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.***