ALBUM REVIEW: Black Nova – Dagoba

The Seventh outing for French quartet Dagoba sets to expand their horizons with Black Nova. Two years since their last release Tales of the Black Dawn the highly anticipated release sets to showcase France’s highly skilled metal artists in spectacular fashion.

Opening with a slow but gradually thrilling Tenebra, the synths build up as the punch of the drums guides the album into life ready to explode into Inner Sun. The song wastes no time and launches its riffs straight into the listener, Shawters growls are strong and forceful, soaring alongside the synthesised chaos echoing below. The chorus showcases his clean singing ability, introducing a melodic hook to bring through the riffs and electronic atmosphere. Leading towards the end all chaos is unleashed into a systematic breakdown both the guitars and the keys smashing together in stunning fashion. The Legacy of Ares follows suit with a fast-paced smash, the double bass drums bringing the song into the next dimension, the bands clear technical ability shine here as Shawter roars meld the monstrosities together. Midway through DAGOBA slow down the guitars, dialling back and smashing back with a massive riff that’s sure to destroy any crowd caught within its path.

Stone Ocean sees the return of the electronic elements, sitting in the background of a slower attack, Shawters vocals still full of power as the anger is mixed against his cleans. Bringing in an almost dubstep like breakdown the band shoes their experimental side, the mix is tasteful and not overbearing, never taking away from the song itself. The Infinite Chase transitions across in an empty electronic abyss before blazing out in full speed. The riffs are tight and consistent with superb cleans and melody leading the songs anthemic feel. The Grand Emptiness storms closely behind bringing with it symphonic backdrop reminiscent of FLESHGOD APOCALYPSE with the piercing strings and quick firing blast beats. The industrial elements here are nailed perfectly as they are in Lost Gravity, slowing down the pace but turning up the groove with their PANTERA influence coming to light. The slower pace allows the for the melody to drive the song, Nicolas Bastos’ shines here with an impressive drumming performance, the fills and feel of this song really show. The closing riff here is a belter, one the shows their groove roots and rivals that of the masters of the sub-genre.

Fire Dies is rightfully aggressive, easily the heaviest song on the album with its crushing drums and bass, tightly picked tremolo guitars and low almost guttural level vocals creating a brutal mesh for the listener to relish. Midway the electronic elements return and after a soaring break re-join the madness to guide the song to a reeling close. At almost seven minutes long Phoenix et Corvus is on an almost scale, allowing for plenty of changes along its way. Starting with a bouncy groove ad leading its way to a super catchy chorus the song progresses to a guitar solo echoing above the synths and drums in beautiful reverberated harmony. Closer Vantablack starts slowly and sadly with a minor transition before a storming riff alongside insanely fast double bass blasts, propelling the song at a sonic level yet losing none of the albums aggressive edge. Showing the band will not go quietly the vocals here are sublime, piercing highs and consistent screams guide the song through to its chorus where the crystal cleans mix beautifully with amazing results.

Black Nova is a highly impressive release, with plenty of industrial touches alongside its heavy groove based attack , coupled with a high quality production and plenty of songs to enjoy repeatedly, it’s a must have for the open minded metal head.

Rating 8/10

Black Nova - Dagoba

Black Nova is out now via Century Media Records.

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