Noveria – Aequilibrium (Scarlet Records)

Tuesday, 29th October 2019
Rating: 9/10

This progressive/power metal act Noveria return for their third full-length in Aequilibrium, following up a conceptual record for Forsaken in which they tackled the five stages of grief due to the death of a woman to cancer, based on Elisabeth Kubler Ross’ book On Grief and Grieving. This time around, you’ll get individual stories revolving around the human mind, discovering a new life after losing all that matters in the world as a result of a massive earthquake. Taking place over the course of eleven tracks with 63 minutes of material, it’s very expansive and bold in nature – and perfect for those who love adventurous power/progressive metal that can be heavy and melodic against the musical shifts and natural propulsive interplay.

It’s a given that in this style, there are numerous passages that feature jumpy rhythms, drop on a dime transitions with time signature manipulation, and fluid sophistication/ technical brilliance from the guitar and keyboard departments. Check out the Dream Theater/Symphony X-esque axe steps throughout “New Born” that work seamlessly against the emotional mid-range register of Francesco Corigliano, who has stepped up his game in more of a Tom Englund meets Russell Allen manner to reach into that next level with his phrasing and proper word emphasis. When the band wants to go semi-blast drum-wise with Omar Campitelli for opener “Waves”, they make it work – just as much if they pick to go darker or cinematic with the crunchier Francesco Mattei triplets and lower tuning for “Collide”, such is the open palace Noveria choose to color their work to the benefit of dynamic appeal. What is always difficult in this genre is the seesaw nature of creating adventurous music from the musician standpoint, but also injecting the right hook / groove ratio to retain memorable songs for the consumer. Throughout Aequilibrium there are plenty of gems to latch upon – the circular / energetic “Stronger Than Before” as well as double-kick elevated “The Awakening” two standouts to these ears.

Using the tools of modern production capabilities to their advantage, the narrative and orchestration elements embellish an already attractive package without diminishing the five-piece in terms of their performances and obvious songwriting prowess. If you dig Redemption, Circus Maximus, and anything Symphony X related – Noveria needs to be another group you add to your collection, starting with Aequilibrium.

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