Imagine being a rock or metal band in a country where the creation of such music forms is considered “evil, satanic, demonic and heretic” by your ruling elite. That’s the case for Mashdad metalcore duo One Missing Link, who hail from Iran – which becomes the 53rd country to tick off the GigRadar map.
Against all the odds, the duo of vocalist and lyricist Nikan Nasim alongside guitarist Mahan Abdollahi formed a band that creates, in Nikan’s words, “devastating metalcore riffs and clean emotional choruses with smashing head-bursting breakdowns” in late 2020. They started out with Nikan releasing a cover version of Architects’ Royal Beggars, before Mahan joined and they began creating their own music.
Our most recent taste of Iranian metalcore is their brilliantly named second single The Monstrosity. The track opens up with a creepy little sound that continues under booming guitars and vicious vocals before dropping into a big bouncy riff that supports more intense vocals. Cool synth sounds creep in as the screamed vocals continue, then drop into cleaner vocals over atmospheric instrumentals.
A cool driving riff kicks in and continues under a barrage of brutal screams, before things get darker and more gothic with wild screams over piercing guitars and crushing chords. A moment of calm gives way to a big atmospheric ending, which combines the clean vocals with heavy retorts.
On the track, Nikan told us: “The Monstrosity is a direct result of the dark days I faced while confronting COVID-19 as a physician in an exclusive COVID Emergency Department. It’s a combination of pure chaos and desperation; As you may know, we had vaccine importation problems due to sanctions and political inaccuracy, which led to a biological disaster.
“For everyone who hasn’t listened to it yet, the song is about people’s dualities and shows the darker part, which describes a demon inside us all. You have to face it, struggle with it, and send him down to the lower levels of hell instead of denying and giving up on it.” Check it out here:Metallica & Greta com 10% off + frete grátis*
That followed debut single Shivers, which opens up with a building riff with cool keyboard support. It drops into rolling drums and eerie whispers, which evolve into heavy screamed vocals that flow into a more melodic, catchy chorus.
The keys return over a lively guitar riff, before an intense second verse that ends on fun stabbing guitar notes. The pace drops as spoken then guttural screamed vocals take over, before a repeat of the chorus brings the track to a close. Check it out here:
The One Missing Link has been influenced by bands like Wage War, Motionless In White, Bad Omens. And on what inspires them to write music, Nikan tells us: “Our recent release and upcoming EP are painted by concepts like ‘the other side of humans’ and ‘the void inside.’ It’s also about confronting
demons rooted in the depth of our hearts.”
Of course, we were also keen to find out more about Iranian music and, in particular, its rock and metal scene. And it’s safe to say, it’s far from easy being a rock or metal band in Iran.
As Nikan explains: “The scene mostly seems like a freakshow compared to other scenes from other countries. As a rock/metal act, we are not allowed to do live shows or even record “legally” in Iran because, in the eyes of the ruling elite, it’s an evil, satanic, demonic, and heretic form of music. By legally, I mean you have to have a signed political publication license from the government itself to release your song or album directly into stores in Iran, which is nearly impossible to have for us.
“It sounds ridiculous, but it’s a dark fact for any musician here in Iran. So the only support we are receiving is from our fans worldwide, especially in Iran, on social media. Despite the odds and conditions, we’re not supposed to give up on what we dreamed of since we were younger, and we will continue doing what we love and blow our trumpet through the ears of the world.”
In spite of these huge difficulties, One Missing Link is leading the way for Iranian metal bands. The duo have been busy recording their debut EP, which is scheduled for release in July, and should have another single from it and merch coming our way shortly.
We’re definitely keen to hear from our first Iranian band and it sounds like they have plenty more to offer. As Nikan says: “We are trying to mix the elements of the new wave of Modern Metal music with our tastes of Metalcore elements to bring what is relatively unique in this genre and push the limits to reach more listeners every day.”
You can follow One Missing Link on Instagram, and check out their music on Spotify, Apple Music, Deezer and YouTube. And find more new bands through their label and Iran’s first metal label Tough Sounds.