Confess’s Revenge At All Costs: triumph of the Iranian metal band


revenge at all costs sparkles to life with static TV sound and news snippets. Admittedly, such an openness has become a cliché, especially in thrash metal circles, but put your eyes off. The sampled reports are not facsimiles created in the studio to make Confess more seismic than they actually are; they are all true world cover tracks, documenting the seven hellish years leading up to the Iranians’ third album.

Just days after the release of Confess’ last feature, 2015 In pursuit of dreams, core members Nikan Khosravi and Arash Ilkhani were arrested in their home countries. Their only crime was manufacturing anti-establishment and senseless metal, for which they were tried for blasphemy and propaganda against the state. They endured solitary confinement and interrogations, followed by 18 months in prison before fleeing to Norway and seeking asylum. There they reactivated the band with a new five-piece line-up.

Predictably, Confess looks flustered. Of course, they were never really soft initially, with vocalist/guitarist Nikan being a sidekick to Slipknot and Slayer since he was 13 years old. First album Beginning of dominance was a guitar-ruled blitzkrieg, but it also found room for NWOBHM-inspired flamboyance. There’s none of that levity here; revenge at all costs is a groove/thrash attack that adds deadly venom to Confess’ bite.

First track proper Evine builds a solid foundation, picking up where Sepultura left off in the mid-90s. Creeping, isolated chords from the start – produced to carry the perfect amount of crunch – create an unwavering sound New World Slave atmosphere. Even Nikan’s growled rant has all the passion and punch of Max Cavalera, especially in the animalistic roars that forestall the first breakdown.

Fortunately, the album does not take long to escape the shadow of its ancestors. Nikan’s game is not only perfect; songs like Hegemony quickly reveal the full extent of the leader’s fingers. Gaps between booming chords are filled with athletic shreds, while the likes of Under surveillance and Phoenix rises chug through countless low E notes. At ransom note, the strings are bent in creaking anguish, but their moans only underline the force of the abrupt and rapid drumming.

Despite all the unfettered rage, revenge at all costs still kind of culminates at its very end. The penultimate track, Army of pigs! builds a chorus from call-and-response screams ripped straight from the grimiest hardcore punk basement gigs. Then finally, I speak of hate introduces robotic clean vocals to flank all the screaming anarchy.

For such a rampage of an album, hauling new stuff to the finish line is an even stronger testament to Confess’ talents than any of their seething riffs. Inevitably, revenge at all costsThe traumatic backstory of will make it a much-discussed mainstay of 2022 metal, but its power and quietly inventive songwriting deserve just as much attention.

Revenge At All Costs will be released on January 21 via Rexius


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