Although the globe’s thriving tech-metal scene is showing little signs of slowing down, the task of combining nerd-friendly complexity with the songwriting suss and melodic sensibilities to crossover to a wider audience is still fiendishly difficult to pull off. Indeed, only a handful of acts (*cough* Architects *cough*) have proved to convincingly take on the mainstream without softening their edges, but the metallic uncompromise and shrewd accessibility of Novelist‘s debut LP ‘Souvenirs’ may well be enough to draw in those of a more middling palette:
There’s a laudable wealth of ideas here, the Parisian quintet veering from sprawling soundscapes, scorched earth technicality and the smouldering, state of the art stomp of contemporary deathcore, a virtuoistic melting pot underpinned by a Dream Theater-lite progressive colour. All well worn conventions they may be, but when put together with such compositional refinement and assaulting with the thudding polyrhythmic punch of their most devastating of peers, it’s difficult to deny the impact (especially given the bands tender years).
‘Souvenirs’ certainly isn’t without its flaws, some overwrought clean hooks occasionally quashing momentum somewhat, yet minor grumbles aside this is an incredibly assured and delightfully ambitious first outing from Novelists, delivering a sonic breadth which will doubtless only flourish further in albums to come.
Written by Tony Bliss (@TBliss88)