Iva Toric’s “Time to Die” from her upcoming album release Dead Reckoning is the album’s second single. The dark subject matter of Toric’s songwriting continues with this track as it explores her continuous anxiety over mortality and finds a fitting musical arrangement for expressing her concern. There is no doubt that Toric possesses an exceptional set of pipes, but not just its technical excellence. She shifts through a wide variety of emotions and her vocal flexibility adds many dimensions to this song. The first two singles from Dead Reckoning make it clear the Bay Area-based singer, songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist is more than ready for primetime.
She has crafted a great accompanying video for the song. The dramatic qualities of the clip are undeniable from the beginning and match the music’s mood perfectly. Many viewers will especially admire the evocative lighting awash in white, black, and shades of blue; the cinematography for the clip is exceptional. Toric depicts during the short film. She has an immediate presence, but the camera doesn’t linger on her. The editing adopts the familiar habit of jump cuts between scenes, though it isn’t uniform. There are key moments in the video that lingers, however, and they are well-chosen.
The band packs a real wallop. Toric works with a core unit who sound like they have been playing together for many years, even if they haven’t, and that sort of powerful chemistry is impossible to duplicate. Toric and her fellow musicians capture your attention from the outset and newcomers, especially tried and true metal fans, will immediately embrace the band’s thick and muscular sound.
Toric rips this sound from deep within. The saving grace of creative art for its author is that they possess a tool for channeling their darkness into something affirmative. Each of us carries our own darkness, some more so than others, and every person finds a way, if they can, of wrestling it to a standstill. Her vocals are full of that grappling. There are electrifying strands of vulnerability and power crackling through her vocal and it shows sharp attention paid to the music’s movement.
Her writing is intelligent, plain-spoken, and has conversational eloquence. It’s a considerable cut above the stereotypical lyrics for metal songs and few listeners will identify any pretentiousness. They have an openness and unabashed willingness that communicates her inner life to listeners without ever sounding embarrassing. It has the exact opposite effect. It sounds braver with each new listen and likewise dovetails well into the arrangement. The cumulative power of both together is considerable.
Iva Toric’s single is the latest indication that her forthcoming album will mark one of 2022’s major releases in the metal genre. She’s found a way to bring her life and art into accord with one another, one feeding off the other, and the musicians she’s working with are first-class. “Time to Die”, despite its title, surges with irrepressible life and scores a triumphant victory for Iva Toric. There are undoubtedly many more to come.
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