REVIEW: NOVELISTS – “Souvenirs”
Novelists are a recent addition to the international metalcore scene. Based in the luxurious city of Paris five friends came together to start playing their own brand of metal. Members consist of vocalist Matt Gelsomino, guitarists Florestan Durand and Charly Kelevra, bassist Nicolas Delestrade and drummer Amael Durand. Thus Novelists was born and their debut album ‘Souvenirs’ that comprises of innovative thought and design. The band is currently signed to Arising Empire and more impressively Nuclear Blast which should see this debut get distributed well.
The album consists of light hearted melodic overtones as one would expect from a metalcore band, the key addition is the progressive nature of song writing. The band incorporates a heavier back drop with screamed vocals being predominant in the songs, but do include clean vocals under the mix for contrast. The instrumentation is stereotypical of the genre and doesn’t differ much from song to song leading to a set standard within the genre. The album does contain interesting soundscapes for most of the introductions with use of post production effects and a more neo classical approach but soon heads off in to familiar territory.
The second song from the album entitled “Earth Graver” begins with a heavy dominant sound due to the drums and rhythm guitar. The lead guitar plays a lighter drifting sound in stark contrast which is rather appeasing, as the hardcore styled vocals kick in. The entire song is pretty steady as it continues with this combination of hardcore and progressive metalcore elements. The bridge cuts out the constant rhythm to make a sparser ending to the song which ends rather abruptly.
“5:12 AM” is the softest song from the album whilst seemingly having the focus on the vocal and guitar line as they are the most predominant. The heavily reverbed rhythm guitar sets the scene as the lead guitar drops in and out with soft melodies. The vocal line is clean throughout and has numerous layered sections that at some dynamic build ups. The inclusion of a female vocal line adds to the latter half as the drums keep a solid beat underneath it all. This light hearted song could seem out of place but it adds a little quip to the album that otherwise is rather similar.
If there is one song that would define Novelists it would be the title track “Souvenirs”. It amalgamates their entire sound in to one song. The dynamics of the guitar intro lead to an explosive start that has their signature syncopated guitar and drum rhythm with shouted vocals, layered with clean vocals underneath. The song sounds the most emotional with the constant progressive drone underneath as the transitioning vocal line keeps the main attention. The odd moment of tranquility is short lived but adds a noticeable structure markers whilst also allowing for a bit of a breather between the upbeat and heavier parts.
Novelist’s debut album is rather appealing with the numerous styled compositions and general high quality musicianship. The band certainly have worked hard which can be seen in Souvenirs. The extent of this differs from each individual piece, sometimes bringing the complexity of progressive materials together with that high melodic intensity to a perfect tee, whilst on other tracks drifting to a more cliché sound that can be easily foreseen. The unique sound of the band is still an appealing point including their location as it is not hugely recognized for their brand of music.