Folie is the upcoming sophomore full-length from Louisana-based progressive death metal duo A Novelist. The album is set for release on Friday, February 8th 2019. It is the follow up to the group’s highly praised 2016 debut album, Portraits.
A Novelist is the creative partnership of drummer Alex Babineaux and vocalist, guitarist, and multi-instrumentalist Ben Nugent. Started in 2009 between friends in Lafayette, Louisiana, they began with the simple goal of writing and playing death metal. Over time their goals as a band grew larger, driven by a bold desire to expand the idea of what death metal can be through free and uncompromised expression.
If you’re new to the world of A Novelist you might be wondering just where the progressive death metal is when opener Folie Noire starts. A moody and melodic tune, the soft singing is depressing and the tone is very dark resulting in a pretty bland beginning. Fear not though as it’s nothing more then a song to set the scene as the band come racing out of the blocks with Exteriors. A ferociously complex track, the riffs twisting and turning in the shadows while a blend of guttural and clean vocals drag us through the horror.
A solid start, it’s Tombeau that really gets the attention though. The catchy riffs based more in rock, the confounding shifts in tone and constant drive to keep the listener off balance creates a truly unique listen.
It’s the utterly amazing guitar work that constantly stands out throughout Folie. Tracks like His Kingdom is Vast and Acacia Crown don’t immediately grab until A Novelist throw out these mind-boggling riffs and passages.
The highlight comes in the form of the spacey mind-fuck that is Caveat Lector. The complexities are almost too much to handle and the clean vocal moments inspire. Although Stockholm Blues certainly isn’t slacking in that department either.
There’s a lot going on throughout Folie and to really appreciate it, it will need multiple listens just to hear the many layers. It’s also a pretty lengthy album so you might find yourself beginning to tire by time Learning Paralysis and Interiors is reached. Don’t give in though as the the final double sees A Novelist at their strongest.
It’s an investment of an album but you’ll get well rewarded for your time.
A Novelist – Folie Full Track Listing:
1. Folie Noire
5. His Kingdom is Vast
6. Strangers in the House of Auto-da-Fe
7. Acacia Crown
8. Caveat Lector
9. Stockholm Blues
11. Learning Paralysis
A Novelist - Folie (Self Released)
The Final Score - 8/10