Review 1071 : Sylvaine – Nova – English

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Sylvaine announced her new album.

Created in 2013 by the Norwegian multi-instrumentalist Katherine Shepherd (vocals/all instruments), the project comes to life with a first album in 2014. Nova, her fourth full-length, comes out in 2022 at Season Of Mist.

On stage, she handles guitar and vocals, accompanied by Florian Ehrenberg (guitar/vocals), Maxime Mouquet (bass/vocals) and Dorian Mansiaux (drums). The drummer also helped to record the album.

The album begins with Nova, an as soft as heady composition, which lets vocals mesmerize us in company of some slight sonorities, which will explode as soon as Mono No Aware will begin. Visceral howlings join the airy and hooking rhythmic, revealing a seizing blackness, which can also become quiet to offer soft harmonics before screams revive with backing vocals, creating an intense contrast on this long track. The majestic cascade slows down before Nowhere, Still Somewhere comes, armed with its heady melancholy. The vocal parts are hypnotic, and the addition of haunting riffs give them a special energy, composed of mystic tones before Fortapt and its soaring dissonance. Clean sound peacefully strengthens itself until it assumes a hooking dissonance, welcoming screams, becoming soothed but still seizing, unveiling airy sonorities, then the song reconnects with raw rage. Howlings and saturation leave us with I Close My Eyes So I Can See, a catchy song which quickly surrounds us with its fluttering and vivid harmonics. The vocalist offers an interesting diversity, between faraway backing vocals, ghostly screams and clean vocals, then Everything Must Come To An End comes to close the album with a primal melancholy, which spawns from the soaring clean sound. Very dark, influences melt to let the musician feed the rhythmic until a climax, then the sound releases us on Dissolution, a haunting bonus track which oscillates between hooking groove, dark tones and a soaring purity the musician develops until the very last moment.

Sylvaine’s creativity has no limits. With Nova, she continues to feed the universe which began with her firsts creations, while strengthening her riffs’ blackness. Because whether the sound is still seizing, it can also turn out to be violent, tearing and full of ghostly howlings.


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