Idensity - Chronicles

The French metal scene has the rather pleasurable habit of throwing up some rather bizarre concoctions within all its genres and this Parisian outfit is no different when it comes to tantalising your auditory senses. This six piece band sees the normal instrumentation for melodic death metal but also have Mayline Gautié on violin which may seem a little quaint in some respects but for the bands second album the melding of bruising progressive death metal with the more epic and atmospheric has created an album that listens like a film score especially with the ambitious vocalisations and when you have your album mixed by Dan Swano then you know you must have something that stands out. There's a myriad of influences flowing through this release from the bombastic brutalisation of acts such as Fleshgod Apocalypse and Xerath to the dynamic ebbing and flowing of Opeth and Devin Townsend exemplified on the title track opener which harnesses some symphonic elements to good effect. The layering of keyboards and backing choral vocals makes you think Therion has co-wrote the album in places as the album shifts into 'Over The Abyss'. A decent bristling grizzly riff opens the tune in purist death metal fashion but a slight Middle Eastern flavour takes the helm on keyboards sprinkling the djent like riffing with deft harmony.

Two songs in and if you weren't aware of the ambitious projections this release is aiming to saturate the listener with, then you would be when 'Sekhmet' starts, with a dark, melancholic piano piece and a lone opera vocal piercing the mix. As the tune descends agilely into an abyss of slow focussed harmonics, the amount of musicianship impaling the listener is incredible. One listen is insufficient to appreciate the complexity with which Idensity write their music. The violin work by Mayline sits in a niche in every song, tickling the sonic nerve, making you sit and pay attention but done softly enough to morph seamlessly with the guitar work. The first notes out of the speakers on 'Antikhristos' will have you screaming Morbid Angel due to its slow impenetrable tardiness that carry the vocals along sublimely until it shifts away leaving those Morbid Angel touches to dissolve like a dream after awakening. The chunky headbanging session is simplistically executed but it adds another dimension to an already multi-dimensional opus. The violin work on this tune is great, really spellbinding and absorbing as are the multiple vocal characterisations. After repeated listens I keep hearing riff after riff that sounds very familiar such as Immolation, Orphaned Land, Nile, etc and whilst that may be a rather diverse band list it should portray how diverse this album is and especially how ambitious it is.

If I'd had this album a bit earlier in 2013 it would have secured a healthy position in my top 100 albums of the year but as it stands Idensity possess a unique talent for engaging the listener on so many levels you will be able to enjoy this album for many months and probably years.

  1. Chronicles
  2. Over the Abyss
  3. Sekhmet
  4. Mïfa
  5. The seven seals
  6. Antikhristos
  7. Typhon
  8. Islam
  9. Annunaki
  10. Mantra
  11. Loki