San Francisco’s Iva Toric debuted in memorable fashion with 2020’s The Devil’s Mark and her sophomore full-length Dead Reckoning will likely catapult her to an altogether higher level. The third single from that forthcoming collection is “Trust Fall”, another unflinching foray into thorny subject matter as Toric tackles what leaving a toxic, abusive relationship is like as only she can.
Catharsis drives Toric’s art above all else. The autobiographical component in what she does, however, never overshadows her imaginative musical talents. Toric is a first-rate songwriter with a sharp instinct for what she wants from her collaborators. Gregg Cash and Dylan Howard provide her with more than enough firepower on guitar/bass and drums respectively. Cash, as well, bears responsibility for the arrangement.
It pays off with a superbly constructed song. It alternates between a steady simmer throughout the introduction and verses before invariably exploding during the song’s refrain. The restrained take during the verses allows Toric’s voice an opportunity to establish an emotional foothold with listeners and focuses our attention on the song lyric.
She has a clean, unfettered voice that contrasts well with the music. Its emotive suggestiveness helps fill many of the song’s lines with fire that wouldn’t be there otherwise and she understands when to ratchet up the intensity. Toric is barely into her professional career and already shows the canniness of a much more experienced performer; “Trust Fall” is orchestrated quite well and makes terrific use of dynamics from beginning to end.
It isn’t an especially lengthy track. Instrumental breaks are therefore at a premium and, instead, producer Jim Kaufman opts for prioritizing Toric’s voice and songwriting above all else. The music is far from an afterthought but the aim isn’t for Cash and Howard to carry the day instrumentally but, instead, provide fully-fleshed out accompaniment for Toric.
The song succeeds as well without benefitting from any of Toric’s accompanying visuals. It’s a testament to her specific talents and overall artistic vision that “Trust Fall” is so immediately cinematic despite never exhibiting the need to overwhelm listeners. Everything in this song falls into place exactly where it should.
It further reinforces the idea that Toric’s forthcoming second album is a goalpost moving release. Jim Kaufman has shepherded Iva Toric’s new material towards possibilities that her first album hinted at but never consistently delivered. There’s fuller integration, as well, in Toric’s songs for Dead Reckoning than we’ve heard from her before. “Trust Fall” covers important psychic and musical territory in equal measure.
It’s likely the last single we hear before the album hits and it will be interesting to gauge the track’s strength in relationship to the collection. Its stature as a standalone is secure; there’s everything here needed to satisfy longtime Toric fans, newcomers, and casual fans of metal music in general. It also feels grounded in reality rather than a genre piece and that will definitely attract listeners who might not otherwise identify with metal. Iva Toric’s “Trust Fall” is one of the better metal singles in recent memory.
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