Kadinja formed in 2015 and the Parisians return with their second full length recording following on from their Ascendancy release from 2017. Intrinsically technical, with strong progressive metal elements, Kadinja do still djent. As I am old, I do tend to panic when I see young bands reminisce about the 90’s. Especially metal bands. Kadinja stated
“It’s called Super 90’ and for us it’s our way to celebrate an era we miss a lot – the 90’s. We miss the way how songs were done back then, we miss the sound and basically all the things we had when we were younger – especially music, movies and video games.”
“We tried to make the record sound more rock, more organic and emotional than Ascendency to bring back a part of the 90’s vibes we were missing”
Feeling very apprehensive and somewhat nauseous, I was pleasantly surprised in October when their first single Empire dropped and very relieved. Do not adjust your set. The track opens with guitar noise, for me a skin crawling sound reminiscent of a dial-up modem left to connect in another room. But then the track commences and all is good. Strongly melodic with staccato djent rhythms, some true bass wizardry and I am confused. Delighted, but confused as thankfully Kadinja have not regurgitated some terrible 90’s styles, not have they deviated much from their roots. They have incorporated some elements of decades past, perhaps there is a touch of Alice In Chains in the chorus, a smattering of Deftones and perhaps even a pinch of Korn. But this is not nu-metal, grunge or any expected derivative sound. It’s accessible and for me has more of a leaning towards Deloused in the Comatorium (2003) vibe with added math rock than some of the music from the supposed era. Those naughty French whippersnappers!
This thankfully sounds like Kadinja, perhaps the style is a little broader, more adventurous and the most delicate of bridges lead into the spacey, groovy mid tempo From the Inside. The vocal delivery and range of Charny is demonstrated wonderfully with a track that predominantly focuses on great melodic hooks and intelligent, but not intuitive rhythms.
The Modern Rage is the second released from Super 90‘ and for me the intricacies and musical skill are overshadowed by the music video. Immerse yourself in the music and the skilful transitions within, do not be distracted! The band have said that
“The Modern Rage is a kind of patchwork of all what we love and tried to gather on this album. It’s a very characteristic song of the album Super 90′. This song mixes techniques, neo-metal/rock parts, clean and harsh vocals, etc. with a real balance between old school elements and modern metal stuff.”
Shimmering psychedelia and strong bass wizardry introduce Icon. It may be slower in its groove but it is by no means less infectious with its incredibly catchy hooks and chorus. The Right Escape is simply marvellous, perhaps the track where the 90’s influence is most apparent in the vocal clean delivery, the melancholia and melody is superbly contrasted with dirtier and harsher elements and some striking fretboard tech workouts towards the end. The strong prog/ math continues into Veronique, which features virtuoso cellist Raphael Weinroth-Browne (Leprous, The Visit, Musk Ox, Kamancelloon). The track has hints of Trent Reznor desperation and ambience which detract from the almost emo-leanings that worried me so. It’s an emotional rollercoaster of epic proportions.
Episteme (acoustic) offers respite from the intensity, acoustic guitars and exquisite harmonies without soppiness but an awful lot of skill. Then Strive ups the pace and returns us to screamo territory, with violent low end grooves and strikingly precise fretwork. Opening with super funky basslines and fast paced lyrical delivery (death rap?), Muted Rain featuring frontman Sylvain Conier (The Dali Thundering Concept) is deliciously brutal with some outstanding djent riffs and a magical solo. House of Cards lulls with a gentle ambient start before breaking down into alternately ferocious and gently experimental tones.
Avec Tout Mon Amour is a masterclass in modern progressive ambient styling, with which undulates unexpectedly, driven by the very impressive percussion. Vocals don’t enter until past the midpoint of the track in a glorious chorus, followed by a Dave Gilmour/ Steve Vai solo that sounds as effortless as it is skilled. Quite frankly the track is astonishingly innovative. Well done Kadinja.
“This album is clearly a mix of what we loved back in the days and what we have now.” – Philippe Charny
Super 90‘ is an energetic and upbeat hybrid of technical guitars, incorporating progressive and djent elements with the power of nu metal. It’s fresh, accessible and I am sure their recent tour with Monuments must have been phenomenal. 8.5/10
Super 90‘ Tracklist:
2. From the Inside
3. The Modern Rage
5. The Right Escape
7. Episteme (acoustic)
9. Muted Rain
10. House of Cards
11. Avec tout mon Amour
Pre-order the new album Super 90′ now here
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