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Dark Nova: Sivilla

Black Lotus Records has been signing lots of European metal bands in the last couple of years. Along with Sarissa, Dark Nova is another experienced Greek band on their roster. They've been around since 1987, but have only released three albums so far, Sivilla being their latest work. Unfortunately, I would have expected a more solid output from a band that's been around for nearly two decades.

Sivilla is in many ways an average heavy/power metal disc with some interesting classical music-inspired guitar solos, symphonic synth work, and a vocalist who must definitely be a big fan of Warrel Dane from Nevermore and Sanctuary. Sadly though, his voice shakes a lot when hitting the higher notes, and it becomes a bigger tragedy when he attempts to remain in that range. On the chorus of "Desperate Act", vocalist Michael Choulakis certainly shows his appreciation for Dane, albeit being slightly off-key. The instrumentation on the song is solid though, especially the guitar and keyboard interplay followed by a neoclassical solo. Another Nevermore-like track is "In A Crevasse of Time", which kicks in after a brief folky instrumental piece that has great church organ and distant soprano vocals echoing in the background. The song starts heavy, quietens down to give the keys some space, and picks up again with furious guitar and bass, and a very Warrel Dane-like vocal melody, despite Choutakis' limited range. It then segues into a swift thrash metal passage and even uses some Greek motifs along the way to develop its own character. As a matter of fact, all songs are rhythm-based, and often border on thrash metal, but the way the double bass drums and classically inspired guitars are played, the band falls somewhere in between power and heavy. For example, "Come into My Nightmare" is a power metal song in terms of vocals, while "Out of the Silence" kicks off as a modern thrash metal outing that quickly picks up symphonic synth work and takes on a somewhat gothic vibe. "Say No More" sees them blending power and thrash, and "A Drifter in Stillness" has many changes in rhythm and time signatures with an uplifting unision solo at the end.

The album's production is subpar and often reminds me of Turkish band Almora's first record. The mix is loose and the sonic quality is low. There is little to no punch in the rhythm guitars, while the bass and drums are too sterile. It's a shame that Dark Nova, after six long years, has returned with such a derivative and even disappointing album. I much prefer Sarissa's last album over this one.

Track Listing

  1. Avernus
  2. Come into My Nightmares
  3. Desperate Act
  4. Sivilla
  5. El Cant De La Sibil
  6. In a Crevasse of Time
  7. Flight to the Unknown
  8. Out of the Silence
  9. Reach for the Sky
  10. Say No More
  11. A Drifter in Stillness
  12. Too Late to Hide

Added: October 13th 2005
Reviewer: Murat Batmaz
Related Link: Dark Nova website
Hits: 2408
Language: english

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