you first introduced to metal and what bands made you want to start playing yourself?
Siavash and I are the same age I think both have been influenced by bands like METALLICA, MEGADETH, SLAYER. Personally, I started playing when I was 16 and I think Siavash started at the same age. Right now I’m really interested in European bands such as ARCH ENEMY, OPETH, AMON AMARTH, …
What are the next steps for your band?
We are planning to negotiate with label companies and move forward. I think having a good manager and working with a reputable label will be a major step for our band.
Anything else you might want to say to our readers?
We hope you enjoy our first release and experience a bit of Iran with it. You can also check out our website anoushbard.com to learn more about us.