Novallo – Novallo II

Rating: 3/5
Distributor / Label: Unsigned
Released: 2015
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Band line-up:

Gino Bambino: Guitarist/Producer
Sam Gitiban: Vocalist
Nick Salvatore: Percussionist
Brandon Johnson: Bassist


1. Wake
2. Betty Phage Goes to Bronxton
3. I AM
4. Sideways Bird
5. Give Gravity a Choice
6. White Phoenix
7. Sleep


Columbus’ metallic wizards are back with another dose of DIY chaos in their highly anticipated follow-up EP, ‘Novallo II’. Since their inception in 2006 the quartet have built up a strong cult following; one that has heralded them as the only unsigned act to share a stage with the likes of Linkin Park and Judas Priest.

Right from the outset the band prove that their influences come from the more experimental regions of modern metal. Unifying more genres that what some may seem plausible; the quartet stands somewhere quite comfortably between tech metal djent and jazz experimentation.

‘Betty Phage Goes to Broxton’ serves up speedy fret tapping and surprisingly well delivered vocals, which don’t sound too dissimilar from something that Protest the Hero would pull out of the hat.

That is not say the band don’t bring anything new to the table. ‘I am’ brings an almost dance like vibe to the foreground with ambient textures and a catchy chorus, showing that there is an impressive artillery behind them and that it’s not all about assault your sense with complex riffage like so many of their peers have done to death countless times over.

The record remains consistent with different ideas being thrown around and genre jumping in equal measure. For example, the retro opening of ‘White Phoenix’ quickly breaks into further fret board wizardry and high pitched wailing.

While these guys may be considered as progressive, their sound does suffer from the success of their predecessors who have already set such a high bar. As a result, some tech heads may overlook their quality whilst wading through the complexity of what’s on offer here. But make no mistake, there are still plenty of incomprehensible twists and turns within their music to snatch Periphery’s crown.

Review by Ben Spencer
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