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Symphony Novel: Aria

Aria is the debut recording for progressive, instrumental, experimental, Mumbai, India band Symphony Novel. The band is made up of Gauri Aayer, on lead vocals; Rachit Sachdeva and Vivek Khati on guitars; Jerson Anthony, on bass; and Virendra Kaith, on drums.

The sound is deep, rich and formidable from beginning to end on this unique and powerful debut album. The band adds a stylistic touch of Indian classical singing textured with some of the most powerful drums I've heard this year.

Bhavika Shetty's lead female vocals are so unique and powerful. Her voice is full of mystic wonder and enrapturing allure. You can especially hear and feel this from the opening track "Chant". The track is comprised of two slokas or mantras addressing the Goddess Lakshmi and Lord Shiva respectively. Although the thundering drums, chunky bass, and soft guitar build a wonderful soundscape, it is Shetty's vocals which make this one of the best tracks on the album.

"The Lake" is a darker song and Gino Banks's drums will kick the walls of your room or your ears surrounded by headphones. The slow drawn lead electric guitar work is exceptional. Gauri Aayer's lead female vocals steal the show, "There is a lake inside of me. It takes me to a different world". This music will do the same. A perfect diversion from the normal. Aayer's vocals are the perfect mix of traditional Indian and current hard rock persona. As the track progresses the power bass and lead guitar will vibrate your walls as the drum kicks the windows. Slow delivered but powerful.

"Disorder" is yet another album highlight. It opens with some of the best slow acoustic guitar I have heard this year. Then the revving lead electric guitars, along with the bass build a rhythm and melody as those smashing drums punctuate everything so well. One word describes this smasher…POWER. Sit back and enjoy this instrumental wonder.

"Infirmity" will make any heavy metal fan happy. Prepare your ears for a power assault like you have probably not heard this year. Not only do you get Aayer's exquisite lead female vocals singing a chant rhythm at the opening, you get those pulverizing bass and drums that Black Sabbath was known for during the '70s.

"Tranquillize" is almost too Western, after all the exotic sounds that have come before it. The rhythm and melody sound like Rush or Dream Theater. However, Gino Banks's drums, and Sheldon D' Silva's bass take me back to early "Working Man" Rush, not the finessed style of the '80s. This is early Black Sabbath drum and bass power, with massive lead power chords playing over. Another great instrumental powerhouse.

"Smokin Sap" has a familiar rhythm and melody to some of your favorite heavier rock favorites. The heavy drums and bass are there. So is that wonderful lead electric plowing through. Only this time Aayer's vocals make their return, "Let's break the distance. Let's breathe the age. Crystalize every moment". Yah, seize the day!

"The album art is a piece depicting a man bowing down atop an altar of rock. It is comprised of simple strokes placed closely together to create a sense of intricacy and tension to personify principles of surrender and grace which is very much in keeping of the first track "Chant" (, 2013).

Each track is at least over 3 minutes long, so you will definitely get a good overview of the power this band brings to the table. They left no stone unturned in this strong debut album. I will continue to enjoy this album as we wait for the next.

Track Listing:

1. Chant
2. The Lake
3. Disorder
4. Infirmity
5. Tranquillize
6. Smokin Sap

Added: September 29th 2013
Reviewer: Mark Johnson
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Language: english

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» Reader Comments:

Symphony Novel: Aria
Posted by Rohan Sachdeva on 2013-10-04 05:10:48
My Score:

Brilliant review for a briliant album by Symphony Novel . Great work Mark ..!!..cheers..!!

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