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Guru - Nova Lvx

Nova Lvx
by David Hough at 17 May 2023, 3:18 AM

Nova Lvx” is the debut album from the French black/doom metal band, GURU. The album will soon be released on Sleeping Church Records. The EPK describes it thus: “Nova Lux” is a hectic journey,“ the band comments. "The chronicle of a path from drained flesh to solar transmutation. Experience GURU’s black metal-doom blended and arouse your reptilian brain! Penetrate the palace of raging fire and be bathed in sunlight!”
The album is thirty-four minutes long and spans four tracks.

The first song is “In The Crimson Smoke” and it does a great job of introducing GURU’s signature sound. There aren’t many bands that choose to merge the seemingly opposing styles of doom metal and black metal and GURU is the only group that does so seamlessly. In this, and every track on “Nova Lux,” GURU blends bombastic high energy with a more slow and low sound, giving equal weight to both. I didn’t think that I would enjoy a mixture of the two, but, after hearing this album, I’m a convert.

The following track is “Pilgrim On The Path Of Tears” and it is another banger. The doom riffs are as huge as the black metal is aggressive. I’m a fan of extremes and long-form metal, so “Nova Lvx” is right up my alley. Another songwriting choice that is used expertly well is the interplay between clean, growled, and raspy vocals. This track has all three styles and still, nothing sounds out of place.

Bathed In Sunlight” is another track that has it all. All of Jerry’s vocal parts are separated and given their moments, as opposed to traditional deathcore vocals where the vocal changes flow together. Simon’s guitar work also shines. This track has some great doom riffs as well as a welcome tremolo bit right out of the gate. That being said, every member of GURU puts forth a great performance. There aren’t any moments where one instrument is overpowering the others.

With “Nova Lvx,” GURU has accomplished the unexpected and made blackened doom metal that is accessible without compromising the intensity of the music. The album’s relatively short runtime is another asset worth mentioning. That makes this album easier for newcomers to digest. It isn’t some long, multi-layered funeral doom opus that requires a large time investment. While novel, “Nova Lvx” goes beyond mere novelty, creating a fun, yet nuanced piece.

Songwriting: 9
Musicianship: 8
Memorability: 9
Production: 7

4 Star Rating

1. In the Crimson Smoke
2. Pilgrim on the Path of Tears
3. Bathed in Sunlight
4. Nova Lvx
Anne-Laure - Bass
Rudy - Guitars
Jerry - Vocals, Songwriting, Lyrics
Quentin - Drums
Simon - Guitars
Record Label: Sleeping Church Records


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