From the brutal to the sludgy to the experimental to the symphonic, we raise our horns in welcome and warning to the coming week: we are here to ROCK.

It’s all well and good to want to rock the Casbah, but it turns out that shit is really dangerous in a way most metal only pretends to. Last week, Loudwire reported that Nikan Khosravi (vocals, guitars) and Arash Ilkhani (DJ) of Confess have received their sentence from the Iranian government. The band members reside safely in Norway, but had they not escaped there a few years ago, they would be serving a combined 14.5 year sentence, plus 74 lashes for Khosravi—literally, for playing metal and for talking to “the wrong” radio station. This is a step down in intensity from the original blasphemy charges they faced in 2015, which would have resulted in execution. What do you even say to something like that? Apparently, if you’re Confess, you say “Here’s the lead single to our new album. It’s a metal song about the time we spent in prison because we played metal.” Good luck on being more extreme than that, every other metal band in the world.

As “Evin” begins, there’s a sense of danger in the doomy guitars. These take a thrashy turn—around a sharp corner, as it were—into guitar and drum tones that evoke grey stone corridors years removed from sunlight. There’s a middle section compatible with contemplation, even resignation; otherwise, the song is all defiance born of righteous conviction. “Fighting on for my beliefs/What’s the point if I sell my dreams to buy my fucking last breath?” With this lyric, the band deftly slip in a reference to the album that landed them in prison while simultaneously tapping into the universal, spiritual reality that meaning in life sometimes superseded mere living itself. Nothing like actually facing death to shed light on the saying “some things are worse than death.” Throughout, the lyrics recount the specific details of Confess’ experience in Evin, but always in service to this bigger theme: “History remembers the names son!/When the sun has set you go be the dawn!” Thankfully, “Evin” arrives as the early rays of that dawning, not the dying of Confess’ light.

By Craig E. Bacon

Husband, Father, Philosopher, Music/Beer/Comics Enthusiast—Craig has written for The Prog Report and ProgRadar, and now serves as de facto progressive music editor for MusicTAP. Please direct interview requests & review submissions to radioeclecticpress@gmail.com

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