Band: A Novelist
Genre: Progressive Death/ Melodic Death
FFO: Between the Buried and Me, Opeth, The Faceless
Now when I say this album has incredible production, I am not kidding. With the help of sound engineer Jamie King, the same man behind the sound of Between the Buried and Me, A Novelist bring us this onslaught of straight proggy death in the form of their Sophomore album, Folie. With all the work split between 2 very talented musicians, Alex Babineaux and Ben Nugent. Babineaux delivers one hell of performance behind the kit. Some of the best sounding blast beats. Mixed in with thumping double bass and usage of every single inch of his kit, Babineaux knows how to play proggy drums. Stopping on a dime to switch between heavy as balls to toned down melodic gold. Ben Nugent shows he has skill with the guitar on this one. Like the drums, he is able to switch styles just like that. His soaring sweeps grab the listeners attention and doesn’t let go. Solos that make your skin melt. Very proggy riffs that set the pace. The vocals are done quite well. Both the highs and lows hit home. At times the lows are a bit quiet but then it switches to highs so you don’t even notice. Mid range screams at their finest. Cleans show up throughout the album. Imagine a Aaron Gillespie (Underoath) fronting The Faceless.
Now this is a real Progressive album. I say that because A Novelist are able to take a bunch of different styles and roll into a unique style. They start nice and slow and get you in a very calm relaxed state then hit you with never ending prog. Of course embracing their progressive roots with songs like ‘Exteriors” and “Apparitions”. But then throw a curve ball with songs like “Tombeau” and “Strangers in the House of Auto-da-Fe” (one hell of a title might I add) that really show off a very melodic death sound that would make At the Gates jealous. All while able to throw in some very jazzy riffs that fill the emptiness. The highlight of the album is “Acacia Crown”. Starting off nice and slow but then hits you with some heavy double bass and some incredible riffs. The only real downside I found while listening to “Folie” was that some songs do mold into each other. Hard to tell songs apart.
For anyone who enjoys Progressive metal this will be one of the best albums of 2019, in my opinion. For people who aren’t super into it I believe this will still blow you away. I hate using this phrase but this a very exhausting listen. If your not sitting down in a quiet room you won’t be able to really enjoy this album. I look forward to A Novelists future work. I hope they don’t take 4 years to crank on their next album.
Rating: 8.5 out of 10
Strongest song: Acacia Crown