HRR 220 CD, 8 page booklet, limited to 1000 copies

Julian Izard - vocals, guitar
Fred Labasque - guitar
Tom Drouin - bass
Laurent Louvrier - drums

- Son of Wolf
- Diary of Eternity
- Soul Warrior
- Kill Me Madness
- Innocent
- Dark Day
- Waverly Hills
- Existance


Existance is quite a young band, formed in 2008 in a small town called Clermont, situated approximately 60 kilometres north of Paris. Although it’s not a big place by any stretch of the imagination, Clermont is home to quite a few local metal bands (such as Arès, Irminsul, Gencode, Orkaan and Dead N’ Crazy). The group's founder, guitarist and vocalist Julian Izard, is the son of Didier Izard, who played for French metal legend H-Bomb. Metal is in his blood, so to say: “When I was born, H-Bomb had already split, but the musical taste of my father definitely influenced me and made me like heavy metal from the 1980’s. He gave me the wish and desire to continue and handed out some advice on a lot of things based on his own experience.”
Existance recorded their first demo in 2010, followed by their privately pressed debut CD a year later. Julian Izard explains: “The first demo was used to book concerts. Then, in 2011, we recorded an album, which was kind of a 'demo album' with eight tracks. Its goal was to get a deal with a record company to be able to release it officially. Even though it was only kind of second demo for us, the final result was so close to a real album that we decided to look for a deal to release it. So this album simply called 'Existance' will be released in spring 2012 by High Roller Records. There will be the eight songs without any bonus tracks on the High Roller Records release but the booklet will be different than the one that we had before. Our privately pressed release only had a four-page booklet and the CD version that will be released through High Roller Records will contain an eight-page booklet quite different from the original one. Also, there will be a vinyl version as a limited edition of 500 copies with some coloured vinyl copies for collectors.”
With such a strong connection to a metal legend like H-Bomb, I could well imagine that Existance are playing a few songs of them live. However, that is not the case: “No, even though I’m proud to be the son of the singer of H-Bomb and even though it’s very pleasant for me to see how H-Bomb is still respected after all these years, we don’t cover any songs from them. Existance is a band with its own identity that does almost no covers from any band. Just our songs.” This is true, as musically Existance and H-Bomb are quite different from each other. Julian Izard confirms: “H-Bomb was the precursor (or one of the founders) of speed metal, at least in France, with songs in the French language. Existance is completely different, the vocals are in English and we are more into traditional heavy metal than speed metal like H-Bomb was. Maybe the only common point between Existance and H-Bomb is that they both sound very much 1980’s.”
As just mentioned, Existance have opted to sing in English instead of French. This is why: “Initially, I did not intend to be the singer of the band, just the guitarist, but since we didn’t find the singer good enough for our musical style, my father gave me the advice to try to do it by myself. That’s how I became a singer. Now concerning the choice of the language, as surprising as it may appear, I turned quite naturally to English, while French is my native language. Certainly, I have to acquire more ease with English. By being guitarist and singer of Existance simultaneously, I have a double mission, so I’ve chosen the language which appeared to me the most comfortable: English.”
Julian has already stated that Existance do not sound anything like H-Bomb, so this is how he would describe their sound: “I would say that Existance’s music is verging more towards heavy metal from the 1980’s than hardrock territory. Although our music is quite melodic metal, our riffs are more heavy metal than hardrock. We want to keep the heavy metal style from the 1980’s.”
Although the comparism probably might be a bit random, Existance reminds me a little bit of Agincourt and the old N.W.O.B.H.M. band Stampede, who have just released a fantastic new record. Julian shares my view: “You are right, Stampede did a great comeback after all these years. Concerning Agincourt, it’s a great album also, way heavier than Stampede, but once again, I don’t really see anything in them that reminds me of Existance. Our production (and sound), our approach to the songs and our tunes are more pure 1980’s heavy metal than for example Agincourt. To tell you the truth, we’ve already been compared to bands like the Tygers of Pan Tang, Scorpions, Hammer Fall, Saxon and Iron Maiden … We know these bands very well and we can only feel flattered that the name Existance is associated with or compared to such big bands. You know, I even read that my voice is close to the one of Klaus Meine from the Scorpions. He is a great singer, no doubt about that, but I really don’t see anything in common between his voice and mine. No, really, nothing in common at all … You know, so many things were built and done in the 1980’s that a parallel is inevitable when you listen to our music, but despite those comparisons, we fortunately have our very own style.”
France as a country has a very fine tradition of spectacular heavy metal bands like Trust, Nightmare, Vulcain, Warning, H-Bomb, ADX or even Morsüre (to name just a few). They all had a very unique (French) sound. Of course, this also goes back to the very early 1980's, as Julian knows: “You’re absolutely right, in their sound and their musicality, each of these bands that you’ve mentioned had something unique. That’s the point, our goal with Existance is not to copy what has already been done by others but to sparkle the 1980’s heavy metal spirit by creating our own musical signature sound.”
Matthias Mader