Review: “Super 90” Kadinja

Paris, France is the home of Progressive Tech-Metal quintet Kadinja. The group, comprising vocalist Philippe Charny Dewandre. guitarist duo Pierre Danel and Quentin Godet, bassist Steve Tréguier and drummer Morgan Berthet have reputation for creating Masterpieces and after what seems like forever, their new album is finally with us. Interestingly the trio of music videos that have appeared in support of the release of “Super 90” comprise the opening three songs from the album. So does that mean they’re the strongest on offer?

Well “Empire” false starts with an intro piece that is designed to make you think you’re listening to a something that was recorded down a drain before it kicks up a notch and gets into full flight. It’s a classy opening bending DJent with some more progressive elements while allowing frontman Dewandre to demonstrate a decent vocal range. “From the Inside” continues the stylistic trend with some glorious clean vocals that add a layer of beauty to the heavier elements. There is a vocal nod to the kind of performance Incubus vocalist Brandon Boyd delivered on “Make Yourself”. Bringing back the heavier tones “The Modern Rage” includes a more varied vocal while Morgan Berthet brings some impressive kit work that is allowed to shine due to an excellent mixing job that continutes throughout. There is a level of menace and a decent bite to the tune while maintaining a crushing controlled drive. “Icon” has a funkier bass ovetone and airs on the more Progressive side of things with a wonderful rise and fall while maintaining that high energy that pushes things along nicely. There are hints at ambience in places but they are quickly driven out by the appearance of some Tech-Metal guitars.

“The Right Escape” brings with it a Periphery like beauty alternating between the clean and unclean vocals with some highly impressive guitar work that could easily have appears on the aforementioned masters “Level III”. Kadinja manage to pull off the work of three guitarists with two, which is an impressive enough feat. “Veronique” once again leaps back into the heavier register with some more impressive unclean vocals and an ocean of bounce and squeals in the guitars that would keep even the most hardened fan happy. The clean chorus adds beauty to the ugly juddering guitars but the undercurrent remains intact. Some perposfully off kilter drum work during a more classical build to close at the end is a wonderful humourous note. “Episteme” is an acoustic cut that is part pallet cleanser and part showcase for the more melodic side of the band. The clean vocals are given plenty of space to shine and the vocal harmonies are a nice touch. While there are a couple of minor language issues in the song that are more obvious here in the exposed acoustic environment they by no means ruin a beautifully thoughtful song.

“Strive” has a perposfully placed introduction that doesn’t destroy the acoustic song prior and instead builds up into the heavier material over a few moments. When it does appear, the heavier material is accomplished and punchy while providing a dark atmospheric that runs deep. The vocals have a distinct Spencer Sotello vibe to them both in delivery and lyrical styling. “Muted Rain” is perhaps the surprise in the bag with its funky rap screamed opening that bursts into some cleaner sung lines. It’s DJent at its finest and towards the end there is an amount of virtuoso guitar jam work that keeps the vibe going without being over the top.  “House of Cards” has a riff orientating around a set of funky scratches while being largely clean sung. It’s wave like passages between the cleaner and heavier guitar tones work magnificently well. “Avec tout mon Amour” is a highly impressive instrumental that showcases everything that is good in the album and the band. It never lets up with the changes and keeps your attention perfectly. There is no needless fat on this animal.

There are elements within “Super 90” that see Kadinja heading off in the same direction as Monuments have with their latest offering “Phronesis” and also hints and the influence of genre pioneers Periphery. However they manage to imprint their own sound on top of the foundations they’ve created and the result is a a really enjoyable and thought provoking listen. There is no doubt that this album is a game changer for the Parisian quintet and they deserve praise for that [8.5/10]

Track listing

  1. “Empire”
  2. “From the Inside”
  3. “The Modern Rage”
  4. “Icon”
  5. “The Right Escape”
  6. “Veronique”
  7. “Episteme” (Acoustic)
  8. “Strive”
  9. “Muted Rain”
  10. “House of Cards”
  11. “Avec tout mon Amour”

“Super 90” by Kadinja is out now and available over at bandcamp

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