The Iranian metal band initially known as Demonic Ritual came into existence in 2013 when vocalist Mani Kewmars founded the group. After navigating numerous lineup changes and releasing two demo tapes, Nima Kewmars, the vocalist’s younger brother, joined as the lead guitarist and primary songwriter.
The entry of the Mottaghi brothers—Farhad on rhythm guitar and Faramarz on drums—prompted a renaming of the band to WAR ANGEL.
In 2017, they marked their presence with the debut album Symphony of War.
Their second album, Tales of the Damned, released in 2020, showcased a shift in musical style and lyrical content compared to their debut work.
The album’s lead single, “Tomb of the Pharaoh,” caught the attention of notable artists like Gary Holt, leading to his support of the band by sharing the song’s music video on social media. This was a monumental moment as the band had long idolized Exodus and Generation Kill since childhood. Subsequently, the band established contact with Rob Youells and Rob Dukes.
“Getting to know Mani and War Angel has reminded me what this music can mean to people. Having so much creative fire in their gut, its amazing what they have accomplished with such limited resources. It’s like those organisms that not only survive, but thrive in boiling temperatures near volcanic vents in the ocean. They formed their band in a most inhospitable environment, but in spite of that, these songs and this video have come into existence. It’s all very impressive and inspiring. The bridge between worlds having Dukes in the mix is crazy cool,” says Rob Youells, drummer for Generation Kill.
In a heartwarming display of solidarity, War Angel collaborated with Rob Dukes on “Armageddon,” both a song and a music video that embodies a powerful message: “We’re Standing Side by Side, Brotherhood of Man!”
“‘Armageddon’ was a dream come true for me. As a child I grew up with heavy metal music because my father was a metalhead. We were always cast away and ridiculed for that in this country, but no matter what we endured. Bands like Iron maiden, Exodus, Slayer, Metallica and mercyful fate shaped who I am and, later on, Generation Kill in my teenage years had a great influence on me because I really liked Mr Dukes’ albums with exodus in both lyrical and musical themes the most.
So, when I first talked with Rob Youells it was like a dream. leading to a conversation about Rob Dukes’ alleged dislike for the Middle East. Youells dispelled the misconception, highlighting the Dukes’ compassionate nature while expressing his aversion to politics and war crimes. In a beautiful gesture of peace, Mr Dukes agreed to do guest vocals on a War Angel song, and we immediately began writing the song and lyrics. The song is about the importance of mankind being united against the common problems like pollution, social media addiction, war, poverty and being controlled by the governments through the media. The song was recorded, and Mr Dukes delivered the vocals, which were on fire! Then we recorded the music video and Mr Dukes provided us with footages of himself singing. An indescribable feeling! Now the song is out, and we just want people to hear it, because we worked really hard for it, and it’s our only dream and goal right now.
We made this song in the most harsh environment and in the most horrible time, with so many obstacles and difficulties that will bring everyone down, we endured and pushed through to make it happen. It’s everything we are now. Everything we ever had. Everything we wanted to be,” Says the band’s vocalist Mani Kewmars.
Rob Dukes adds, “It was an honor to work with War Angel from Iran on the song ‘Armageddon’. They are a great band playing metal in one of the most oppressive environments on Earth, yet they keep moving forward, regardless of the continual prospect of prison, or worse. They come from a dire situation and it’s inspiring. I only hope one day, somehow, I can join them onstage somewhere and play it live with them. They are what metal music stands for – giving the finger to the establishment of oppressors!”
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