Novareign – Reign Of The Infinite Sun
Novareign – Reign Of The Infinite Sun (2014)
Reviewed by Daniel Millard
I think that the Euro-power addiction has caught on with enough young Americans by now so as to be irrefutably here to stay. The latest new group in a steady river of examples, Los Angeles, California’s Novareign has put forth a demo entitled Reign Of The Infinite Sun, a recording that bears its inspiration pretty openly. In addition to tapping the influence of Dragonforce’s hyperkinetic approach, this demo includes some nods of complexity to acts like Symphony X and perhaps even Angra’s older, speedier work, making for a good engaging listen in the guitar department.
Leaving the sound quality (which is predictably fairly poor) aside in analyzing Novareign’s performance here, I’m struck immediately by the guitar tone and hyperactivity. Sure, the axe work is fast and furious like you’d expect to hear from ultra-quick power acts like Victorius and Cellador, but I’m a fan of the sharp-edged tone that the band uses, and the fast picking comes across as surprisingly clean and proficient in a style of power metal that’s so easy to flub (I’m looking at you, Li and Totman). I wonder if this tone is due in part to the production value, but I hope it doesn’t change terrifically in any case.
All four songs are longer than six minutes, with closer “Black As The Dead Of Night” clocking in at just under nine. However, guitar and rhythm work is varied enough, the vocal melodies outstanding enough, and the solo work ballsy enough to hold my attention through the last few notes. The band slows down just briefly during songs like “Crimson Shield” to deliver some meatier riffs, and therefore avoids coming across as one-dimensional. Without being able to complain seriously about a lack of variety, the only place to turn my not-so-favorable attention to is singer David Marquez. His range is good and his melodies more than acceptable – but there are a few struggles with pitch and technique that are detrimental. This isn’t surprising, given the recording quality of the demo, the youth of the band, and the fact that this is a debut release. I withhold any real judgment until a full length is recorded. Marquez’s voice does work well for the band’s sound, and he undeniably boasts enough power and projection to punch through.
New projects like this always excite me, and I’ve not heard a demo as promising as Novareign’s in quite some time. Even without a high budget recording job, the sheer energy and buoyancy of these songs is enough to elevate Novareign’s potential to greater than that of a number of LPs that have been released this year. I expect great things from this project’s debut full-length album, and recommend that any fans of speedy and melody-focused power metal check out the band’s tunes.
3.75 // 5