XI Reasons To See

Written by: GR on 17/02/2010 01:53:15

Bonjour. There you go, all I had to do was type one word and you already know this is a review of a French band. It has to be said that when you think of French heavy metal, until a few years ago the thing that came most readily to mind was probably the Eiffel Tower rather than a band. Gojira's rise to fame has changed that somewhat, but despite a clutch of others making names for themselves (Benighted, Blut Aus Nord, Deathspell Omega, Hacride and Adagio come to mind), both their numbers and reach have been fairly limited. Trying to take a place in the wider metal consciousness are Destinity, a band who have been around for 14 years but, I think it's fair to say, not made much of an impact outside of their native land.

Destinity have, so their online biography tells me, undergone several stylistic changes over the years, starting out playing black metal, then symphonic black/death and now death/thrash. While the latter tag is not entirely misleading, the word that needs to be added here is melodic, as "XI Reasons To See" turns out to be an interesting and varied slab of prime melodic death metal. I must admit to not expecting a great deal from this album upon taking it on for review, as although I listen to both melodic metal and death metal, bands from the genre most associated with Gothenburg don't, in general, receive much of my personal listening time. However, after about my third play of the album I realised that Destinity have crafted an impressive combination of extremity and melody that could well gain them a larger audience and certainly marks them out as one of the more exciting bands in the genre. Starting off proper, after an orchestral intro song, with "A Dead Silence", Destinity set out their stall with chunky, catchy riffing descended from the likes of At The Gates and the effective growl of vocalist Mick. This certainly makes for an excellent beginning and is followed by nine songs featuring memorable yet brutal hooks, varying pace and atmosphere - from full-on death metal intensity to more measured and inventive approaches - and top-notch musicianship.

Where Destinity really push themselves above the level of a simply decent melodeath band though is their very effective use of layers: keyboard, orchestration and at times a slightly unusual vocal style (somewhere between growled/clean and rather French sounding) all help give many of the songs a real sense of drama and dynamics. This often manifests in an epic sound such as on "To Touch The Ground" and "In Sorrow", showing Destinity know how to keep things interesting without ever sounding forced. It also can't be ignored just how honed the band's writing abilities are - throughout the whole album there is a barrage of awesome (if essentially generic) riffs, memorable melodies and sweeping solos, all stitched together seamlessly. As you might have guessed, this is a fairly polished affair; the production being strong and well-balanced, giving the album the potential to compete with the big guns. I was originally going to award this album 7.5 but a few more listens have convinced me that Destinity have executed the style so perfectly and with enough personality to warrant a more impressive grading. Given that this isn't of a genre that usually excites me much, fans of melodeath should take note


Download: A Dead Silence, Your Demonic Defence, To Touch The Ground
For the fans of: At The Gates, Detonation, Darkane, Arch Enemy
Listen: Myspace

Release date 22.02.2010
Lifeforce Records

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