Novareign – Legends

Rating: 3.5/5
Distributor/label URL: https://www.m-theoryaudio.com
Released: 2018
Buy Album [URL]: https://novareign.bandcamp.com/releases
Band Website: https://www.facebook.com/novareignofficial/

Band line-up:

David Marquez- Vocals
Danny Nobel- Guitars
Balmore Lemus- Guitars
Moises Galvez – Bass
Paul Contreras – Drums

Tracklisting:

1. Call On The Storm
2. Mace Of A fist
3. Beyond The Cold
4. Heavy Heart
5. Skyline
6. To Wander The Stars
7. The Builder
8. Black As The Dead Of Night
9. Legends

Review:

Southern California’s Novareign have been making a name for themselves in the last few years, through their frantic live shows featuring shred guitar solo interplays and epic metal vocals. Metal Assault described the band as ‘nothing short of impressive’ and not long ago, they were a finalist in the battle to get a place on this year’s ‘Knotfest Meets Ozzfest.’ The group will become international on February 16th when their first full length album ‘Legends’ will be released.

The music here is certainly extremely fast and clearly in Dragonforce’s wonderfully chugging tremolo picked style, for much of the time. Furthermore, the way some songs build for quite a while without the listener’s attention wandering is admirable and can be compared to ‘Dream Theater on a more relaxed day’. However, a little more thoughtful prog, ‘slow’ enough to be appreciated would be nice as the crazed riff and lead wigouts can be predictable at times. However, the main offenders of the music here, are arguably the chord sequences. Iron Maiden are well known for using chord progression that go up and down the scale, with few leaps (e.g. ‘E5, C5, D5, E5’ over and over, for the musicians out there). However, that sort of stuff gets taken too far with Novareign. It’s fine for a while, but it’s not particularly musical and it gets annoying.

Again like in IM, guitar melodies here are also often very scalic and pedal tone based. They aren’t too bad in moderation, but they’ve kind of been heard before. However, the vocal melodies are far more interesting and are one of the most prominent parts of the overall sound. This isn’t a band who are only obsessed with being flashy, they know their priorities, at least in part. The singer’s voice is also full of life, he is skilled and doesn’t come across as overly cheesy. (But typically for this genre, he doesn’t really sound ‘cool’ either, but that’s obviously a taste thing). Whilst the band’s guitar work and words are very pleasing, the drumming sounds somewhat fake and computerised. Consequently, when the drum fills arrive they aren’t as appreciated as they could be. Would you be interested in listening to programmed MIDI drum solo even if it was super polished? Maybe not, and that’s what you seem to get with Nova.

Whilst this material has many strengths, it is rarely exceptional. Dragonforce may be excessive, but they are great at coming up with awesome anthemic choruses. There aren’t really any here, just ‘good’ ones. The shredding in ‘Mace Of A Fist’ is stunning even though not exactly melodic, and the guitarist knows when craziness becomes too much. However, he still doesn’t really come up with anything too memorable. The fact that the songs are so long yet not at all boring is commendable, however, and when you consider how speedy so much of this stuff is, you can really appreciate how much perfectly reasonable content Novareign come up with. This album is worth buying, but it’s not a classic.

Review by Simon Wiedemann

 

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