Nova Orbis


Written by: AP on 16/02/2010 14:36:21

More female-fronted metal for your viewing pleasure today: the Colombian six-piece Nova Orbis, who undoubtedly went through some effort in order to ship their debut album to me. When the package arrived, I half expected the CD casing to be made of cocaine, which is why it has been lying untouched on my desk since December while I have been waiting for it to pulverise. After two uneventful months of that, it seems like the disc is legit, and I am spared having to explain to the authorities why an envelope arrived to me from Colombia and why its contents look more like cake icing than an aluminum disc.

Jokes aside, "Imago" is a lengthy helping of gothic metal with progressive elements, which is curious considering the band's origins. The only other South American bands I have had the pleasure of listening to have been of a far more extreme orientation, whether it be the angro-political hardcore of Confronto, or the muscular man-metal of the Cavaleras' various projects. And the only other Colombian artist I have ever heard of is Shakira, so it really does beg the question, what inspired Nova Orbis to try their craft in such a foreign genre? More so, why have they not taken advantage of their exotic surroundings and forged Latin (or Amazonian) elements into their music instead of blending in with just about every other gothic metal band from Germany?

The voice of Ana Maria Bajaras is admittedly deep, but even her powerful, melodic delivery isn't enough to save "Imago" from the depths of mediocrity. As harsh as it sounds, the music completely lacks soul and texture. Unimpressive guitar riffs provide little more than a foundation for the keyboards (except for a decent solo here and there), which are at the forefront of the band's sound, while Ana Maria's brother José David Barajas and Jorge A. Gutiérrez contribute subpar clean backing vocals and gnarly growls in a staggering display of heard-it-all-before. What's worse, the central role of the keyboards and the demotion of the guitars to the background makes the music sound frustratingly thin and ambient. As one of the housemates put it when I asked for his opinion on the album, he has taken shits that were more epic.

One remarkable thing that needs to be applauded though, is that somehow the band has managed to make an album on which every song sounds radically different - each song has a structure and mood of its own while never detracting from the band's core, keyboard driven sound. But, lacking the adrenaline that bands like Lacuna Coil, Nightwish and Within Temptation possess, Nova Orbis do little else to differentiate themselves. Soothing though it may be, "Imago" is about as average as they come.


Download: Change, Falling of the Empire
For the fans of: Delain, Epica, Forever Slave, Within Temptation
Listen: Myspace

Release date 01.10.2009

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