"some music was meant to stay underground..."

Destinity - "Resolve in Crimson" (CD)

Destinity - "Resolve in Crimson" CD cover image

"Resolve in Crimson" track listing:

1. Black Sun Rising
2. Reap My Scars
3. Aiming A Fist In Enmity
4. Can't Stand The Sight
5. A Scent Of Scorn
6. Redshift
7. Only Way
8. Break Into His Heart
9. The Hatred

Reviewed by on November 24, 2012

"One of the stronger melodic death releases this year."

Regrettably, it seems 1940 wasn’t the last time France succumbed to the might of its European axis neighbors. Germany and Italy, together with former fellow victim Poland, the behemoth of Scandinavia – and Britain for the final insult – have exported thriving metal scenes that make France’s appear barely visible. It’s little wonder that Gojira are constantly hailed as “France’s metal band” alongside the requisite musical praise; their nation’s presence in the international market is relatively slight.

For their part, Lyonnais melodic death/thrashers Destinity have been diligently carrying the torch, and despite the rather nonsensical play on words (try saying their name five times fast), have done France proud. “Resolve In Crimson” is Destinity’s third in a string of albums for Lifeforce Records, and sixth overall since their 1996 formation. It’s also one of the stronger melodic death releases this year.

No, it’s nothing new. The harmonized, hook-driven formula established on “Black Sun Rising” and “Reap My Scars” is one of modern metal’s most familiar by now. Destinity doesn’t do “original.” They plant a flag in long-conquered soil and liven the party by rearranging a few things, but not so drastically as to risk a failed experiment. Danish producer Jacob Hansen (Aborted, Destruction, Raunchy) hammers and chisels from the band a mammoth, synth-enhanced sound that breeds the precisely controlled, thrashy carnage of Sweden’s Darkane with the almost superhuman melody-making virtuosity of Germany’s Deadlock (before that band’s Lacuna Coil fetish went just a bit too far). Destinity’s greatest asset is the sustained “power hook,” the continuous avalanche of infectious melody whose emotional punch demands it be played in an aggressive, ridiculously heavy fashion and blasted at top volume.

On the downside, the trouble with such a formula – to paraphrase Margaret Thatcher – is that eventually, you run out of other people’s ideas. “Only Way” could’ve been titled “Only Break,” as it’s the lone mid-tempo reprieve from the charged galloping and thrash-attack intensity of the rest of the disc. “Can’t Stand The Sight” packs an impressive number of dynamic ideas into a lengthy seven minutes, but otherwise, the album’s gift is also its repetitive curse: it’s just too much of the same good thing, even for a mere nine tracks.

That’s hardly to say you won’t have an amazing time with “Resolve In Crimson,” however, particularly if you’re a dedicated fan of this slick, modern breed of melodic death that makes plenty of room for thrashers, power geeks, and all-around extreme junkies alike. The individual cuts are strong as diamonds, they flow together gracefully, and even though you might swear you already heard “The Hatred” more than once by the time it finally arrives at the end, you won’t exactly be complaining.

Highs: Nonstop hooks delivered with aggression, passion and power.

Lows: Taken together, the songs tend to get repetitive.

Bottom line: Melodic death/thrash with a meaty, modern production that succeeds despite a dearth of originality.

Rated 3.5 out of 5 skulls
3.5 out of 5 skulls


Key
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)