Existance – Breaking the Rock

Existance
Breaking the Rock
Released 15th October 2016
Heavy Metal
Released via Black Viper Records


‘Breaking the Rock’ is the second album from the French heavy metal band Existance. The band was formed back in 2008 by Julian Izard (son of Didier Izard from the speed metal band H-Bomb). Existance expressed their aim to “keep the spirit of the 1980s heavy metal alive”. Their music has been compared to the likes of Iron Maiden, Judas Priest and Saxon.

First off is Heavy Metal Fury with a deceptively slow and melodic guitar intro paving the way to some classic heavy metal in which most of the emphasis is on the guitar riffs and Izard’s melodic vocals. The 80s heavy metal influences are fairly easy to detect; the guitar patterns, riffs and vocal style reminds me of the more prominent bands from the NWOBHM movement such as Judas Priest and Iron Maiden. If it’s retro-style, heavy metal guitar riffs you’re after, you will find them in abundance on tracks such as All Is On Fire, Pain In Paradise.

As with most classic heavy metal albums, there’s usually at least one slow ballad to show the band’s ‘softer’, more melodic side and (hopefully) underline the skills and vocal range of their singer. On here we get Sinner of Love in which it’s definitely the vocals that enter the spotlight. Izard’s vocals are a good match to the guitar melodies giving the song a pleasant vibe. By contrast there’s the adrenaline-packed title track which really speeds things up in the riff department.

Overall, ‘Breaking the Rock’ is more than just a homage to 80s heavy metal. Existance did a great job of replicating the sounds of that era in metal music and their influences are fairly evident. It’s practically a genre-defining album. This is classic heavy metal in its purest form.

3.5/5

Iza Raittila

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