Nouveau is the second CD from The Pax Cecilia. The best label, if one even can be found, for this CD is Experimental Metal. It is mainly an instrumental piece. The vocals are predominantly in the background and serve as a support instrument. The gutteral vocals and drumming keep this as a Metalcore CD, but if so, it is Platinum, the softest of all metals.
The enjoyable parts of this CD are the unbalanced attacks that come at you. From Classical symphonic lines to Thrash Metal to balladry, to driving progressive instrumentals all changing with blinding segues and somehow fitting together.
A CD that I kind of like on first listen but somehow know I have to dig deeper, always appeals to me. This CD got that reaction from the start. When you have Electric Guitar, Bass Flute, Keyboards, Cellist and Orchestral Percussion as your primary instruments on a Metal album, you know something out of the ordinary is coming.
The CD is broken into 3 acts. Although I assume there is some higher notion for this, the CD seems to flow through without really needing the Act/Scene makeup. The guttural screams that make up the vocals do not so much sing songs as act as a counter to the nice guitar soloing of Daniel James. James' sense of melody keeps this CD moving from one aspect to another. If he keeps his sense of style, he could be a guitarist that we hear much from.
Act 3 is made up of two songs that are completely opposite and shows the dichotomy of TPC. The first song, "England", is the most metalcore and the second, "A Denouement", is the only song that could be considered melodic. Every other song combines these two extremes.
I give The Pax Cecilia a ton of credit for creating something completely unique. Apposing sections sound completely different and you are left constantly changing moods. This challenge can easily be annoying, but not with Nouveau. Using this as a foundation, this band might really show us something as they continue to grow as song writers. This is a solid second CD by this band. It is recommended for anyone who likes experimentation, good driving rhythms and doesn't mind guttural vocals.
Act 1: Beneath Every Powerline There Is Still A Graveyard
1) An Aurora
Act 2: Fluorescence A.D. 1429 Burning the Body of Joan of Arc, or "Cupid"
3) Phosphorescence A.D. 79: Burying the City of Pompeii, or "Psyche"
Act 3: England, Theater of the Air
4) A Denouement