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Ardent Nova – Ardent Nova

Ardent Nova
Ardent Nova
by Dave "That Metal Guy" Campbell at 07 March 2023, 9:03 AM

From Bandcamp, “Wise Blood presents the debut album from Pagan Melodeath thrashers ARDENT NOVA. This self-titled record is a gauntlet of rousing riffs and Valhallan violence. Originally formed as PAGAN THUNDER 22 years ago, a dream inspired Pardi to change the name. Over two decades later, the band retains the foundation of Traditional and Power Metal. But the band is now a hybrid with a harsher attack informed by Melodeath and Viking Metal. It's a rampage through the middle ages that balances menace with melody and majesty.” The album has eight songs.

“Intro” is the first; a little snippet introducing the album. It has grand symphonics, cymbal crashes, and ominous tones. “Rise from the Ashes” features music and a groove that has a Power Metal element to it, but the vocals are harsh. It’s an interesting sound. The instrumental interlude following the second chorus presents more of a powerful and commanding sound. “Pagan Thunder” is a mid-tempo rocker where the vocals are more animated. There is an old-school quality to the music, and the thunderclaps in the opening and at the end cap that feeling.

“Stronger Than Time” is a short but energetic blast showing the band’s resolve. They will smash through any barriers and leave a trail of smoke behind the burning fire. “Sound the Horns” is another battle cry, keeping within the theme of Viking Metal. It’s another epic and “filmworthy” song, meaning that you could hear it play at the end credits of a movie. “Chieftain” is presumably about a leader of a tribe, or village. The rolling drums recount the Power Metal style, along with a little IRON MAIDEN influence. The vocals go deep, and rumble on the mountainside.

“In Darkest Ages” is another war type anthem, urging you to rise up in your darkest hour and take on the fight that we must all take on. You are tired, and feel defeated, but after this song ends, you feel rejuvenated. “Ardent Nova” closes the album; a final battle cry. You lead the energetic charge with your sigil held high, and a war scream that would wake the dead. Overall this was a solid listen, with an old school feeling from the music, and a more modern edge from the harsh vocals. The themes described were reflected in the music nicely, and the album left you with a sense of invigoration. If you aren’t ready to charge by the end, you will never be ready.

Songwriting: 7
Musicianship: 7
Memorability: 7
Production: 8

3 Star Rating

1. Intro
2. Rise from the Ashes
3. Pagan Thunder
4. Stronger Than Time
5. Sound the Horns
6. Chieftain
7. In Darkest Ages
8. Ardent Nova
Mike Pardi – Guitar/Bass/Vocals/Keys
Ryan Gallagher – Drums
Record Label: Wise Blood Records


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