Novelists FR
C'est La Vie


3.5
great

Review

by Get Low USER (19 Reviews)
March 7th, 2020 | 18 replies


Release Date: 01/24/2020 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Such is life

Novelists FR, formerly just "Novelists", are a progressive metalcore band from Paris, France. Their first two albums, Souvenirs and Noir, stretched between both ends of the progressive metalcore genre, with Souvenirs leaning toward the heavier "metalcore" side, and Noir erring on the more creative "progressive" side. After listening to and enjoying these two albums regularly since their releases, I was left to wonder how the band would progress on their third album. My initial guess was that they would gravitate toward the center of their chosen genre, finding a middle ground between the riffs and the experimentation. In some senses this is what did occur on C'est La Vie, but more so I believe this album represents Novelists FR at their most accessible.

C'est La Vie kicks off with Somebody Else, in which Florestan begins with one of his signature technical riffs, eventually expounded upon with the pulsating rhythm section. After a few repetitions, Matteo comes in, singing with his always evident but no less endearing French-accented English. After a few alternations between singing and screaming, Matteo delivers the sung chorus overtop of a rhythmic riff in forte. After the second verse and a guitar solo, the song concludes with a revisit of the chorus.

Novelists FR use this similar verse-chorus-verse-chorus structure in almost every song on C'est La Vie; and although this isn't too out of the ordinary for them, it sets them apart from the majority of their peers in the genre, who tend to go in a more sporadic direction with their songwriting. The one outlier on the album is the title track, which is a softer duet with guest vocalist Camille Contreras. The song gradually crescendos to what I would consider to be the chorus – if it weren't followed by a disappointingly abrupt fadeout. But despite its relatively short length, it still stands as one of the standout tracks thanks to some brilliant atmospheric guitar-work and Camille's sensuous singing.

Unfortunately, the other two guest vocal appearances, which occur on Kings of Ignorance and Rain, add nothing of value to either song. Matteo, who is a far more experienced vocalist than Florent Salfati (LANDMVRKS, mediocre band) and Michael Hirst (Nubia, great band), could have easily covered these vocal spots himself, and it would have likely sounded much better. Thankfully, the closing track Human Condition features not a guest vocalist, but a guest guitar solo from Aaron Marshall (Intervals, great band) that blends seamlessly well with the rest of the song. The outro of this track, which sounds like the far off strumming of the main riff on an unplugged electric guitar, concludes the album in a lighthearted way that makes me smile despite wishing that the album were longer.

Overall, C'est La Vie is Novelists FR playing within the confines of their comfort zone, but also sticking to the basics of what has worked for them in the past. The crushing intros, thick riffs, catchy choruses and glossy production are all present. But at only 37 minutes, a 15+ minute cut from their previous albums, the album reads more like a novella rather than a novel. Still, if there's one album I'd recommend to someone checking out Novelists FR for the first time, it would have to be C'est La Vie, due to its modest length and straightforward nature.



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user ratings (42)
3.2
good

Comments:Add a Comment 
Get Low
March 7th 2020


7588 Comments


Kinda didn't want to review this album because I don't love it like I do their first two, but since no one else had taken the liberty I decided to bite the bullet.

OwMySnauze
March 8th 2020


2055 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

I miss the vocalist’s vocal style and guitar technicality from Souvenirs. Wish they’d go back to their roots

bloc
March 8th 2020


60100 Comments


I remember this having really catchy guitar

Get Low
March 8th 2020


7588 Comments


The riffs are stupid catchy, as always.

"I miss the vocalist's vocal style...from Souvenirs"

What specifically do you miss about it? I think Matteo has done nothing but improve since Souvenirs.

parksungjoon
March 8th 2020


15977 Comments


metalcore
progressive metal
post hardcore
tag


Similar Bands: Elitist, Kadinja, ERRA, Periphery, Invent Animate

Digging: 420 - Reality

Get Low
March 8th 2020


7588 Comments


As far as genre tags and "similar bands" go on Sput, that's actually one of the most accurate I've seen.

parksungjoon
March 8th 2020


15977 Comments




SitarHero
Contributing Reviewer
March 8th 2020


11441 Comments


"didn't want to review this album because I don't love it"
Yeah, pretty much why I didn't write a review. The album was okay to the point where I just didn't have any feelings strong enough to write about.

notagenius
March 8th 2020


193 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

pos'd

favorite track is Somebody Else, masterful riffs

Digging: The Intersphere - The Grand Delusion

Get Low
March 8th 2020


7588 Comments


Thanks man. Somebody Else is also my favorite, along with Modern Slave.

OwMySnauze
March 8th 2020


2055 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Felt like his vox were more dynamic and more aggressive on Souvenirs. They just seemed more interesting

Get Low
March 8th 2020


7588 Comments


I get that. There was definitely a lot more screaming on that album. He's all about his singing now.

SteakByrnes
March 9th 2020


17677 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

I like this a bit more than you, but I get your points. Solid review mane

Digging: Invent Animate - Greyview

Get Low
March 9th 2020


7588 Comments


ty ty

Beardog
March 9th 2020


3303 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Has some cool riffs, but most of it is very boring with awkward phrasing and vocals... Production is also not the best

Get Low
March 13th 2020


7588 Comments


DON'T BRING ME BACK TO THE GROUND, LIFE LOOKS BETTER UP THERE
FAR FROM THE VOICES OF THE WORLD

SteakByrnes
March 13th 2020


17677 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

Matt's gotten a lot better at writing lyrics over the years

Get Low
March 13th 2020


7588 Comments


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