Review Summary: Nouveau comes across like an epic metallic screamo play full of emotion. It's truly the most beautiful album I've ever heard.
I’m not going to lie I used to be an ignorant and stubborn metal head who thought Dream Theater was the epitome of music. Oh how wrong I was and thanks to sputnik and albums such as Protest The Hero’s Kezia
and Converge’s You Fail Me
, I started looking into the wide spectrum of hardcore. Needless to say when I saw DFelon’s review of The Pax Cecilia’s Blessed Are The Bonds
, I was intrigued. Its mix of metallic hardcore and ambient post-rock was something I had never heard before and its epic beauty blew me away. I’m sure most of you checking out this review have heard Blessed Are The Bonds
so let me start by saying Nouveau
is a different album and that comparing the two would be a pointless exercise. In fact the only comparison I will make is that Nouveau
is every bit as powerful as Blessed Are The Bonds
, it’s just in a much more condensed form.
This album is all about melancholic beauty and depressive rage and the music often switches between the two. Leaving you in awe and despair as the albums epic sadness washes over you. But at heart this is a heavy album and it comes across as one epic metallic screamo play. In fact this is a concept album written like a play in three acts. Its full title being Nouveau: A Theater Of Air
, although truthfully it’s hard to tell what the hell the albums actually about. The theme of love stands out and it’s mentioned that the in the play Nouveau, “one man is irreparably helpless when faced with the questions of the world.”
The lyrics are deep and suit the vastness of the music. From the beginning this album sucks you into its sad beauty with the violin and acoustic guitar in Opening Monologue
which seamlessly transitions into the schizophrenic Beneath Every Powerline
where acoustic beauty mesmerizes you before taking your breath away with tortured screams, thrash drumming and distorted guitar but before suffocating the anger gives way to acoustics and soft clean vocals. Which flows into An Aurora
which is a majestic instrumental featuring an inspiring combination of violin and guitar. MDCCLXXV
is a short bit of depressive acoustic guitar which explodes into the albums two centerpiece tracks Fluorescence A.D. 1492
and Phosphorescence A.D. 79
Similarly schizophrenic tracks like Beneath Every Powerline
they both feature the heavy combination of metal and screamo, grand buildups and epic explosions of violins and guitars. The lyrics of these two songs are noticeable depressive with lines like, “On my deathbed you’ll be screaming repentance to the rhythm of my slowing heartbeat. God, I have never known a thought so lovely.” England; A Theatre Of Air
opens with piano playing but quickly the drums and distorted guitars come in and then the song explodes and sweeps you away with a driving rhythm and a powerful mix of screamed, yelled and sung vocals. The calms down only to build back up in one of Nouveau’s
most emotional moments that happens at about 4:20 in the song and continues until its end. As quickly as it came the albums closer A Denouement
is here. Epic piano and some of the most emotional vocals I’ve ever heard open the song. It builds up tension as the drums come in with a rolling rhythm and when the buildup explodes with guitar and violin combining perfectly with the piano and drums and the singing rising over the grand sound, it will hit you. Nouveau redefines musical beauty.
Every player on this album is technically capable of doing what they need to do although don’t expect blazing solos or shred fests. The vocals are one of the best things here as the screams have an emotion behind them akin to Jacob Bannon and the clean vocals are marvelous too. Nouveau’s
production is also very well done as nothing really gets lost even in the most distorted and heavy sections of the album. Yet the production is raw enough to convey plenty of emotion, something I think perfect productions can ruin. My one complaint about the album is it short, only 35 minutes long but if you think about this as one song, the conceptual play that it is, 35 minutes long is pretty good. To put it simply if you like Blessed Are The Bonds
or are simply looking for something new, you must check out Nouveau
as it is truly the most beautiful album I’ve ever come across.