Destinity – In Continuum (Crimson Productions)Monday, 25th October 2021
Hailing from France, Destinity have a rich history releasing eight albums to date, evolving from black metal to symphonic black/death during their initial run from 1996-2014. Moving up to Lifeforce Records for their last few releases before going on hiatus to pursue other musical ventures for a few years, the band would reunite for shows during 2018-19, setting the stage for work on their ninth studio record In Continuum. A sequel of sorts to 2012’s Resolve in Crimson, the quintet aligns well with a melodic death metal template in these nine songs that has strong Scandinavian influence as far as driving rhythms, catchy guitar melodies, cultural textures, and solid tempos/groove-oriented combination against gruff, savage vocals.
The tools these musicians use incorporate conventional metal instrumentation, as well as additional acoustic, keyboard, and orchestration accents to fill out a sound that is chock full of mesmerizing / galvanizing chord progressions and proper, moving transitions. Knowing where to place the uplifting/atmospheric keyboards or change the time signature into more of a heavier, stomping sequence allows the twin guitars and thick bass work that much more emphasis – or when the band goes from an upper gear to hypnotic passage as highlight “Reflections” delivers. Past blackened/tremolo-fueled action pops up intermittently for “Dawn Never Breaks”, but the steamroller rhythms and vicious vocals of Michael ‘Mick’ Rignanese make for plenty of jaw-dropping appeal – much like Dark Tranquillity and Insomnium currently achieve. When the band want to lay down some double kick/aggressive material, they surround the verses and chorus with the key guitar melodies to cause body spasms and incessant headbanging – check out “Architect of Light” as Seb V.S. and Zephiros execute shape shifting heaviness and alluring lead activities that weave in and out of the arrangement that bring In Flames and Amon Amarth to mind. While most of the songs clock in at a conventional five to six-minute timeframe, closer “Salvation” at 8:26 serves up the more epic desires of the group – longer instrumental activities, diverse textures all across the softer to heavier terrain featuring blast beats, quieter piano segments, and a tranquil clean guitar/ church bell ending.
The time away for the five-piece seems to have given Destinity a newfound resolve and creative jump, as In Continuum crushes in a way that classic melodic death metal should. Incorporating the right mix of hooks, brutality, and impressive individual songs, this is one of those hidden gems that hopefully comes to the light in a good way for the group.