NOVA SKELLIS – Life Amongst The Damned (Vinyl Reissue 2024)

NOVA SKELLIS – Life Amongst The Damned (Vinyl Reissue 2024)
Alone Records
Released Year:
1. Life Amongst the Damned2. Gods to Strike You Down3. Fall in Line4. Wicked Child5. Morrigan’s Rede6. Skull Full of Bees7. Something Wicked This Way Comes8. All the Comfort of the Graveyard9. Mother, May I?10. Once upon a Time

What we deal with in NOVA SKELLIS’ case, is the chance of exploring the transcontinental fusion of almost any kind of heavy/power metal blend; thrashy, epic, melodic, speed, there are all here when you listen to their full-length debut, Life Amongst The Damned” and although the album was released last year on CD, its vinyl reissue offers the prestige it deserves, giving me an opportunity to write some well-deserved praising words about it.

The background of the band’s members can easily explain the diverse sound of NOVA SKELLIS; Jörg Quaquil (ex-THARN) on drums, Alex Spalvieri (MALADIE, ex-RAW) on guitars and Eddie “Falcon” Green (PHANTOM) on vocals and bass, have played for many years with various bands of rather different genres. However, their direction regarding this particular venture seems clear enough – they play heavy metal, in a powerful, direct, honest and striking way. Classy, indeed!

At the heart of NOVA SKELLIS‘ music lies the captivating mixture of US Power Metal’s emphasis on both melody and complexity together with the precision and aggression characteristic of Teutonic Metal. This mixture is evident from the opening notes of self-titled Life Amongst The Damned, where soaring vocal harmonies and intricate guitar solos collide with thunderous rhythms, setting the stage for an exhilarating musical journey. NOVA SKELLIS showcase their ability to craft memorable melodies and anthemic choruses with tracks like the bombarding hymns “Gods To Strike You Down” and “Mother May I?” or the catchy tunes “Something Wicked This Way Comes” and “All the Comfort of the Graveyard”.

NOVA SKELLIS’ trio mainly combines the pulsing bravado of the mighty ACCEPT with the spirit and the eccentricity of traditional US steel. Other German groups also come to mind, such us FIRE or early-era GRAVE DIGGER and of course, quite a few American bands, like New York’s PHANTOM, PHARAOH and METAL CHURCH. Meanwhile, the band’s more sophisticated influences manifest in their driving rhythms, blistering energy and intricate song-writing, exemplified by songs such as “Once Upon The Time” and “Morrigan’s Rede” that reminded me of QUEENSRYCHE.

The dual guitar attack, a hallmark of both USPM and Teutonic Metal that NOVA SKELLIS worship, is all done single-handed by the amazing Alex Spalvieri who does a really GREAT job. The voice of Eddie “Falcon” Green is full of RAW POWER, often spiraling to ear-piercing screams while as a bassist, together with unfailing Jörg Quaquil, they built a FLAWLESS rhythm-section, varying from punchy mid-paced galloping to full-throttle speed.

Technical proficiency and musical dexterity are more than evident throughout the whole tracklist and each song in Life Amongst The Damnedis a testament to the band’s skillful musicianship and unwavering dedication to their craft; no fillers, here, I ensure you! My personal favorite is closing track “Once Upon A Time”, an eight-minute epic elegy that has it all; dynamic development, excellent arrangement and performances that are as fascinating as they are electrifying.

The curtain falls and the very next thing you do is simply put the record back on!

“Life Amongst The Damned” will be released on March 29th by Alone Records on LP.

Check the discussion about the album in our forum pages.

You can pre order both CD and limited LP here.

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