Novelists FR – C’est La Vie Review

Novelists (FR) have been mainstays in the progressive metalcore genre for half a decade, rising to fame with previous albums Noir and Souvenirs. With complex guitar riffs and focused instrumentals overlaying thought-out lyrics, the band can be likened to similar giants like Northlane and Intervals.

C’est La Vie shows Novelists FR return to form with nine well-constructed, adequate tracks. The first three tracks are pretty standard for the band, with a nice touch being Matt Gelsomino  rapping a bit to kick off “Lilly”. Things pick up with the brilliantly-heavy “Modern Slave”, a definite standout track on the album.

What Novelists does well is blending a bit of heavy with meaningful, meticulous verses/bridges. The title track does this, with a catchy hook accompanying some intrinsic vocabulary, plus some female vocals in the background. I’m not typically a fan of fade-outs, but “C’est La Vie” has a tasteful one to cement the soft tones of the track, juxtaposing the in-your-face sound of the previous song.

Prioritizing melody and maintaining a healthy mix of clean and unclean vocals works in Novelists FR favor, as heavy songs hit hard while softer songs are just as enjoyable. “Kings of Ignorance” brings strong verses backed up with a catchy chorus. “Rain” beings to close out the album with a somber tune, and “Human Condition” wraps things up; I prefer the final tracks of albums to have some closure, but this great song will suffice.

All in all, C’est La Vie is a fantastic listen, and is proof that Novelists FR hasn’t lost a beat in the 2 years since Noir. The band has been touring with names like Being As An Ocean, Make Them Suffer, and Like Moths to Flames. Here’s hoping they get their headliner in 2020, as it is well-deserved with their established discography to this point.

***A Review copy of C’est La Vie was provided by Arising Empire/Nuclear Blast records.***

Dance With the Dead – Blackout EP Review

The fusion of metal music and electronic music has been experimented with for decades now. While it is not always a smooth marriage of sounds, the genres have potential to complement each other very well. Some bands will add a synth here, a dubstep breakdown there; others go the extra mile and mesh the two genres as a cohesive unit gracefully.

Dance With the Dead have done just that, combining synthwave and metal for the better part of the 2010s. They rose to fame over the years, and have garnered millions upon millions of plays on Spotify with their unique blend. With an already-deep discography, they are starting 2020 strong with the three-track EP Blackout.

The EP fades in with the electric “Ravens in the Sky”. Throughout the verses, there is a good trade-off between guitar riffs and synth runs. Neither genre takes precedence over the other; this is a solid 50/50 split, so fans of either/both genres can be sated. This song should catch the ear of new listeners enough for them to enjoy the rest of the EP.

Dance With the Dead, Bandcamp photo

“Scar” kicks in next, hooking the listener in immediately with a catchy synth riff. This is where these two genres can work with each other magnificently; a guitar riff can be just as exciting as one on a synth. For DWTD’s benefit, they have both in spades. This particular riff is stuck in my head as I write this, it’s the highlight of the EP for me.

Last comes “The Dawn”, with the heaviest guitar riff yet accomapnying the verses. A bit heavier than the other tracks, this is optimal for the metal listeners. The guitar solo feels right at home, The snare hitting every beat in the opening proceedings pumped me up. The final outro keeps the listener enthused, as “The Dawn” wraps the bow on the gift of Blackout.

While not as lengthy as Dance With the Dead’s other releases, Blackout makes for more great material for the band’s eclectic live performances. DWTD has had the pleasure of playing significant venues all around the world, an impressive feat for an independent band. They’re due for Chicago in April, so I will likely make my way to see them; for now, I’ll be checking out the rest of their expansive discography, as Blackout was a fantastic entry point.

New Fury Media would like to thank Tony Kim of Dance With the Dead for sending us a copy of Blackout early!

Niantic hits it out of the park with new EP “Equinox” (Review)

Throughout the years, California has been a breeding ground for some pretty dynamic and iconic acts. Every few years there will always be a band that comes out of the fray that challenges what the typical sounds of a certain genre bands should sound like. In the case for indie bands the sounds are large and vast. It’s easy to get buried under all the saturation, but for Niantic this band has bled through and has created a colorful sound that is both true to its roots yet manages to be unique and creative. Niantic has been making waves for over a decade with release after release, but with their new independent October release Equinox, it seems the band is more confident than ever with their presence and sound.

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Poppy “I Disagree” Album Review – Wacky, Risky, Compelling

I’m a sucker for bands that experiment, and when Poppy released the music video for “Concrete”, I good a good dose of “WTF?” upon my first listen. It was evident that this song elicited two responses with little in-between: “I love it” or “I detest this with my very being”.

Working with multiple genres inside one song is very risky. It can be a challenge to mesh two different sounds cohesively. I personally think it works in most cases within I Disagree. “Concrete” sounding like Queen and The Beatles with metalcore is a thrill, but the rest of the tracks on the album do not see these levels of experimentation.

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