Nova
Soli contro il mondo

Back in 2008, I reviewed an an album called Vltra by an Italian black metal band called Spite Extreme Wing for another webzine, and I loved it ( the release was also reviewed on these very pages with a similarly positive result). Well, the band is no more, I still play the song “ix” alot, but along comes the mysterious Italian act Nova and their second album Soli contro il mondo, (‘Standing alone against the world’), and I swear they could be Spite Extreme Wing reborn.

Sharing the same jagged, punky, jangly take on black metal, rife with heroic, folky Romanic/Hellenic  melodies and gruff vocals, Nova’s grasp on gripping, epic. Morioconne-ian  and cantankerously catchy riffs is melded with Macabre Omen‘s rousing warmongering and  Furia’s (Poland’s one) swaggering, bluesy, confidence and saunter. The end result is one of 2018s best black metal albums and one of my favorite albums of the year. (Though technically it was released in 2017 on  the unwieldy  limited A5 sized format, it’s getting a re-release on regular digipack/jewel case in 2018).

Things get right to the riffs with opener “Guerra per il firmamento” which teases a folky/medieval musical triste, but explodes with a tremelo punk fury about a minute in. “Crolla l’empireo” starts with a punky swagger then settles into a nice mid paced trot before my favorite track, “Pietra della corona di Lucifero” enters the fray. It even introduces a little highland pipes to the game before delivering one of 2018s most epic black metal riffs.

Some of the beauty of the riffs is the simplicity , especially the dancing, steady bass which backs everything with a simple, effective, punk driven twang and throb. The vocals, are  not typical black metal shrieks or rasps, but a more throaty, authoritative, distant shout, but it fits the riffs perfectly. hell. as a guy that really doesn’t care for instrumentals, the rambunctious “Ad Apollo” kept my attention, though being under 3 minutes probably helped.

A few adventurous sprinkles keep things interesting such as aforementioned pipes, the brief clean chants in “Universo  campo di sterminio” (reminding of “Ave vittoria” from the bands debut, Il Ritorno), in  or intense blast beats  of “Contro il drago e il toro”, but my only minor grip is closing track “Terra dei morti” is actually a bit of a let down, even with the hidden track tacked on the end. But that does not stop  Soli contro il mondo from being one of my very favorite releases so far of 2018 and one of my favorite newly discovered bands of the last few years.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by E. Thomas
April 27th, 2018

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