REVIEW: KADINJA – DNA-Dedication.Nostalgia.Addiction
27th September 2019, Arising Empire
It has barely been half a year since KADINJA released their sophomore album “Super 90′” (which I highly recommend listening to if you haven’t yet) but the French prog metal quintet has already prepared us a nice little surprise that is going to be released through Arising Empire on 27th September 2019. Just a little while back we had the chance to talk with guitarists Pierre Danel and Quentin Godet (read interview here) about this upcoming release when the project was still top secret but so much had been revealed already for instance that this album isn’t going to be like any of the previous ones and we were promised to get even more nu-metal than on “Super 90′”.
Well, the surprise was effective because what we are getting this time is in fact a tribute album. “D.N.A. – Dedication.Nostalgia.Addiction.” is composed of 10 iconic songs from the late 90’s/early 00’s by such bands as LIMP BIZKIT, KORN, DEFTONES and SYSTEM OF A DOWN – all flavoured with that proggy-techy twist by KADINJA. The band has talked about their fondness of the music of this era earlier in connection with “Super 90′” as well and how much it has influenced their sound and music writing. (Just check out their music video for “Empire” and geek out on how it’s referencing “Freak On A Leash” by KORN). My inner angsty teenager self that was getting her kicks out of nu-metal at the time was immediately intrigued: when I heard nu-metal and prog in the same sentence, I was here and ready for it.
Without further ado, onto the album itself! “DNA” is opening strong with LIMP BIZKIT original, “Hot Dog”. I have to say if this doesn’t make you want to ‘get the fuck up’ and bounce off the floor, I honestly don’t know what will. I’m momentarily confused if I’m hearing Fred Durst on the vocals. The instrumentation is on the spot, the heaviness of the guitars and the groove in the rhythm section is all something that LIMP BIZKIT could only dream of having. The Limp-Bizkit-y parts sound like an enhanced much fatter sounding version of the original with lots of intricate technical touches and different textures, rhythmical changes and ambience, which is then followed by segments that are just pure KADINJA. Heavy, angsty and bouncy – this cover is the perfect marriage of the nu-metal and progressive metal sound.
As I listen to the following songs, I’m still floored by the vocal performance because I recognize a bit of Chester here and a little bit of Jonathan there in some moments but there’s no chase sounding like the actual thing all the time. “Falling Away From Me” has a beautiful change in dynamics and atmosphere with a bit of jazzy, relaxed moment including female background vocals just before the breakdown comes crashing down. I was really positively surprised when I got to the fifth track of the album. Never having been a fan of MARILYN MANSON in general, I can’t say I particularly liked any of his songs at any point in my life but KADINJA‘s take on “This Is the New Shit” is another highlight for me. Wait till that chorus kicks in and see what I mean.
The most brutal and aggressive moment of “DNA” comes right in the middle of the album with “Spit It Out” featuring Aaron Matts from BETRAYING THE MARTYRS that is sure to start mindless mosh pits in the audience at future live performances. Matts’ low aggressive growls are really helping to anchor the mood of the song. The guitars are firing away like machine guns and the drums thundering, there’s lots of glitchy effects and distorted its and bits. This song means business, and its job is to beat you into the asphalt. I might be imagining this but I think I also recognize a tiny bit of “The Modern Rage” just at the end of this song.
With that “DNA” is ready to take us to relatively calmer soundscapes and honestly I needed that after “Spit It Out”. The acoustic-y guitar intro to “Between Angels and Insects” is a moment I was eagerly waiting for ever since the tracklist was revealed on KADINJA‘s socials. This is the PAPA ROACH song for me that never failed to take me along with it; it’s emotionally charged and has such a great sing-along chorus and all that is present in the KADINJA cover. The soothing intro is followed by satisfyingly thick riffs and face stomping bass drums (and that insanely low bass slide) and I’m loving it. There’s moments of calmness and heaviness just in the perfect ratio.
The last two tracks are going to hit home if you’re a sucker for that eastern/oriental sound. I’m being completely honest, I was not expecting to get A PERFECT CIRCLE cover with all the other bands in the mix but I love they got included. “Passive” is possibly the most true to the original cover on the album so to say.
SYSTEM OF A DOWN classic “Aerials” would be a perfect closing track on any album and it’s true in the case of this album too. The whole song is rearranged so that it lacks any type of aggression and it’s pretty much just building on the ambience making this song sound almost like a meditative soundscape.
At first my excitement was overshadowed with a bit of concern when I learnt about “DNA” being a tribute album because covers is tricky business in general but KADINJA managed to find the perfect balance within these songs. They knew perfectly well what parts of the original elements of a given song to keep to keep it recognizable and where to change certain aspects about them and play with effects and technical elements giving them that exciting KADINJA flair. I will be surely listening to most of these songs until the guys come out with their 4th release!
Article by Judit Molnár
- Hot Dog (3:39)
- Points of Authority (3:20)
- Falling Away From Me (feat. Malyka Johany) (4:11)
- My Own Summer (Shove It) (3:43)
- This is the New Shit (feat. Tom Gadonna) (4:00)
- Spit It Out (feat. Aaron Matts) (2:42)
- Between Angels and Insects (3:47)
- Alive (3:43)
- Passive (4:00)
- Aerials (feat. Malyka Johany) (4:08)
Philippe Charny Dewandre – Vocals
Pierre Danel – Guitars
Quentin Godet – Guitars
Steve Tréguier – Bass
Morgan Berthet – Drums
Interview Phantom Elite – “It’s always good to share that feeling that none of us is alone in hard times”