Novelists FR
Noir


4.0
excellent

Review

by twlichty USER (10 Reviews)
February 23rd, 2018 | 174 replies


Release Date: 2017 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Paris based metalcore band Novelists have released a very enjoyable album with “Noir”, a more melodic venture than their last album “Souvenirs” with enough diversity to ensure replayability.

Metalcore seems to be one of the genres that people grow out of. Not to trash talk the genre in any way, but there are certainly a fair share of people who enjoyed the genre in their younger angst-filled days but distance themselves as they grow older and tastes change. It may be a generalization, but it certainly rings true for myself. While I continue to revisit some of the more consistent bands in the genre such as Norma Jean, August Burns Red and Every Time I Die, the genre as a whole has grown stale. Novelists is one of the newer bands that I’d add to that list of talented bands. They’re a band with a very distinct take on the genre and one whose technicality, heaviness and melodic skill are matched. This is partly due to vocalist Matteo Gelsomino’s unique vocal delivery. I was taken aback by his screaming technique on first listen, but it really grew on me. His mix of low growls and audible yelling paired with his great cleans and sense of melody makes for a dynamic vocal performance. This also leads to one of my biggest complaints about the album which is his annunciation. I understand that these guys are French and English is probably their second language, but I can barely understand what he is saying half the time. He tends to mumble and struggle to pronounce words which is unfortunate because his melodies are on point. Digging deeper into the lyrical content of the record also shows some pretty bland and weak themes.

The instrumentation does not falter throughout the run-time. The drum performance is well done and it’s easy to hear that the drummer has a great sense of when to let loose and when to make things a little simpler for the guitars to shine. The guitar parts from Novelists have always been what blows me away the most. Both guitarists have evolved and grown since their very impressive performance on 2015’s Souvenirs, and they focus more on beautiful atmospheric sections that morph into technical and groovy riffs. The band tries a lot of new things on this album, and most of them work. There is a jazzy saxophone solo on the second track “Monochrome” (which surprisingly works) and blues inspired guitar solos show up throughout. They also bring in some guest vocalists including Jesse Cash from the band Erra which adds even more vocal diversity.

“Noir” is one of the more beautiful sounding metalcore albums in recent memory and the mellow/ambient sections really shine throughout the album. The vocal melodies in these sections are a surprising but welcome shift from the heavy focus of their last record. Not that this album doesn’t have plenty of head-banging moments; “Grey Souls”, “Les Nuits Noires” and “A Bitter End” are straight-ahead metalcore bangers. Overall, Novelists have released an extremely impressive album with “Noir”, a record that has peaked my interested for popular metalcore music once again.




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Comments:Add a Comment 
SteakByrnes
February 23rd 2018


19493 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0 | Sound Off

Yoooooooooo this finally got a review, this album fucking rules



Also everybody always talks about the Jesse Cash feature but doesn't mention Zach Britt is in the same song :[ They're both my favorite vocalists haha, I was so happy to hear them collaborate on a song together

Digging: Spiritbox - Singles Collection

Get Low
February 24th 2018


7587 Comments


Nice review. The vocalist's accent doesn't bother me at all because his delivery is always so heartfelt. I don't really pay attention to metalcore lyrics anyway, but I read through some of this band's once, and they're actually pretty terrible from what I remember (which is ironic because of their name). I like the more melodic approach they took with this album though. This and Souvenirs are both kickass.

henryChinaski
February 24th 2018


4360 Comments


This is pretty good! Never heard of these guys. Don't know their older stuff, but this one has lots of prog metal influences which is great.

Get Low
February 24th 2018


7587 Comments


Definitely check out their first album. It's a bit heavier but just as good as this.

SteakByrnes
February 24th 2018


19493 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0 | Sound Off

This tops the debut in every way imo, but I love both albums a lot

Get Low
February 24th 2018


7587 Comments


Ehhhh, if I really had to pick one I would pick Souvenirs as their best, but they're both amazing yeah

twlichty
February 25th 2018


4386 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Both albums are awesome. It's hard to pick a fav for me. I am glad they took a more melodic approach on this one

SteakByrnes
February 25th 2018


19493 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0 | Sound Off

It's crazy how much stronger his singing got, and he seems to have more range

Get Low
February 25th 2018


7587 Comments


Don't watch live videos of the band unless you want your heart broken.

Jk I'll spoil it for you. The guy can't sing live. He basically just screams or shouts all the singing parts.

SteakByrnes
February 25th 2018


19493 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0 | Sound Off

That's a shame, at least he sounds spectacular in the studio

henryChinaski
February 25th 2018


4360 Comments


That guitar solo in Monochrome is the shit.

twlichty
February 25th 2018


4386 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Monochrome might be my favorite song this. No screaming, awesome melodies. Love it

twlichty
February 25th 2018


4386 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Get low - damn that's disappointing. He sounds so good on record

SitarHero
Contributing Reviewer
February 25th 2018


11978 Comments


"This also leads to one of my biggest complaints about the album which is his annunciation."

The sentence should read, "This also leads to one of my biggest complaints about the album, which is his enunciation."

Otherwise this is a good review. *pos* I'm glad this album got a review, lots of great riffs and the vocalist has a pretty unique voice. His harshes have an almost rap-like rhythm to them. I sometimes wish the vocals were in French though, even though it'd probably limit the appeal of the band within the genre.

Get Low
February 25th 2018


7587 Comments


The aesthetic of their music is so pleasant that I'm not sure if having French lyrics would be a huge detriment. Then again I don't know how many fans of this music actually value the lyrics.

SitarHero
Contributing Reviewer
February 25th 2018


11978 Comments


I think there's far more commercial appeal to having bad lyrics/enunciation in English than good lyrics and enunciation in French. Audiences just want to sing along and English makes that much easier, globally. Just look at Periphery, for instance. A lot of the lyrics are pretty awful, but people still learn them because of the hooks and melodies and sing along during shows.

Destrage (who I absolutely love) also have this issue. They're Italian but sing in English, so their enunciation and lyrics can be pretty hit or miss sometimes. But they write such strong hooks that it's still easy to sing along to. If it were in Italian then no one outside Italy would care about the band.

Get Low
February 26th 2018


7587 Comments


Oh, that's an interesting point. I don't go to shows so that isn't an issue for me, but I definitely see where you're coming from.

Daedus
February 26th 2018


219 Comments


I would enjoy this so much more if the vox were in French. That English is the band's second language is painfully clear. It's a mildly enjoyable spin otherwise.

SitarHero
Contributing Reviewer
February 26th 2018


11978 Comments


The riffs on this are crazy good. Under Different Welkins is so good it's kind of a shame that there are vocals of any kind in it.

SteakByrnes
February 26th 2018


19493 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0 | Sound Off

L'appel du Vide and Joie De Vivre are easily my favorites on the album



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