NOVALIS: PARADISE...?
CD: Ars Musica Diffundere AMD009 [2005]

Part I
Last Summers Rose
Where is the Paradise
Never Ending Lie
When Darkness Falls
Humans Front
In Her Arms
Suddenly
Jonas
September Day
Wild Horses
Part II
* Data track/MPEG Video 'Of the Golden Future Time' live

"Paradise...?" is Novalis' second full-length studio album and a welcome repose to their first album, "Last Year's Calling", building on the stylistic elements of folk previously established.

It is hard to shake the Death in June comparative mantle, the crystalline acoustic guitar rhythms buoyed on frugal use of horns and synths, yet Novalis prove with conviction their mastery in that well trodden path. The production quality is pristine, faultless. Sparse tracks hook the listener with the jangle and emotive vocals to then swell anthem-like to the backing of crisp percussion, smooth full bass, and choir and orchestral strings. The German duo can't quite shake that foreign twang to the English-lyrics yet they evince passionate pleas and sensate contemplation with every track without fail. The album's music tends to digital programming a little in some tracks but despite that careful composition is diligently applied and nurtured throughout. Instrumentation remains consistent through each track but Novalis skillfully segue chordal progression and rhythmic dissimilarities with a subtlety that unfolds only with repeated listening. While there are not quite as memorable tracks like 'Courage', 'What If?' and 'Of the Golden Future Time' from their first album "Paradise...?" is a worthy heir apparent.


NYR

[Novalis] / [Ars Musica Diffundere]

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