Metal is a music genre that allows for molds to be broken. It gives a canvas for bands and artists to experiment and try something new while also providing music with a heavy tone and emotion. This is definitely the case with Novallo’s newest EP “Novallo II”. Novallo is a progressive metal band out of Columbus, Ohio looking to try something new by blending the sounds of bands like Between The Buried And Me and Periphery, with a vocal approach similar to Justin Timberlake and influences of early jazz.
At first, when I heard the Justin Timberlake influence listed with a metal band, it make me concerned, but also interested how it would work. The EP opens up with the track “Betty Phage Goes to Bronxton” (well, after a 30 second lead in). It opens with a very upbeat sounding riff showing off some of the talents of this group. The guitar provides a fun and uplifting riff while the drums keep it heavy.
The second song “1 AM” is a personal favorite of mine and a great track to get an understanding of the previous statement how the vocals approach a Justin Timberlake style influence. The main riffs from both the guitar and keyboard show off their technical skills as a band, while showing their influence of pop by making it sound fun.
The next song, “Sideways Bird”, changes the sound a bit for the band and gives light into their alternative influence while still keeping it really heavy. This track is one of the heavier tracks on the album but portrays a more upbeat feel similar to some of the other songs on the album. Throughout the song, the band keeps the intensity but allows their pop and jazz influences shine through to give the track more life.
The album slows down a bit once “Give Gravity A Choice” starts and provides a somber break in the music. This gives a moment to allow the band and album to breathe. The vocalist uses this to put more passion in his melodies and the band works well together to provide that calm and soothing atmosphere.
The second to last song, “White Phoenix” is a personal favorite, especially with the chiptune lead in. This track is a great blend of all the influences they have and showcases some extremely intricate riffs. During this song, the guitar riff matches some of the vocal patterns the singer does to create a call and response section. This was definitely a strong way to close out the album and make it memorable.
This whole EP is a piece of art and is very different that what other progressive metal bands are doing right now. I would highly recommend checking this album out for yourself to get a glimpse into what they are making. This EP will not be for everyone, but it is worth checking out.
Highlight Tracks: 1 AM, White Phoenix
To catch our interview with their guitarist, Gino Bambino, and their drummer, Nick Salvatore, go to this link here to listen to our full conversation.
If you want a taste of Novallo’s music for yourself, check out their Bandcamp page or the video for their song “Sideways Bird” below.