Saturday, March 17, 2012


High Roller Records

I have been neglecting my French Metal Friday posts so I thought as a way of making it up to everyone I'd cover this young band. By now most people should know that High Roller Records is the home of mostly traditional minded heavy metal and NWOBHM acts. Existance would fall somewhere in between those two styles although they are far too young a band to have seen the heyday of either of those genres. Formed in 2008 in a small town called Clermont (situated approximately 60 kilometres north of Paris for those who are interested) the band's first recorded output was a 2010 demo which was used to book concerts. A second 8-track demo was released in 2011 with the goal of shopping it about to get a record deal. In the end the band signed with High Roller Records who choose to release the 2011 demo pretty much as it was. Despite the fact that it was originally a promotional demo in nature the production and overall quality was that good that no changes were needed. That should say something about these eight tracks as High Roller Records is not some fly by night operation. Instead the label deals in top notch heavy metal so if no real touch-ups were needed to the album you know it is killer stuff. With High Roller Records behind them all the way the band choose to simply call the album "Existance" and I can't begin to express just how superb the end product is. The album easily reflects the band's influences and roots (more on that in a second) while showcasing a sound that is all their own. Existance is lead by vocalist/guitarist Julian Izard (the son of H-Bomb's Didier Izard) and includes guitarist Fred Labasque and bassist Tom Drouin. The drum parts were done by Laurent Louvrier. All four musicians bring their "A" game to the album. With French heavy metal running in Julian Izard's blood it would be easy enough to point out the similarities between H-Bomb and Existance. One could even argue that Existance is just the next evolution in French heavy metal and the logical progression from classic French heavy metal bands like Trust, Nightmare, Vulcain, Warning or ADX. With such a rich history to draw on I have no doubt that Existance would feel honored to be mentioned in the same breath as these greats. That said this young band has more in common with fellow High Roller Records label mate's Agincourt than H-Bomb. For one thing Existance sing in English (unlike many French bands of old) and draw upon British metal more than their fellow French metal bands. Existance have a sound rich in eighties heavy metal having already drawn comparisons to bands like the Tygers of Pan Tang, Iron Maiden, Hammer Fall, Saxon, Hammerhead (I caught nods of appreciation towards these cult rockers), Iron Maiden and the Scorpions. Speaking of the Scorpions it should be noted that Julian Izard has been compared to Klaus Meine as they both have that classic hard rock style. So, from the Scorpions to H-Bomb there are many bands that have helped to shape the very unique sound of Existance. Here's hoping that just like the classic bands of old they were inspired by these young French rockers have a nice long career ahead of them. I'd love to see the group have long staying power which would allow them the opportunity to fine tone their sound. This self-titled debut is a great addition for traditional heavy metal collectors as well as those into the French scene. Hopefully I can pick up a copy of their album as this is one release I want to have in more than just digital format.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks a lot Andi for your review ;)
Christophe Bailet and all the Existance team

10:06 AM  
Blogger Andy said...

Your very welcome.

10:04 AM  

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