Would you believe Existance, one of the finest purveyors of traditional heavy metal in the modern age, comes from France? No, that was not intended as slight against our French friends. But France isn't the first place in Europe I think of as fertile ground for classic metal. Germany. England. Sweden. Italy. Yeah, but France, not so much. (Maybe it's simply that over 40 years, I've never heard of many French traditional metal bands.) Yet Existance returns with Breaking The Rock on Chile's Black Viper Records and, my friends, it's a scorcher.
Existance takes a page from old school heavy metal, notably the New Wave of British Metal variety. The necessary elements are self-evident in their music: twin guitar harmony and thrilling solos, a rhythm section that can sway between moderation and gallop as needed, clean melodic vocal arrangement and, quite often, wrapped up in some serious groove. The only possible dilemma here may be that founder, guitarist, and vocalist Julian Izard's voice is sometimes smothered in the mix of the heavier songs. This is especially obvious the ones with blazing riffage racing speed like deserve Your Love, Honest, or Breaking The Rock (about breaking out of Alcatraz). In the only metal anthem Sinner Of Love, where the music is dialed back, his voice is heard better.
Nevertheless, it's the heavy metal music sells this album. As I said of their previous album, the band plays like veterans, musicians who've been doing this for 20 years. Abounding in melody, harmony, brisk riffage, and big guitar solos, what more could you want? Nada. With Breaking The Rock, France's Existance scores a win: terrific "keep it true" metal for the modern age. Easily recommended.
With Breaking The Rock, France's Existance scores a win: terrific "keep it true" metal for the modern age. Easily recommended.
Resolve marks the return of Allentown's Mindmaze, after a three year hiatus from the studio. Their third album offers a new and stable line up with new drummer Mark Bennett assisting bassist Rich ... [ Read More ]