Nova Art
The 3rd Step EP

Wowsers, this is a pleasant surprise! Sporting a sound and musical approach that I never anticipated, Nova Art is back with their third release; an EP entitled The 3rd Step. The Russian band has been around for a dozen years but this is the first time I’ve ever heard of Nova Art, let alone their music. I expected some sort of dirty, raw, primitive blackened death assault (for some unknown reason) but what burst from the speakers was anything but.

The music on The 3rd Step is about as diverse as a community college classroom. It ranges from quasi death metal in short bursts in some songs; peaceful and serene melodies; funky and groovy riffs with a heavy bass; some eclectic and varying keyboards; guests vocals to coincide with Andrey Nova’s already capable pipes; and some cool twisting and turning tempos. It’s nearly impossible to pinpoint what sort of genre or subgenre Nova Art would squeeze into because they don’t follow any real pattern other than they create some incredibly pleasing music. On top of that, Nova Art has incredible energy and it just sounds like the band is simply having fun when performing their tunes.

During the first spin The 3rd Step was just a decent offshoot and change of pace from the typical various metal genres I listen to. However, when it came time to give the EP a fourth go-round, the music became all-consuming because of how passionate it is and how well done every song is. Even with the somewhat rap-styled vocals toward the end of “No More Pain” the album never seems contrived or cheap by any means. And as it turns out, I am apparently a fan of Britney Spears because the enjoyably poppy “Me Against the Music” is a cover of the former pop queen, though it’s infused with plenty of hard rock/metal. It’s a bit of an oddball sort of song but it actually fits the rest of the EP. Had no clue it was a Spears song but hey – Nova Art’s version is infectious (time to take down the Somewhere in Time, Cause of Death and Leprosy posters from my garage walls).

The 3rd Step is clearly not for everybody. There are so many different elements of music within each song and so many different types of bands’ styles pop in and out all over the place. The keen ear will easily spot a little bit of Katatonia, later-day Paradise Lost, and A Perfect Circle, but you can also spot some traits of current day Amorphis, Arkan and Soen. A few times there were scattered passages that resembled Sound Tribe Sector 9 and Incubus (the radio-friendly Incubus, not the awesome Florida death metal band that became Opprobrium) as well, further bolstering their eclectic style of music.

All in all, The 3rd Step is an exceptionally diverse album with plenty of nooks and crannies. It’s not a traditional metal album by any means, regardless of metal genre. The EP was actually released in 2011 but it only recently got a Stateside release a few months ago. If The 3rd Step is any indicator of how full-length number three will be for Nova Art, I’m all over it as well as their back catalog. I guess Russia is still great at keeping secrets from America…


[Visit the band's website]
Written by Mike Sloan
October 8th, 2012


  1. Commented by: AndyN

    Thanks for a cool review!

    Andy, NOVA ART

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