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MUSIC REVIEW: SYLVAINE – Nova

| 5 March 2022 | Reply

Label: Season Of Mist

Release Date: March 4, 2022

Rating: 89%

Reviewer: Todd “Toddstar” Jolicoeur

With the day job keeping me busy in the office, I have had a lot of time to throw on some releases I wouldn’t normally check out.  After listening to the latest offering from Sylvaine, I had to revisit the disc a couple times before deciding whether or not to review it or if I even really liked it.  Full disclosure: I am not one of those guys that enjoys listening to screaming, yelling, guttural vocals, etc.  Disc opener “Nova” is a beautiful piece that features a lot of ethereal instrumentation as well as some beautiful layered vocals that highlight Sylvaine’s great voice as well as her diverse tones and ability to layer the vocals adding depth and dimension to the track and disc.  The swirl of music and vocals is a great kick start to the album.  “Mono No Aware” is one of those songs that hits the spot of ‘no where near my normal listening’ that I referenced above.  The guttural vocals aside, the music is very well constructed and has a great blend of driven erratic music and some heavier material like in the opening track.  This track shows how well Sylvaine grasps both types of music and knows how to bring them together.  “Fortapt” flows from the soft and delicate to hard rock with heavy bottom end and solid guitars.  Sylvaine’s vocals gain strength without getting too heavy as the song ebbs and flows, until the song turns the corner and demonstrates not only how well she cultivates a song that has different textures and elements, but how easy she makes it sound.  The different sounds and layers reflect the emotional content of the lyric.  Disc closer and bonus track “Dissolution” ties together most of the package with sonic tidbits that give us more to digest, especially if you listen and absorb the percussion and drum parts, the subtle bass work, the different guitar sounds, and of course her varied vocal styles (less the guttural) that all seem to shine while in the darkness.

“Nowhere, Still Somewhere” has a great tempo and cadence that draws you in with a piano / keyboard interlude kicking the track off before Sylvaine’s voice joins in and delivers one of the best vocals on the disc.  The emotional delivery gives you a feel for depth and sadness rolling through her head and heart while getting this song out into the world.  I find myself listening to this song over and over and picking up new nuances and sonic nuggets each time through.  “I Close My Eyes So I Can See” is an interesting song that has an almost pop vibe rolling through the speakers at first listen, but soon the bottom end kicks in and the fuzz rock sound seems to grow until Sylvaine’s voice is poured overtop the musical accompaniment and gives us another song to really enjoy the lush voice she brings to the table.  This one is my favorite of the tracks on the disc, as it gives us beautiful vocals, music that has an edge without overpowering the song.  There are some of the guttural vocals near the bridge, but somehow they add to the songs overall vibe.  “Everything Must Come To An End” is an orchestral track that has vocals… I don’t know how else to explain it.  The music is the star of the song as it builds from the opening, taking on an almost musical soundtrack feel.  The guitar work adds to the songs overall feel while Sylvaine’s voice once again draws you in and begs you to listen.  With a tour on the horizon, I hope I get the opportunity to hear some of these tracks in a live setting to see how differently they are delivered in the moment.

Tracklisting: Nova – Mono No Aware – Nowhere, Still Somewhere – Fortapt – I Close My Eyes So I Can See – Everything Must Come To An End – Dissolution

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Category: CD Reviews

About the Author ()

ToddStar - that's me... just a rocking accountant who had dreams of being a rock star. I get to do the next best thing to rocking the globe - I get to take pictures of the lucky ones that do. I love to shoot all genres of music and different types of performers. If it is related to music, I love to photograph it. I get to shoot and hang with not only some of my friends and idols, but some of the coolest people around today.

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