In this post we are going to have a glimpse of Ikarie‘s new album called Arde. As we mentioned in the review of the first album of this Spanish band, it seemed that they intended to present a trilogy. In the second act of this trilogy, we are faced with different ideas from the previous album. In the first album, what is evident is the pains and sufferings that a person experiences in their personal life or in society. The pains that plunge people’s souls into darkness and take away their will. Sometimes they recover against these pains and sometimes they lose it. But in the second album we see another issue. Sufferings that have not been discharged, ignored and unhealed over the years, and coils up more and more every day and suddenly jumps and changes everything around it. According to the author, it should be called holy rage. Holy because it is looking for a path of light and hope in the absolute darkness and finally gives birth and new spirit to its surroundings. What is interesting about Ikarie is their attention to the issue of women and their exclusion and suppression from society only in this album. In order to understand a nation, one must first look at their view of women, how it was in the past and how it is in the present. From the cover of the album to the lyrics of the album, one can find traces of the oppression that has been inflicted on women. Even in the 21st century, we see such regressions in human ethics. What we have witnessed throughout history, except for some periods, is the suppression of women by Semitic religions and ideologies that considered them as inferior beings and did not give them a way in society.
The issue of women in Iran has been a hot topic for many years, but it is better to first address the issue of what role women played in ancient Iran and what happened to this life-giving gem. In Iran, which has been the cradle of human civilization, darkness and blackness spread over it after the 1400-year-old invasion of this border and the destruction of that great culture and civilization. The women who one day became lieutenant generals, chiefs, and kings, and who were referred to as “light of the house” have become a mean to satisfy the need for sex, cooking, and simply having children after that 1979’s riot. With the arrival of the Pahlavi dynasty in 1925, everything suddenly changed; after centuries, Iran and its people got a new life. The woman came out of the crypt, took off their hijab and tasted the freedom until 1979 when that same free society turned their back on themselves and pointed an evil to rule over their society. In these 44 years, the government of Muslim mullahs, who consider women’s intellect to be half of men’s intellect, suppressed the souls of the Iranian people, especially the women. From the very first day that this regime pulled the mandatory hijab on women, we’ve witnessed a tireless fight back. And today we see that the Women Revolution of Iran is led by the women and with the help of men, hand in hand, is erasing and expelling darkness and blackness; Yes, it is a battle between good and evil. One of the interesting points of this album is “The Banality of Evil” which was expressed by Hannah Arendt in the book “Eichmann in Jerusalem”. Based on this theory, throughout history, evil governments have been perverted not by insane people, but by people who accepted the ideology of their governments and helped in its process. What we are witnessing today is the “normalization” of the evil behavior of governments like the Islamic Republic and homogenization of the behavior of these people.
With this preface and the historical and social foundations of Iran, we will go to the review of this album. What is expressed in this album is beyond these issues, but the main theme is based on the issues that the majority of women in the world are struggling with, even in modern and advanced countries. “Arde” deals with them beautifully and makes the listener think. The startling start of the album, desperate screams and repressed nostalgic feelings in “Santa Sangre”; and “La Sed” which is a mourning for those who spent their good lives in the path of freedom and peace, the terrifying image of gang rape and the murder of the Japanese student Junko Furuta in “40 Días”, and the painful life of the Vietnamese woman poet and writer Lê Thį Diêm Thûy; and the atmospheric and cinematic style of “Surcos (Ciutat Morta)”, which initiates war, blood, destruction and displacement; the story of swinging Japanese egalitarian journalist Kanno Sugako on the hanging rope, whose name is the song title; lamenting silence and quiescency in the face of oppression and cruelty in “Tomie”; exploding, burning and transforming everything in “Arde”; self-destruction for ‘The Banality of Evil’ and self-sacrificing in “Titane II”; the legacy of the victims who fought with the torch of awareness in this way and lost their lives, those whose blood turned the thorns to flowers in “Flores En El Asfalto”. All of these are like a painful novel with instruments that orchestrate a painful piece before the listener’s eyes. It makes us more determined to rethink and behave, and to not be like silent spirits when injustices pass by. In a word, the music of Ikarie, whose name is related to the myth of Icarus, longing for light but gloomy, is a fusion of literature and music that are inseparable from each other. Ikarie will have a bright future in Doom Metal scene because they are not disconnected from their surroundings, they are not isolated and they are looking for a way to open consciousness in a way, and this will make them eternal in the history of metal music. Yes, this will be their legacy.
-From Ikarie’s debute album, here is “Está en tu cabeza” performed live at Amfest 2022 in La Farga, Hospitalet de Llobregat (Barcelona)