REVIEW: Iva Toric — Time to Die (SINGLE)
Iva Toric is an enigmatic force operating within the modern music industry. For those unfamiliar, the metal industry and its subgenres generally work within a shroud of secrecy and personas to help perpetuate the mystique around their overall aesthetic as a musical force, so Iva Toric’s foreboding presence fits the bill when it comes to working within her area of expertise. However, in an attempt to bring attention to recent everyday global atrocities and misfortune, her latest single “Time To Die” is contemporary doom metal pushed to the absolute brim, and its upfront lyrics leave absolutely nothing to the imagination as they function first and foremost as a call to arms against the current new normal, tackling everything from the pandemic lockdowns to the Black Lives Matters protests and even the war in Ukraine. It’s a bold stance for a doom metal artist to take, but there’s no denying it’s the only stance left as “Time to Die” boldly makes a case for itself across its solid four-and-a-half-minute runtime.
“Time to Die” takes a head-on battle with the lockdown restrictions and overall feelings of pandemic weariness with its first verse: “Come to me, share the demon in the air. We can breathe it in and fight it from within. Trust me, let your lust free.” Again, it’s not very subtle, but after two years of being stuck indoors without seeing anyone outside of your immediate bubble, it’s lyrics everyone will find themselves relating to. “Since January, we’ve been solitary, and I’m over it. So over it.”
The lyrics aren’t afraid to smack listeners in the face and the bold choice to double down with every line and verse only makes “Time to Die”’s fantastic title that much more ominous — “You seem wary, but our cries won’t carry through the night. Lay down your life, it’s time to die.” Seeing this chorus placed beside the subject of race-fueled protests against police brutality in the second verse makes the words feel all the more serious and immediate, as Toric almost calls out the listeners. If you’ll die for lust, will you be willing to die for justice and your fellow man? The duality between the two halves of the song is pulled off brilliantly, and the intense metal instrumental beneath the vocals only adds a further realized sense of dread and impossibility to the overall arc of the single.
It takes a great amount of bravery to release something as in your face and unforgiving as “Time to Die” for a sophomore single for an upcoming album, but thankfully Iva Toric isn’t lacking in the field. Even beyond tackling extremely pertinent and pressing social justice issues, “Time to Die” is at its barest materials a phenomenal piece of music within the rock music sphere. The added atmospherics of trippy psych instrumentals and doom metal worldbuilding give the single a life of its own but there’s no world where “Time to Die” could have failed as a piece of songwriting, regardless of the genre. Toric is doing a great job at using this single as a callout to those fed up and ready for action in several senses; when the time comes, what are you going to be willing to lay down your life for?