Although heavy metal is extremely popular in Europe in places such as Greece, Germany and the Scandinavian countries, I don’t know many metal bands that hail from France. Then along toddles Existance and I am thinking to myself WHY have I never heard of these guys before?
Originating in Clermont, Picardy in France, Existance is the 2008 creation of Julian Izard, a singer who wanted to create the metal spirit of the 1980’s alive and with the help of his fellow band members he has done just that.
If the name Izard is familiar to you, he is none other than the son of French speed metal band H-Bomb’s vocalist, Didier Izard and musical talent obviously runs in the family.
Being the third full length album released by the Frenchmen, Breaking the Rock is an absolute must for fans of bands such as Priest, Maiden, Saxon, Riot and Accept, the band obviously drawing on these giants as their influence, and I knew just three songs in that this was going to be a corker!
Opening with “Heavy Metal Fury”, an energetic opener packed full of 80’s inspired metal, the album just gets better and better with not a bad track on it, but that’s not surprising seeing as it was remastered in Los Angeles by Maor Appelbaum, who has previously worked with the likes of Halford, Malmsteen, Dokken, Anvil and Sepultura.
This is “one hell of an ass-kicking album that proves true metal is steel alive.” Packed with strong riffs, catchy rhythms and lyrics and memorable solos, this is an album that commemorates for many the glory days of heavy metal.
It has the twin guitar harmonies favorited by bands such as Judas Priest, thrilling solos that hit you right in the stomach and send your ears into aural overload, a clean, melodic vocal arrangement and a strong rhythm section that can change speed at the drop of a hat.
Two elements of metal music I absolutely love are crunching, galloping guitar riffs and double-kicking bass drums…..and luckily for me, this album has both! It’s hard to believe these guys haven’t been around since the heady days of the 1980’s as any band can play songs that sound like they have come from a by-gone age, but not everyone can play them to the standard these guys do.
The tracks are all great compositions with lots of variety, ranging from the thumping opening track previously mentioned to the more ballady “Sinner of Love” to the chanting lyrics of “Honest” (and I just love the way they pronounce the H every time they shout honest!) These are young guys who know how to write catchy songs and obviously have a love of the era they are trying to emulate.
Many people say why try to recreate a sound that happened three decades ago when there are years of musical technology and development to take advantage of? Well, my reply to that is……why the hell not?
The 1980’s was a great period for metal music and if a band as a great as these can play to the same standard that we were used to back then, then I’m all for a bit of nostalgia. It’s a great trip down memory and works wonders in making you feel young again!
I absolutely loved, loved, loved this album and the only downside to actually writing this review is I now have to take the album out of my car to make way for the next review.
If you love Riot and Accept, go out and get this album, and everything else they have ever done (I am certainly on the lookout for their back catalogue), and take a trip back in time! I guarantee you will love it as much as I did.
1. Heavy Metal Fury
3. We Are Restless
4. All Is on Fire
5. Deserve Your Love
6. Sinner of Love
7. Marilyn (Icon of Desire)
8. In the Name of Revenge
9. Pain in Paradise
10. Breaking the Rock
Julian Izard – vocals/guitars
Antoine Poiret – guitars
Nicolas Martineau – drums
Julien Robilliard – bass
Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Dawn Smith, The Metal Asylum and Ever Metal. It is strictly forbidden to copy any part of this review, unless you have the strict permission of both parties. Failure to do adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.
Originally posted on Ever Metal