A cauldron of rage, resentment, passion and defiance, Revenge At All Costs is the new album from Confess. They are all emotions which frequently shape ear blistering releases yet few bare soul, rancour and intimacy in its turbulence as intensely as this invasive incitement from the Iranian/Norwegian metallers.
The magnitude and concentration of their vehemence loaded outrage and tempestuous vex is obvious and inescapable. This is a band formed by Nikan Khosravi (vocals/guitar) and Arash Ilkhani (DJ/Sampler) as teenagers in 2010, the former inspired by a metal bearing CD from a classmate. In Iran though making metal music was met with anything from government surveillance to possible execution and indeed following the release of their second album, In Pursuit of Dreams, in 2015, the pair were arrested and imprisoned in one of Iran’s harshest prisons and facing the death sentence on charges of blasphemy. Nikan was sentenced to 14 and half years in prison and 74 lashes while Arash was sentenced to two years. Thankfully they were offered political asylum in Norway and fled Iran, the pair now residing in Oslo and able to carry on making music with Confess now releasing Revenge At All Costs. It is a story which adds greater gravity and intensity to the release, experiences which are endured by many others in their former homeland. Add the fact that it is also one musically gripping, creatively compelling and skilfully incendiary proposition, Revenge At All Costs is one seriously striking and addictive triumph.
The band’s sound is an agitational fusion of death, groove and hardcore but bears many more flavours in its ferocious recipe. It has been an evolving beast over the years and in no finer hostility and prowess than within the Erling Malm produced/mixed/engineered and Machine (Lamb of God, Suicide Silence) mastered Revenge At All Costs. Living up to its title in attack, word and emotion, the album opens with Based On A True Story and its collage of news reports and samples covering the previous oppression and threat bearing years of the band.
The album erupts fully with EVIN, the second track immediately revealing its hardcore instincts as it prowls the senses. Little time passes before it slips its reins and tramples over the senses, its predatory inclinations driven by Nikan’s venomous snarls and the imposing swings of album drummer Roget Tunheim Jakobsen. Every sinew of the song ripples with animosity with each toxic breath sharing heart bred enmity. There is no hiding place from the band’s rancour or equally the imaginative and deft qualities of songwriting and music as melodic reflection and captivating twists emerge.
Similarly Phoenix Rises has a predator stance to its initial move, grooves soon spiralling from that menace to lure ears into the heart of its feuding tempest. With thrash metal virulence to its bad-blooded trespass and its own unique web of captivating turns, the track effortlessly hit the spot and emotive depths before being eclipsed by the rabid temptation and nagging loathing of Ransom Note. The track is superb; a ravenous onslaught wielded with craft and invention equipped with its own arsenal of creative contortions, a whiff of Slipknot doing it no harm either.
As the likes of You Can’t Tame The Beast and Unfilial Son wrapped their discontent and acrimony around ears, the album simply cemented its impressive presence, with individuality both tracks weaving tapestries of grooved displeasure and sonic reprisal. Contemplation of and unity with each encounter proved effortless while Megalodon with a kind of evocative shimmer beguiled and harassed with equally measure as its malice blooded beast within roared.
That richness of metal seeding at the heart of the band’s sound brings Under Surveillance forward with an almost classic beckoning, a welcome into another hellacious surge of creative acrimony masterly and impassionedly sprung by Nikan and Arash and driven by Roget dextrous rhythmic prowess. Unpredictable and spiteful, the song added another major highlight to the release being immediately joined by both Hegemony and Army Of Pigs!, with the first a spiral of sonic oppression as energy sapping as it is inspiriting.
Its successor swiftly took favourite track honours, a harassment of groove bitterness and lyrical non-compliance cast with rabid fertility and similarly unbroken contagion. Drama soaks every note, virulence every upsurge of intensity with galvanic uproar soaking its lyrical and creative affray.
Completed by the perpetual badgering and intimidation of I Speak Hate, a death metal sculpted pleasure which again used unpredictability as a riveting weapon, Revenge At All Costs proved one glorious encounter. It is a record which in its writing and creating and indeed playing had to be a cathartic release for its creators and in many ways is the same for its listeners no matter their lives and experiences; quite simply an album which has become more intense, stirring and impressive by the listen.
Revenge At All Costs is out now via Rexius Records; available digitally and on CD @ https://confessband.bandcamp.com/
Pete RingMaster 24/01/2022
Copyright RingMaster Review