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Destinity - "XI Reasons To See" (CD)

Destinity - "XI Reasons To See" CD cover image

"XI Reasons To See" track listing:

1. Negative Eyes Control (2:13)
2. Just Before... (5:36)
3. A Dead Silence (4:02)
4. Rule of the Rope (5:12)
5. To Touch the Ground (4:56)
6. When They Stand Still (4:39)
7. Got Smile Sticking (4:20)
8. Witness (4:42)
9. Your Demonic Defense (4:43)
10. Self Lies Addiction (5:30)
11. Silent Warfare (6:09)

Reviewed by on May 23, 2010

"'XI Reasons To See' provides a melodic death metal performance easily the equal of more renowned albums, but it also hits some of the same snags."

French act Destinity may have been around since as far back as 1996, but until recently any attempts at international recognition have eluded them. The band’s signing to Lifeforce Records for their last album was a big leap forward, and the latest release, “XI Reasons To See,” will likely put Destinity firmly on the radar of the melodic death metal crowd. The album has the same high level of polish that would be expected from big name bands like Dark Tranquillity or Dimmu Borgir, although it doesn’t always establish itself as completely separate from its influences.

The standard instrumental opening segment is present on “XI Reasons To See,” but it actually sets the bar rather high, as it doesn’t feel pointless or tacked on. Avoiding the same pitfall a huge number of extreme metal bands have fallen into over the years, the opener actively shows off the band’s talents and flows with the rest of the album. It only uses mild keyboard elements so as to not make an expectation of a heavy symphonic atmosphere that isn’t there.

Throughout the entire album the keyboard work sticks to that same level of support role, aiding the guitars and throwing in little changes to spice up the music. The only brief exception occurs at the opening of “To Touch The Ground,” which seems like it may transform into a full speed symphonic black metal song. It only takes 30 seconds before the keyboards get hidden behind the wall of thrash laced guitars and pummeling drums and quickly fade away.

Destinity’s vocal work is both simultaneously extreme and imminently listenable, as the band uses a heaping dose of layering and effects. Clean vocals and shouts are often placed over top of growls, making a meshed delivery that isn’t exactly in sing-a-long territory, but it definitely has a more attractive sound. The layered vocals are one of the band’s most stand out features, and it’s almost a shame they don’t get used more often.

“XI Reasons To See” provides a melodic death metal performance easily the equal of more renowned albums, but it also hits some of the same snags. Much like Dark Tranquillity, the band occasionally has trouble making each song distinct. It would probably be hard to even notice if eleven songs got cut down to eight, and some of the guitar acrobatics have very noticeably been heard on other albums in the past.

All issues of diversity and individuality aside, “XI Reasons To See” is a crushing release that does both brutality and melody extremely well. Some fans may be put off by how closely Destinity sticks to the formula, but it’s still a worthy addition to the melodic death metal ranks and hopefully the album that propels the band into some deserved recognition.

Highs: Layered vocals adds an interesting element and the combination of brutality and melody works well.

Lows: The album has some problems making each track memorable and distinct.

Bottom line: An overall impressive melodic death metal outing, but it does stick a little too closely to the tried and true formula.

Rated 3.5 out of 5 skulls
3.5 out of 5 skulls

Rating Description
Rated 5 out of 5 skulls Perfection. (No discernable flaws; one of the reviewer's all-time favorites)
Rated 4.5 out of 5 skulls Near Perfection. (An instant classic with some minor imperfections)
Rated 4 out of 5 skulls Excellent. (An excellent effort worth picking up)
Rated 3.5 out of 5 skulls Good. (A good effort, worth checking out or picking up)
Rated 3 out of 5 skulls Decent. (A decent effort worth checking out if the style fits your tastes)
Rated 2.5 out of 5 skulls Average. (Nothing special; worth checking out if the style fits your taste)
Rated 2 out of 5 skulls Fair. (There is better metal out there)
< 2 skulls Pretty Bad. (Don't bother)