Do you think that the spirit of rock/metal has flown? Do you think that the great inspiration of the 90s' bands and what they stood for have been vanished, belittled, ignored, forgotten? Are you one of those people who believe the music industry has been shrewdly contriving and conspiring to drain away the non-conformist thoughts, rebellious worldview and interrogative nature of lyrics whose appearance and functions in the music market once were treated as a necessity? You may be right, the evidence shows that diversity is discouraged, in addition, innovation and creativity is looked down upon. However, numerous independent musicians have proved that the aforementioned values (which seem to be lost) can be revived again and can be turned to an element which can also enhance the influence and beautify the aesthetics. Xakestar aims to strengthen and restore those lost connections to the 90s' music. However, a blend of new accomplishments of contemporary music also adorns Xakestar's songs. Xakestar is a Persian rock band originally formed in Tehran, Iran, and currently active in Sweden. The band was formed in early 1999 by Mo Khojasteh (lead guitar, bass, synthesizers and lyrics), Hani Rajabi (lead vocals, keyboards, synthesizers, and electronics) and Behruz Bazargan (drums).
While still based in Tehran the band performed two very successful high level performances at the Farabi Hall: performances which hit the headlines in many musical and art communities in Tehran. It was after the second of these live performances that the legal restrictions in Iran made it impossible for the band to go on making music and performing their music the way that they wanted to. Their music was in fact officially banned in 2003 inside Iran; further, the band was threatened to be sent to the court of law and Mo Khojasteh was told by the authority that severe punishments such as prison or worse awaits him if Xakestar goes on making and publishing their music. The reasons which the authority and the ministry of culture provided for their attitude towards Xakestar were based on the fact that "Xakestar's music contains blasphemous and highly misleading and offensive material". Consequently, the band decided at that point to move to Sweden and the members experienced a bitter situation of exile even though their goals and plans were fulfilled partially in Sweden.
At these concerts the band played both original material and cover versions of songs from a number of well-known bands such as Pink Floyd, Moonspell, Hypocrisy and Bathory, adding their particular taste for electronic music to the overall sound. After a few years, the drummer, Behruz, was fired by Mo due to technical issues and the band started to work with session drummers.
Members have an innate disposition to Gothic, but the fact is that they are discouraged to compose more in this style, since it has been hackneyed by lots of tasteless untalented "musicians" whose incompetence in metal will not allow them to achieve a good reputation, and another obstacle remaining on the way of Xakestar which has always dissuaded the members from composing in Gothic or Black metal is that all people who play dull and oversimplified riffs with accompaniment of mild and idle keyboards weakened by dispassionate dryness pronounce themselves as Gothic or Black metal artists, whose inclinations unfortunately have been towards explicit racism. Most important of all, this genre necessitates a high accessibility to extravagantly equipped and extremely expensive studios.
Xakestar's impressionistic and progressive approach towards gaining a unique sound can be observed in this set; however, the band tried to retain and concentrate on the well-established patterns and characteristic structures of rock/metal. Further, despite the fact that this set is the basis for Xakestar's first release, Xakestar did avoid going beyond the conventions of the genres in which they situated their sound. TThe bands that can describe Xakestar’s influences are Tiamat, Anathema, Moonspell, Alice in Chains, Pink Floyd, A Perfect Circle and etc. Xakestar’s music sometimes tend to include elements and factors that can be considered references to Celtic folklore, Scottish and Irish scales and melodies. Base guitar is mostly over-active with extensive movements, and it is marked by its tendency towards utilizing chromatic scales. All material are shaped and directed by various, constructive and ornamental support of keyboards, synths and piano since creating a gloomy and dark atmosphere, or melancholic context has been one crucial goal for Xakestar. The mentioned musical features are accompanied by lines of vocals which are multi-layered, dynamic, modal, rock-oriented and embellished with having an attitude of independency towards the basic keys and chords. Guitars vary in each piece and they range from creating an ambient context to thrash metal solos; however, guitars prefer to create more subtle and sophisticated riffs and scales. The lyrics contain modern elements and they are subjective while they benefit from certain literary styles such as Gothic Revival, Romanticism and etc. The lyrics are suggestive and they encourage various interpretations and on certain occasions there can be found traces of mythical or medieval references. Certain issues and philosophies can be detected in the lyrics such as left hand paths, nihilism, individualism, anarchism or tragic relationships, self-destruction, drugs, alienation and etc. Xakestar, benefiting from Longhair Productions’ management, has been a successful band among the metal bands in Sweden as they are ranked no. 1 in national metal charts for Sweden. Xakestar is signed with Liquid Tree Records and the negotiating concerning the release date is going on at this moment.
After some years of hard experimenting, forging their sound the way they want it and recording independently, Xakestar is now working on a new album due for release in the near future.