France has taken some great strides forward with its metal scene of late. With bands like Gojira kicking the door of opportunity open it was inevitable that more would follow. Cue progressive death metal artists Idensity who temper all that aggressive huffing and puffing with more than a hint of Gallic flair.
You can almost sense an innate desire within the band to take their own path, to be inventive, and it serves them well. With a violinist on board you could think of them as a kind of My Dying Bride, but with a sunny disposition or even a dark a moody version of Brit legends Skyclad. It’s this instrument and the way the writing skilfully makes full use of it that sets this band apart from the pack. That’s not to say the guitars, bass and drums are forgotten, it’s more a case of “If you’ve got it, flaunt it”, which is exactly what Idensity do.
Even though the majority of the vocals are handled in typical death metal style this is a band that lean firmly into melodic territory, encompassing much of symphonic rock’s appeal and even touching a little on the more accessible side of black metal. More than simply genre crossing you also get little hints of various world folk from the obvious violin to the subtle use of both erhu and zither.
The beautifully crafted ‘Mofa’ is far from heavy until near it’s end but still has that quality about it that will make many metal fans fall in love with it. Some may find the slow pace not to their taste, and yes there are occasions when things do go awry such as the over long intro and experimental feeling given to ‘Islam’. This is a minor blemish on a work of such a high standard though.
So often when there are five or as in this case six people in a group some tend to be marginalised. Here all the band members play pivotal roles to produce the end result. That in itself is an achievement. ‘Chronicles’ marks a coming of age for a band who hopefully will now go on to gain the wider recognition this album suggests they deserve.
‘Chronicles’ marks a coming of age for a band who hopefully will now go on to gain the wider recognition this album suggests they deserve.