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Noveria - "Risen" (CD)

Noveria - "Risen" CD cover image

"Risen" track listing:

1. The New Age
2. Risen
3. Downfall
4. Paralysis
5. Ashes
6. Fear
7. Fallen From Grace
8. Through The Abyss
9. Waste

Reviewed by on July 8, 2014

"'Risen' gives another look at the power/prog mixture with nine above-board offerings that showcase great musical ability, technical proficiency, and a solid mixture of both style and substance."

“Risen” may be a debut release, but the Noveria team most definitely doesn't consist of musical rookies. Featuring members of Italian outfits like DGM and Empyrios, “Risen” gives another look at the power/prog mixture with nine above-board offerings that showcase great musical ability, technical proficiency, and a solid mixture of both style and substance.

While clearly power metal leaning on the keyboards and a good deal of the vocals, the guitars and drums on these tracks are on a much heavier spectrum than what would be expected from that corner of metaldom. There's a hell of a range on the vocals as well, from harsh growls to middle of the road cleans onto bombastic falsetto cries that brings to mind the greats of the metal genre from an earlier era.

There are occasionally the “video game” style guitar and keyboard acrobatics that make power metal known as a bombastic and over-the-top style, but that's not the main thrust there. In fact the upbeat, epic power metal schtick is very strongly tempered by a more grounded and dark side, giving the whole release a feel not that far off from the glory days of Nevermore.

Mostly energetic and headbang worthy, there's only really one dip out of that mode with “Fallen From Grace,” which has more of a near-ballad feel, but still while keeping the instruments on the heavier end. The end result isn't a bad song, but it's sort of the odd man out of the album, as it doesn't quite mesh with the atmosphere of the rest of the release.

The vast majority of “Risen” has a stellar mix of styles with power metal shining through the vocals and thrash/death/prog coming out from the instruments. There are only a few minor nit picky issues anyone could find with the album – occasionally the distortion on the guitars overpowers the other sounds and the menacing deep voice at the beginning of “Paralysis” is a little cheesy – but honestly the album as a whole is a fantastic blend of power, prog, and more extreme sounds that sits with some of the best offerings in that arena.

Highs: Great meshing of power, prog, and heavier genres all together as one.

Lows: The mix isn't quite perfect as some sounds occasionally overshadow others, and the one ballad track is a little out of place.

Bottom line: Italian power/prog veterans offer up another genre blend that grounds bombastic metal with dark heaviness.

Rated 4.0 out of 5 skulls
4.0 out of 5 skulls


Key
Rating Description
Rated 5 out of 5 skulls Perfection. (No discernable flaws; one of the reviewer's all-time favorites)
Rated 4.5 out of 5 skulls Near Perfection. (An instant classic with some minor imperfections)
Rated 4 out of 5 skulls Excellent. (An excellent effort worth picking up)
Rated 3.5 out of 5 skulls Good. (A good effort, worth checking out or picking up)
Rated 3 out of 5 skulls Decent. (A decent effort worth checking out if the style fits your tastes)
Rated 2.5 out of 5 skulls Average. (Nothing special; worth checking out if the style fits your taste)
Rated 2 out of 5 skulls Fair. (There is better metal out there)
< 2 skulls Pretty Bad. (Don't bother)