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Presence - Rock Your Life (Reissue)

Presence
Rock Your Life (Reissue)
by Marcus The Rocker at 25 September 2015, 12:25 PM

Ever wondered what happens to the material that bands record and release but then they disappear off the music map altogether? I bet sometimes you wonder where the music is and I also bet you probably wonder when you’ll get a chance to hear it. Sometimes all you can do is pray and hope that you either know someone who can get a hold of it for you or to make it easier, wait until a label picks up the music to remaster and re-release properly. This is exactly the scenario that will play out in today’s review with a re-issue of the only studio album recorded by a French band called PRESENCE.

Formed in 1982 in Grenoble in France, PRESENCE were a Hard Rock & Heavy Metal quartet who released an independent six track demo in 1985 before releasing their only studio album and single a year later in 1986. Since then, no-one has seen or heard any traces of them and their music as they suddenly disappeared off the music map therefore making everyone believe that they split up and that is how it’s been since.

29 years have passed since the release of their only studio album and the label No Remorse Records have managed to get a hold of it, remaster it and add in six bonus tracks from their self-released demo before re-releasing it to the world in 2015. Now. After all these years, the world, including myself, is finally able to hear the music of this long since disbanded French Hard Rock & Heavy Metal band and I am here to see what it is like.

Clocking in at around 63 minutes playtime (36 for the original songs and 27 for the demos), the debut from PRESENCE is a combination of the genres Hard Rock and Heavy Metal and the sounds and styles used in both genres are put to good use as you get a mixture of heavy Rock melodies one moment and then some insane Metal shredding the next.

Starting off with the opening number “Danger Zone”, you get a little taster of what music this band created all those years ago as the melodies on this track gives you an idea of what happens when you combine Hard Rock & Heavy Metal and the result is a strong track that gets this record off to a good start.

Next up we have not one but two anthems in the form of “Metal Rage” and “Rock Your Life” and you can tell by the titles alone which genres each represents and if you have a good knowledge of each, then you know exactly what to expect as one is full of fast paced riffs and bonkers solos and the other contains catchy upbeat melodies with some heavy as hell guitar riffs that will get your fists pumping and those horns in the air.

No Way” is the only slow track on this album but it’s a very enjoyable one as it sounds like a traditional Classic Rock style ballad while using elements of Rock & Metal in them to create a surprisingly beautiful and amazing track. The next two tracks “Com'on Baby” and “Rock'n'Roll” return back to the formula of combining elements of Hard Rock & Heavy Metal to create a couple of pretty enjoyable tracks with the latter being yet another anthem that pays homage to the genre that it is in it’s title.

Stop (Breakin' My Heart)” picks up the pace a little bit with it’s guitar riffs and drum beats to create a frantic and energetic track that you can always rock out too every time you listen to it. “When A Wall Is Made” may be the longest song on the album on this album but at no point does it get boring as there is plenty of enjoyment in it’s composition which may be a bit slower paced then the previous track but there is still plenty of energy and punch to make it enjoyable.

The last original song on the album “Paris’ Burning” is a frantic track with some heavy fast paced drumbeats and guitar riffs with some pretty nutty solos to boot that help to end the original songs part of this reissue on a good note with an enjoyable Rock & Metal song.

In addition to the songs from the original release, we also get the songs from the bands six track self-released demo and naturally these being demos, the quality of the songs sounds a bit rough and not as clear as the songs from their debut album. That’s to be expected of course from demos as they are usually meant to sound this way in order to give a label a rough taster of what your band sounds like.

The demos are sung in two different languages: English and the bands native language of French. The first three demos (“Prisonnier”, “Prince Des Guerres” and “Amour Interdit”) are the English ones and the second three demos (“Maitre De l'Univers”, “London Road” and “Mutant”) are the French ones. The first three are the better option for me as when I can make out the words, I can understand them better as they are in my native language. That’s not to say the ones in French are bad as they do still sound good in a few places but not being familiar with the French language takes away a little bit of the entertainment value if you get what I mean.

Now that I’ve looked at the songs on this release, It’s time to cover the usual elephant in the room and talk about the things that bug me. I’ll start with the original songs as although I did enjoy them, sometimes it was hard making out a few of the lyrics and the vocal performance was occasionally hit and miss, but this problem didn’t really occur all that much, so it’s not really something worth worrying about.

I can apply this also to the demos but with a little bit more emphasis as because they are demos; the quality of the songs sounds a bit rough and very hit and miss depending on the song. Including the melodies which are a little bit messy in a few places and the lyrics which can often be very hard to hear due to the low quality of the recording but they could be worse as I have heard worse sounding demos.

Bottom line, the re-issued debut album from PRESENCE is a very enjoyable release; with some catchy songs and some insane guitar riffs which will always get you excited every time you hear them. The songs do have their hit and miss features as there will be parts you enjoy more than others but it’s still a very enjoyable release for the most part so it’s worth giving a listen.

3 Star Rating

Tracklist:
  1. Danger Zone
  2. Metal Rage
  3. Rock Your Life
  4. No Way
  5. Com'on Baby
  6. Rock'n'Roll
  7. Stop (Breakin' My Heart)
  8. When A Wall Is Made
  9. Paris' Burning
  10. Prisonnier (demo 1985) (pre 'Danger Zone') (unreleased bonus track)
  11. Prince Des Guerres (demo 1985) (pre 'Metal Rage') (unreleased bonus track)
  12. Amour Interdit (demo 1985) (unreleased bonus track)
  13. Maitre De l'Univers (demo 1985) (unreleased bonus track)
  14. London Road (demo 1985) (unreleased bonus track)
  15. Mutant (demo 1985) (unreleased bonus track)
Lineup:
Pat Hinorson - Lead vocals, lead guitar
Gil Di Bravo - Guitars
Tommy Krueger - Bass
Stephan Crisis - Drums
Record Label: No Remorse Records
     


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