ALBUM REVIEW: Confess – Revenge At All Cost

With a title like Revenge At All Cost (Rexius Records) I suspected Confess’ latest to sound angry. You’re probably saying, “this is heavy metal, anger is sort of the modus operandi.” And I totally get that. We likely wouldn’t have metal or punk today if it wasn’t for a few young people coming together with some anger or resentment in their hearts and a willingness to do something about it.

But Confess’ brand of rage seems a bit more justified or warranted than most of their peers. For those not keeping track of international news, frontman Nikan Khosravi and bassist/sampler Arash Ilkhani were arrested and held in solitary confinement in 2015 for the simple crime of being musicians. Well, actually the Iranian government charged them with blasphemy for “writing Satanic music and speaking to foreign radio stations.” Things got bad enough that there was talk about possibly facing execution for their crimes. Fortunately, that never came to pass and Khosravi and Ilkhani were able to secure asylum in Norway.

With that bit of context out of the way it’s no wonder to see tracks titled ‘You Can’t Tame the Beast,’ ‘Under Surveillance’ and ‘I Speak Hate’ across Revenge At All Cost. Backing those fighting words is a sound that conjures Hatebreed, Soulfly and a dash of Slipknot. Speaking of Soulfly, Khosravi’s charging guitar riffs and guttural vocals on ‘Phoenix Rises’ and ‘EVIN’ recall a young Max Cavalera, another musician known for legal troubles in his own homeland. Confess’ sound really comes together nicely in the second half of the album with highlights being the Thrash fury of ‘Under Surveillance’ and ‘Hegemony,’ the latter opening up to some exciting possibilities by leaning into more leads and solos.

Utilizing more lead guitar as a whole would’ve been a major boon on Revenge At All Cost as certain songs are too rigid in their mid-tempo structure and chugging rhythm guitar lending to an album that feels monochromatic at times. Also, I could do without the DJ scratches as it’s just flat-out dated and brings back unfortunate memories of one Fred Durst and his many colleagues. The late nineties were a strange time. Ask your parents.

While things can get gray at times, Revenge At All Cost is a promising indicator of what we can expect from Confess now that they don’t have worry or look over their shoulder every day. Genuinely curious as to what is next for these gentlemen.

Buy the album here:

7 / 10