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(73:04; Frontiers Music)
The debut album from Novena, has been creating quite a stir in some circles, given who is in the line-up. The band comprises twin lead singers in Ross Jennings (Haken) and Gareth Mason (Slice The Cake), guitarists Dan Thornton (Ex-HAARP Machine, Ex-No Sin Evades His Gaze) and Harrison White (who also provides keyboards), drummer Cameron Spence (Ravenface) and bassist Moat Lowe (Slugdge, Ex-NSEHG). So, all the guys know their stuff, and have been around the scene for a while but there is something about this which just does not gel for me. There is no doubt everyone can really play, and for me Lowe is a real revelation with some stunning basslines, amalgam of metal and prog does not mesh like it should. The production is great, and everything is really clear, but this was an album I just could not like, and I still do not know why as there is a great deal of complexity and musicianship on offer. Possibly it is down to a lack of cohesive direction, plus some sections such as the twee beginning to “Disconnected” have nothing going for them and would have been better off left in the studio. This album needed a strong producer to get to grips and mesh it into shape, as however many times I play it I keep coming back to the same thing, that this is a solid release but is never any more than that, no matter what other bands the musicians are involved with.
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