EXISTANCE – BREAKING THE ROCK
Release Date – October 15th, 2016
The last two bands that I’ve been given to review, Existance as well as a band called Kryptos for a different site, have had a sound that would be described by most as old school metal. Listening to these bands made me really want to go back and listen to actual old school metal bands. Not the Judas Priest‘s or Iron Maiden‘s of the old school world but rather the Riot‘s and the Accept‘s that had cult followings so strong that they’re still around today. It’s pretty easy to hear why a band like Existance would aspire to have a sound so similar to these great energetic bands from three decades ago and why they’d release a whole album, Breaking The Rock, which commemorates these glorious days of heavy metal.
Some of Breaking The Rock sounds a bit redundant, as though to say these songs sound like they’ve been done before. The opening track Heavy Metal Fury has a lot of energy and starts the album off on a good note, but when it comes down to it, it’s just another metal song that I may eventually forget. The same can be said about All Is On Fire, Pain In Paradise and We Are Restless. Thankfully Existance also give us songs like Honest, which true to its title is an honest metal song with notable effort put into making it sound great, with fierce guitars and good vocal melodies.
Really though, the guitars are fierce in all songs on Breaking The Rock. Existance‘s guitarists Julian Izard (who is also the vocalist) and Antoine Poiret show good chemistry playing together time and time again. In The Name Of Revenge is a song where all four members stand out, with a little bass solo from Julien Robilliard as well as some killer drumming by Nicolas Martineau to match the dual guitars.
Existance vocalist Julian Izard has a clean cut and powerful voice, the kind heard so much throughout the 80s that he sounds familiar to me, but I can never point out who he sounds like. I think it’s because I’m realizing the pessimistic view that everyone back then sounded the same may not have been that farfetched of a claim. There are certain points on Breaking The Rock when his voice is a bit more in your face, particularly on the track Marilyn (Icon of Desire), where he really seems to be giving it his all in his delivery.
There are plenty of songs that stand out over others, like Sinner of Love which has a slower Dokken-like pace, taking a much needed break from the furiousness of pretty much every other song. The closing title track Breaking The Rock also serves as a great closer to the album, but none of Existance‘s songs stand out to me more than Deserve Your Love. Sure there are songs that sound better, but this is the song that sticks in my head the easiest.
The thing about success is that it has to be at the right time. Bands like Riot and Accept had success because their music was being released during a time when so many similar bands were sharing similar success. Such is always the case with any style of music, which is why you have dozens of shitty pop artists who all sound alike today. I’d like to hope that someday – and someday soon – a band will reopen the demand for new melodic and aggressive heavy metal such as what record companies distributed thirty years ago, but Existance isn’t going to be that band. Breaking The Rock is merely meant to please those metal lovers who don’t mind a good blast from the past, and they do a pretty good job at delivering nostalgic clichés without making them sound too overdone.
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“Deserve Your Love”
6.5 (Out of 10)
|1.||Heavy Metal Fury||4:57|
|3.||We Are Restless||5:26|
|4.||All Is On Fire||4:20|
|5.||Deserve Your Love||4:02|
|6.||Sinner Of Love||4:57|
|7.||Marilyn (Icon Of Desire)||4:44|
|8.||In The Name Of Revenge||3:27|
|9.||Pain In Paradise||4:40|
|10.||Breaking The Rock||5:03|