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In Iran, heavy metal is banned. Of course, this means there is a strong metal underground. One band from this scene, Ahoora, are trying to do what they can to get their music heard both inside and outside their home country. Luckily, although the music is not a step forwards (nor even a step sideways) for metal, it is very good.


This is their first official album to be released but not the first album they made. Their first album was a collection of demos that wasn’t allowed past the Iranian. So for their self titled debut, Ahoora have gone the home recording and DIY distribution route. The production has suffered because of this, although I must make the disclaimer that all they could make available to me at the time were 128kb mp3s. However it sounds like the guitars didn’t get the most polished recording, the distortion is very tinny. I have to say, for many artists this would put me off but I’m willing to make an exception here because I don’t imagine it being easy, even recording at home, to crank up a load of tube amps in Iran without drawing unwanted attention to yourself.

The opener, “Spiritual Creator,” doesn’t sound too promising at first but Ahoora find their feet quickly. There’s a strong hint of Iron Maiden and Iced Earth here. I’m a fan of the former but not the latter; luckily Ahoora can pull it off. The album goes up a notch with the next song, “Beyond the Reasonable Doubt of a Lunatic,” which then goes through peaks and troughs of quality through its twelve minutes. It does contain a quality solo about four minutes from the end which segues into the rest of the song beautifully. I must admit I plugged in my air guitar for it.

The album gets better as it goes on with the songs “Flock” and “Tale of the Crimson Path” taking centre stage. Both are metal in its most unadulterated form which, although far from innovative, they are well executed. This sort of by the book metal fits with the band’s name, Ahoora is roughly translated as “purest pure” and it strikes me that Ahoora have set out to play anything more than pure metal. Anyone who doesn’t have a love of all things leather and studded will have a hard time digging this but for me this is a nice break from all the doom and black metal that is so popular these days.

With any luck, Ahoora will be able to make available better quality copies of this album via downloads or at least in the future be able to make better quality recordings as it is one of the main things holding them back. Their songs are well written and performed but are sometimes too derivative. With a little more development of their sound, even with the rough recording, they could be a formidable band as they’ve got the fire to play in spades.


Last Updated on Monday, 24 July 2006 14:25  


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