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Existance - Self-Titled

by Lior "Steinmetal" Stein at 10 April 2012, 2:55 AM

Through the course of history there were numerous of ugly conflicts between Britain and France. Though these were wars are a thing of the long distanced past, when it comes to Metal music, and even though they had something of their own, I believe that the French were able to head on forward by playing the English NWOBHM game with no less than excellence. Through High Roller Records, which gave the following release its new licensing, I found the relatively newcomer group of EXISTANCE hailing from Picardy, France. Their debut self-titled release proved to me that a French band can play the magical outputs of NWOBHM in a fairly high level of dexterity and elegance while tuning their material to sound just the best NWOBHM releases sounded back in the day. I just wish newcomer British band would see what they are missing and start playing the way the fathers of their local scene, and of the worldwide Metal scene, used to.

In comparison to numerous of NWOBHM oriented groups around the world that I had the chance to examine and enjoy, I must say that EXISTANCE resembled less to the first years of IRON MAIDEN, like many others, and more into the depths of other once roughly known groups that helped shape the imagery of NWOBHM like DIAMOND HEAD, CLOVEN HOOF, SAVAGE, HOLOCAUST and BLITZKRIEG among the list. Throughout the release I was given the impression that EXISTANCE paid a lot of attention to details. The music didn’t feel loose and it felt like every written note was in its right place after a lot of thought. Well, probably “Son Of Wolf” wouldn’t fit that much to the character I just described as it’s a sort of rip off of the main riff of DIO’s “Don’t Talk To Strangers”, so probably there wasn’t too much thought there, yet the rest of the tracks after it showed great structures, a highly constructive nature that meant to set tone in the traditional way even if it wasn’t actually that sinuous as this genre can be. When “Kill Me Madness” and “Waverly Hills” hit my ears, these were the points where EXISTANCE excelled my appreciation of them. There is nothing better than the great melodic outputs of NWOBHM and the cranky Hard Rock / Classic Metal type of solos running through the course of the songs. The closing “Existance” instrumental at first didn’t seem to me like the right way to end an album, but after a few listens it sounded right and boy it was smashing just like some of the classic Heavy Metal instrumentals examples.

The thing that slightly bothers me throughout the release was the vocalist,  Julian Izard, which also plays guitar and probably the replacement of the former. Do you know the feeling then an artist seemed to be holding back from his own ability on performing with all of his might, even if it is a recording session and not a live performance? Well whether you do or you don’t, that is exactly what I got from the vocal line over here. The vocalist has a great voice and he is singing in the same manner that NWOBHM vocalists sang and some still do today. I sensed that he can uplift his abilities to perform high end pitches but he seemed to hold back. I think there were two happenings that he went high than the mid range but no more than that. I am not saying that he should try being Halford or something but it would add a lot more energy to the music.

Summing things up, this newcomer French band composed a very enjoyably material. They didn’t attempt to run from what they love and I admire them for it. In addition that didn’t invent anything either, not that it was expected of them. Their material is interesting, melodic and to some extent diverse. I suggest that you keep hold of the upcoming stuff from these guys.

4 Star Rating

1. Son Of Wolf
2. Diary Of Eternity
3. Soul Warrior
4. Kill Me Madness
5. Innocent
6. Dark Day
7. Waverly Hills
8. Existance
Julian Izard- Vocals/ Guitar
Fred Labasque - Guitar
Tom Drouin- Bass
Laurent Louvrier- Drums
Record Label: High Roller Records


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Edited 04 February 2023

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