Novella - One Big Sky

Saturday 1st June 1991
Novella - One Big Sky
Novella - One Big Sky

STYLE: Hard Music
RATING 4 4 4 4
LABEL: StarSong SSD 8184

Reviewed by Tony Cummings

Packaging suggests a metal team but this three piece from New Jersey fronted by vocalist/guitarist/keyboards man Jonathan Pagano are a mainstream rock outfit with plenty of influences, some British some American. Here they sound like the Smiths, there like Black Sabbath and over there like one of a thousand indie rock bands. The songs begin to grow after the third or fourth play but there's little really to make this stand out from the pack.

Also reviewed in CR9:
At last here we have Novella's long awaited debut album. I first heard the band a couple of years ago when Pure Metal put "Running Home" on one of their compilation albums. I remember thinking at the time there was a lot of potential so have waited patiently to hear more ever since. Novella have put together 10 very smooth, very mature AOR into metal-sounding songs. But what of the quality? Instrumentally it's fine, even the symphonic intro (though I suspect it would be better suited to 'Inspector Morse'!). The riffs lock into place and the drumming is excellent. My only complaint is with Jonathan Pagiro's vocals which all too often sound painfully flat. Maybe he was trying that bit too hard. But if you're into melodic metal, songs like "Fire Eyes" and "Sweet Rising Son" create a nice atmosphere. Metal enthusiasts with harder tastes should note that a large amount of the album is on the softer, more atmospheric side.
Simon Bibby

The opinions expressed in this article are not necessarily those held by Cross Rhythms. Any expressed views were accurate at the time of publishing but may or may not reflect the views of the individuals concerned at a later date.

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