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Sunday, January 23, 2022

Review: Existance – Wolf Attack

Label: Black Viper Records

Date: October 29th, 2021

In the beginning of the year, I am trying to recapitulate my work in 2021. Did this, did that, missed this… Missed? Existance! French die hard metallers released “Wolf Attack ” in October 2021. Their 4th full length was produced by François Merle.

The idea of “Wolf Attack” started to become real after the band came back from tour supporting Primal Fear and Riot V. The album was done but Corona changed their plans. Album release was postponed. One day we might say: and the rest was history.

“Highgate Vampire” opens the album. The song is followed by the video released on September 24th, 2021. High pitched vocal, great infectious rhythm, astonishing guitar solo, and young French fellas will buy you instantly. The lyrics are inspired by supernatural activity reported at London’s Highgate Cemetery in the late 1960’s, or to be precise on Hallows Eve 1968. No one knows what happened, but similar cases were reported several times. Gray figure, woman in white, man in a hat, all assumed to be vampires seen in the cemetery and the legend was born. The legend lived in movies, horror comic books and in 2021 it is immortalized once more, this time in the great Existance song.

“Deathbringer” might be the song that goes the most in NWOBHM direction. If Existance were born decades earlier, they would be one of the top heavy metal bands for sure, and this song would be written with capital letters in metal encyclopedias. 

“Power of the Gods” is focused on ecology problems, it shows us how we as humankind do not respect our planet anymore. This might be the last call to wake up, save what we can! The song is followed by a very effective video. And if you need more explanation, let the band speak:

“Power of the Gods talks about the excesses of our societies and their repercussions on us and our environment. It is an approach that leads to reflection, to the awareness of a sad reality. It was important for us to bring up the subject through a song – moreover – one of our favorites.”

“Rock’N Roll” is a song on the edge of hard rock/heavy metal. No words needed here, raise your fist to the sky and sing:

“Rock’n roll, rock’n roll
Rock’n roll, save my soul!”

“Jenny’s Dreams” is my personal favorite. This is one of those songs from whose lyrics you can simply make a movie, have a clear picture in your head of its fable and make the character so real. Add a super sad chorus and you got the winner.

“No other shelter from the cold
Jenny’s dreams so far…
No other prayer
For a young heart of gold.”

Although you might expect “Sniper Alley” might be a super fast and furious song, it is closer to a ballad. But just in the first part. The war theme, and again chorus sung the way that will make you cry turns to hurricane. What a surprise! Incredible turnover and the most successful on this album. The band continues with pure energy in “Preacher of Insanity”.

If you might wonder which bands influenced Existance the most just listen to the “You Gotta Rock It” and everything will be clear. Title song “Wolf Attack” for sure will attack your brain cells; will move every muscle of your body. The band says:

“Wolf Attack tells the continuation of the story we started in “Son of Wolf”. The time has passed and we have grown. Despite the loss of our mentor the message is to keep moving forward and growing by following our own path.”

The most emotional song “Tears of Fire” is dedicated to Julian’s father, Didier Izard, former H-Bomb singer, who died in 2018. All of us who have lost our parents will agree.

“They say time eases sorrow
But I do not believe it…
No one can hear my screams
In my thought, in my dreams…
My forsaken heart
Falling apart forever…”

Listening to this song and its powerful, emotional, passionate interpretation I am going through my mother’s death again, and the lyrics just remind me that time simply does not heal, there are the moments when you simply want to crawl in the hole and cry, climb on the highest mountain and scream, but the life must go on.

In the end, another homage to Mr. Didier Izard, cover version of H-Bomb’s “Gwendoline” sang on mother language closes this great album.

There are not so many bands of the new generation who represent genre, Existance brought back the spirit of true metal. If you have not heard the band before, they provide 80’s hard rock/heavy metal sound. Songs like “Power of the Gods”, “Rock’N Roll” or “You Gotta Rock It” are in the range of best metal anthems.

Existance gave their best effort to show classical heavy metal can still be fresh. This is one of those albums you will listen from the start to finish with no skipping songs.

Guatemalan artist Mario Lopez stands behind the cover art, simple but effective, incorporates in my personal opinion two songs of the album,”Highgate Vampire” and “Wolf Attack”.

Compared to previous releases, naturally, Existance has grown, improved in every field, whether we are talking about vocals (Julian is hell of a singer, but still working and progressing), playing skills, songwriting or production. Unfortunately still an underground, but first class heavy metal band!