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Nova Collective - The Further Side

Okay, one could argue that this album cover is rather 90s-era Magna Carta or Laser's Edge, but that's cool.When you're basically a Trioscapes/Haken supergroup, how can I not go full on jam mode? Cuz that's the case with Nova Collective, who's debut album The Further Side showcases the enormous skills each individual posseses while also blending together into a sublime prog/jazz stew I can't ever get enough of. Dig, if you will, a picture...

The opening track Dancing Machines sets the mood early on by presenting each instrumentalist as they come in one at a time to add to the beat. This is when you know what kind of band you're dealing with. As in "Holy shit, this is one of those killer jazzmetal groups" like the aforementioned Trioscapes. And the second track Cascades is a fantastic example of the deft touch this caliber of musicians can bring to a frenetic groove with Pete Jones' shimmering keys contrasted against some sweet fuzzy phrasing. This is the kind of stuff I sometimes forget I love until I hear that sweet drum/bass groove from Matt Lynch and Dan Briggs, respectively. It's a visceral reaction that is impossible for my neck and feet to ignore as I get into the groove, air guitaring my silly ass off. Math majors will appreciate the call and response riffing of Ripped Apart And Reassembled, while the more heavy-minded will find their chunk in the closer The Further Side. It's all here, man - including some beautiful shredding from guitarist Richard Henshall on State Of Flux. This band has more talent going on in 48 minutes than most performances you'll come across.

The Bottom Line: Nova Collective is your run-of-the-mill bad-ass jazzmetal prog band that performs as a fluid, cohesive musical unit in order to blow your mind. Fans of this subgenre know what they're in for and will love it. 'Nuff said.

Tracks To Make You Look At Your Guitar In Shame: Cascades, State Of Flux, The Further Side

- Genghis will now begin waiting on his porch for this band to come to town...

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