Nova – Veniamo Dal Cielo Review

Characteristically late and underwhelming, I have arrived at my final review of the year. This has been a very, very unpredictable year for yours truly. What better way to reflect upon unpredictability than by diving into the promo pit one last time, and snatching up one of few remaining gems stones of unknown color things emblazoned with the label of black metal? Tonight’s offering comes from Italy, in the form of Veniamo Dal Cielo, the third full-length from Nova. Formed in 2003, the band waited a long time1 to release their first album, but have maintained a steady course since their 2014 debut. Veniamo Dal Cielo is their most recent output. The time of year is right, the style is right, the timing is right, and I am ready to dive right in.

Nova have an interesting sound, and it took me a while to figure out how to describe it; so far, the best I’ve come up with is that they play a very thick, grounded kind of black metal. Couple that with a clear production job on most instruments (the vocals being the primary exception), and I feel like I’m listening to something pretty different, and certainly not what I expected. A few touches of clean, atmospheric influence, particularly on introductions (“In Lotta Elevata”) and interludes (“La Guerra delle Ombre”), and voila – Nova. On paper, it’s an interesting concept, and the band sounds just different enough that I don’t find myself rolling my eyes or wishing for “the band that sounds like this, but better” at any point throughout Veniamo Dal Cielo. So far, so good.

Unfortunately, I don’t find I’m really able to connect with Veniamo Dal Cielo the way I wish I could, or the way I feel like I should with black metal albums. There’s no real sense of aggression or passion behind the songs; a lot of them feel cold and distant, and I don’t mean that in the good, icy riffing kind of way. The album just sort of comes and goes, feeling longer than its compact runtime2 suggests. I have trouble differentiating song from song, and there’s no real moment that makes me want to really think, cry, scream, throw something at something else, or charge down a bloody field leading the army that’s going to conquer the stronghold of my enemies. In all music, these moments of catharsis are important to include, and especially so in any kind of metal, let alone the black kind. I really couldn’t say if passion is a victim of the production, the songwriting, or the performances, but the feeling that something isn’t here that should be is overwhelming across the album.

With that said, I don’t want to send the impression that Veniamo Dal Cielo is a bad album, nor the one that Nova is a band to avoid. I say that for a few key reasons: firstly, I greatly appreciate the guitar work on this album. The riffing is wonderfully varied, and the guitar tone is thick and awesome. Songs like “In Lotta Elevata” and “Dio Del Ghiaccio e Del Lampo” have moments of real flair. Everyone in the band has a moment to shine somewhere on Veniamo Dal Cielo; if I find I’m not so excited about the album as a whole, there’s an obvious measure of talent and good work here. That I don’t connect with much of it is unfortunate, but I do believe that there’s a good black metal album waiting to see light in Nova’s creative compositors — this just doesn’t seem to be it.

I wish I had a little more to say about this record, but truthfully, it’s a bit hard to talk about music that doesn’t really move you. The extent of what I feel I can say is this — Nova is a band with talent, vision, and a cool sound, and I sincerely hope to hear it all better realized next time. I’ve liked everything I’ve seen about this band, from their concept to their artwork to their most righteous of concepts3. So I’m really crossing fingers for the next one.

Rating: 2.5/5.0
DR: 7 | Format Reviewed: 320 kbps mp3
Label: ATMF
Websites: |
Released Worldwide: December 13th, 2019

Show 3 footnotes

  1. Eleven years!
  2. Nine songs in under forty minutes, I applaud the restraint!
  3. I mean really, look at that cover.
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