Novalis – Last years calling

After the promising mini cd “First cadence” now the first album from the German duo Novalis has been released. Stev Schumann and Marcel Hinkel bring us here eleven new neo-folk tracks. Released on Ars Musica Diffundere, a sublabel of Black rain. A strong point of the album is its emotional character, the songs are full of hate, doubts, return, faith and longing. The overall atmosphere is sad and gloomy. In comparison to their debut mini cd Novalis now uses more acoustic instruments, instead of only synthetic elements. Nevertheless the sound is often sober and elemental.

After an orchestral intro ‘Human’ directly starts in classic death in June tradition, with acoustic guitars and melancholic trumpets. The romantic lyrics are almost whispered. ‘Courage’ is a nice ballad, with guitar, a lovely piano and some orchestral synths. ‘What if’ contains some more drumming. The most catchy song is probably ‘Of the golden future time’, with a romantic orchestral refrain. ‘Vom Traum’ is the only song in German, according to me Novalis may do that more often. Other nice tracks are ‘Dying source’ and the ballad ‘Bloody’, which you may know from the Triton III sampler. I find the first half of the album the best though.

A decent album, with a lot of feeling. Novalis plays an honest type of music, and they don’t try to simply copy examples. Nevertheless a few more outstanding ideas and melodies could take them to a higher level on a next release. A few songs are a little too simple now. Furthermore I don’t find the vocals always convincing. But I have the feeling that this act is rapidly developing…

artist: Novalis
label: Ars Musica Diffundere
details: 11 tracks, 52 minutes