Noveria - "Forsaken" (CD)
"Forsaken" track listing:
4. When Everything Falls
6. If Only
Reviewed by xFiruath on January 3, 2017
Two years back Noveria wowed everyone at Metalunderground.com who heard the band's debut album with a fresh twist on the Italian power metal style, which had really become sort of old hat at that point and needed a kick in the pants like “Risen.” Now here we are with the sophomore follow-up release “Forsaken” that has tempered the formula a bit and also shifted gears lyrically towards the stages of grief while dealing with a loss through illness.
There's a fantastic dark melody across the album, while still plenty of heaviness, mixing together power metal with some more extreme influences. Vocally there aren't growls this time around, however. While its primarily vocalist Francesco Corigliano offering his mid range powerful clean singing across the disc, there's also guest spots from Kelly Carpenter and Kate Nord for a higher register pitch on a few tracks, offering some contrasts on the vocal front.
Overall, “Forsaken” is a very archetypal representation of the power prog style, but with less of that upbeat sound that sends some metal fans running away from power metal (it's not gone entirely though, and can be heard in places like the high flying guitar solo halfway through “Shock”). The keyboard segments are particularly impressive this time around, working more as a main instrument than a backing element, courtesy of new member Julien Spreutels. Near the end of the album there's also a change in the formula with “Acceptance,” which brings out piano and guitars on their own before adding back in the guitars for an '80s power ballad feel.
The only complaint I really have about “Forsaken” is that it just not quite as memorable overall as “Risen,” and there aren't as many stand out songs that stick out up and above their peers. It's without question a more polished album than its predecessor, but at the same time perhaps a bit less unique and lacking in as many solid hooks to grab you and make you replay the music in your mind after the album ends. That being said, on the whole the high soaring vocals of power metal melded with a darker twist on the music is very satisfying, and “Forsaken” is a worthy successor to the album that netted Noveria the “best newcomer of the year” award from us back in 2014.
Highs: It's polished power prog at its finest
Lows: There's not as many hooks to grab you and make you remember each individual track this time around
Bottom line: Lineup and lyric shifts see a more polished power prog sound from Noveria with this sophomore output.
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