From Italy, progressive power metal band Noveria returns with their sophomore effort, Forsaken, once more on the Scarlet Records label. That's rather a dull introduction, for an ambitious album. It's another concept album from the band which concerns "the emotional struggle of a single person facing a life-threatening illness." The story is told using the Kubler-Ross model of the five stages of death as the motif. Unfortunately, no lyrics were provided to understand the songs or the story.
Now if that sounds kind of depressing to you, I would have to agree. Yet, as concept albums go, progressive metal bands have often dealt with stories from somber to despondent. Curiously, Noveria's musical presentation for their concept is neither. The metal of Forsaken is a strong mix of heavy, power, and thrash metal, expressed in bold sharp riffage, and creating an aggressive and intense experience. Add to this, the thundering speed of the rhythm section, Francesco Corigliano partially screamo vocals, some death vocals here and there, and even more intensity ensues.
Certainly, there is melody and harmony, but it's chewed up by the aforementioned elements. And most times you can barely understand Mr Corigliano for the same reasons. When Everything Falls and Archangel, one of the better songs here, were exceptions. There is a keyboard presence, sometimes symphonic or atmospheric, but definitely nuanced or suppressed. You'll have to listen carefully for a synth solo. I think there was one within [W]Hole, but I could be wrong. Alternatively, one of the highlights of Forsaken are the dramatic and technical guitar solos, which are abundant.
So what does this all add up to? After two spins of Forsaken, I was for a respite from being thrashed about the ears for better than an hour. Essentially, the parts (guitar lines not being enough) really didn't combine well enough to create a successful whole, and so I can't say my experience was all that favorable or enjoyable.
After two spins of Noveria's Forsaken, I was ready for a respite from being thrashed about the ears for better than an hour. I can't say my experience with Noveria was all that favorable or enjoyable.
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