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Album Reviews : Kadinja – Ascendancy

By on January 10, 2017

13307492_2045533002338582_9145580895049684302_nThe scene is absolutely awash with djenty progressive metal acts at the moment, and many of them are exceptionally good – you simply have to be good to play this style of music convincingly, to have an absolute grasp of songcraft, sound, structure and instrumental technique. So to stand out from the crowd, you have be even better, and this French act are just that.

Somehow they manage to furnish that djent/prog sound with even more technicality, without losing cohesiveness, brutality and catchy, soaring melody than most bands in this field, and that is some feat. The notes come at you in a blinding, blistering tsunami of sound. I absolutely love the way the harmonic notes match the double kickers during Til the Ground Disappears, for example.

All that said however, it takes the band backing off on the technicality accelerator ever so slightly to produce the best track on the album. A November Day is reasonably straight ahead rhythmically, relative to the rest of the album anyway, and features some of the more catchy clean vocals that the record has to offer. Consequently, it is arguably the song that sticks in your head the longest after the album is done.

I adore the juxtaposition of the jagged harshness of the guitars and dirty vocals, and the cleanness of the production and soaring nature of the cleans, that bands like this create, and these guys do it as well as just about anyone on the planet right now. Probably displayed to best effect on the bludgeoning but wondrously melodic six-minute epic Ropes of You, which takes the listener on a real dynamic journey into progressive soundscapes and some of the most emotional content of the album.

This album is wall to wall strength, with barely a weak moment in earshot. It has virtually everything the rabid progressive heavy music fan could want, it is heavy and intense, but with moments of breathtaking beauty and melody, the musicianship and production are of ultra-high quality and the songs and catchy, dynamic and compelling. An early candidate for my top albums of 2017.

Band: Kadinja
Album: Ascendancy
Year: 2017
Genre: Progressive Metal
Label: Independent
Origin: France


Rod Whitfield is a Melbourne-based writer and retired musician who has been writing about music since 1995. He has worked for Team Rock, Beat Magazine,, Heavy Mag, Mixdown, The Metal Forge, Metal Obsession and many others. He has written and published his memoirs of his life and times in the music biz, and also writes books, screenplays, short stories, blogs and more.