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Novelists - Noir album review

French tech-metallers not yet ready to pay off all their debts

Cover art for Novelists - Noir album

Novelists made enough of an impact within the tech scene to ink a deal with Nuclear Blast for their second full-length, so someone sees something in them that makes them stand out from a pack that’s getting more uniform every year. Pinpointing what that is proves tricky at times on Noir, with many of the shimmering melodic passages turning into juddering breakdowns in frustratingly familiar circumstances. But while it’d be easy to beat the Parisians down for what they don’t do, they should be applauded for doing what they do very well. Songs like Monochrome may trade on predictable build-and-boom dynamics, but when they swell to such a glorious payoff it’s hard to argue against. It’s also hard to shake the feeling that Novelists could be any number of bands from their scene, but at least they’re a capable one.

Stephen Hill

Since blagging his way onto the Hammer team a decade ago, Stephen has written countless features and reviews for the magazine, usually specialising in punk, hardcore and 90s metal, and still holds out the faint hope of one day getting his beloved U2 into the pages of the mag. He also regularly spouts his opinions on the Metal Hammer Podcast.