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Dagoba - Black Nova Award winner

Black Nova
by Sooraj Ram at 03 September 2017, 9:01 PM

DAGOBA are a French Groove Metal outfit formed in 1997. Heavily influenced by 80s Thrash Metal acts and prominent Groove artists, DAGOBA are not persistent in terms of style and sound. Though often experimenting with other styles, DAGOBA have established themselves with their original Groovy-Thrashy sound. However, their latest album “Black Nova” takes a more versatile path; as it blends Groove elements with eerie Electronic beats. “Black Nova” was released earlier this years through Century Media Records, and given the strong competition amongs record labels, let us find out whether or not Century Media have delivered another big hit.

The album consists of 10 tracks with a total running time of over 44 minutes. Starting the proceedings is “Tenebra”, an instrumental track that like the rest of the album feature some great production values. Once “Tenebra” ceases “Inner Sun” hits the playlist. The opening minutes of “Inner Sun” sounds like an Alt Rock song but as soon as the Vocals kick in we get to enjoy the Groovy instrumentation in the background layered with midi beats. Even though many of their fans got upset with their evolution, I did enjoy the presence of Electronica in their sound. It does take away the ferocity of Groove Metal but it adds an interesting hue that tends to keep the listener hooked for the rest of the 5 minutes. With occasional tempo breaks and midi outrages the song makes for a good second song of a long tracklist.

The fourth track - “Stone Ocean” - circles around the same Electro-Metal Concept. Intiating with syncopated instrumentation, the ambient elements kick in when the Electronica is embedded. With weird beat drops and a catchy chorus, this track is probably a hit or a miss. I can go both ways with appreciating their versatility on integrating the catchy electronica but at the same time bashing them for ruining the guitar work with a cheap electronic beat drops. Nevertheless, one might end up gettting addicted to this track regardless of the guitars.

Up next is “Stone Ocean”, which is a melodic and catchy track, but the real treat comes when one reaches the 8th track “Fire Dies”, which is the best track off this album. This track doesn’t adhere to softer sides and is much heavier and more ferocious. Taking standard Industrial guitar riffage as reference, DAGOBA keeps the record on track with this masterpiece.

Overall, I pretty much enjoyed the album. I really don't care about their evolution and the division among their fan-base that it caused, DAGOBA prove that they are capable of merging Electronica and Groove Metal as the songs are tightly recorded and keep the listeners engaged. I love the fact that they used an Industrial/Electro sound that adds a lot of positive hues with only a few negatives - one of which is the scarcity of guitar solos. I would love to see more material centered on the same concept used on this album with the addition of more guitar solos. I very much looking forward for their upcoming records. Showing both softer and heavier sides, “Black Nova” will attract fans of all kinds.

Songwriting: 8
Originality: 9
Memorability: 9
Production: 9

4 Star Rating

1. Tenebra
2. Inner Sun
3. The Legacy Of Ares
4. Stone Ocean
5. The Infinite Chase
6. The Grand Emptiness
7. Lost Gravity
8. Fire Dies
9. Phoenix et Corvus
10. Vantablack
Shawter - Vocals, Machines
Werther Ytier - Bass
Nicolas Bastos - Drums
JL Ducroiset - Guitar 
Record Label: Century Media Records


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