With a sound firmly rooted in the “prog-power” split subgenre, Noveria come forth with a commanding sound. With all instruments on point and executed well, and singer Francesco Corigliano showing a good range with strong control, “Forsaken” is a good effort for the Italian metal band.
After the atmospheric short opening track in “Lost”, the ball gets rolling with “Shock”. The song’s energetic and spastic opening with a feverish keyboard and guitar attack stays through the whole song. The first impression I get is of Symphony X in their prime, which is definitely not a bad thing, but it’s also not the most terribly original concept these days.
“Denial” follows with a bit more streamlined and accessible sound than the previous song with a good mid-paced groove and melodic aspects. A rousing tapping guitar solo from Francesco Mattei and a sweeping keyboard solo from Julien Spreutels was exciting and full of energy. “When Everything Falls” is a good option to go with for a more laid back song at this point on the album. This song works more like a single in the less eccentric way of looking at the band’s music. The added vocals of Kate Nord only add a bit of flair to the overall ambiance of the song. Not out of my place mind you, but not necessarily needed if I’m being honest. The pace quickens once again as expected on “Hatred” after the previous slower song. The song trades off of the fast-paced riffery with a mid-paced flow. The guitar and keyboard solos are done well, but at this point they seem expected and they don’t offer any rewarding surprises.
By this point in the album, my interest has started to wane considerably. The rest of the tracks seem to go through the motions for me, and while played well, you pretty much know what to expect aurally and should have the formula figured out, which is a problem for me as I like a band to make me guess sometimes and throw me for a bit of a curve as to not sound complacent.
While comparable to Symphony X in their bombastic prog-power style, it’s only a paper comparison, and when looked at deeper, you realize how much Noveria could do to try and make a more original and better crafted sound to stand out from the pack. Even with the band playing exceptionally well, the music doesn’t leave anything overly memorable for me to take away from it. There’s nothing to go back and get excited about. The formulaic moments and lack of overall originality hurt my excitement for a future release.
“Forsaken” starts out rather well and hard-hitting with a good energy and pace, but the lack of variety on the album seems to lose me at the halfway point. If this had have been an EP, then I would have been much more accepting of the sound, with no fear of my interest petering out before the end of the final song. However, the second-half of the album hammers home my point that it’s better to make a powerful entrance and a strong exit than to come in roaring and leave me bored.
04. When Everything Falls
06. If Only
08. (W) Hole
Playing time: 60:14
Release date: 28 October, 2016
Label: Scarlet Records
Website: Official Noveria Website