Review | Nova Skellis – Life Amongst The Damned
You feel like banging and be warped back to `Painkiller’ of the mighty Priest? Phantom released `Cyberchrist’, the American offset to one of power metal’s finest albums of that era, an album severely overlooked by the masses. At the helm of Phantom ‘Falcon’ Eddie was belting out an equivalent potent vocal job as Halford, packing impressive variety orbiting the album. Variety which is key on the album returning the singer above the fold with his new trio Nova Skellis.
A PRAISE TO CLASSIC POWER METAL
Working out of New York Eddie Green has rallied up two companions based in Europe to unite under the Nova Skellis banner, making praise to classic power metal. `Life Amongst the Damned’ might fly by under radar as Phantom’s records did, but it is certainly an album to check out if you’re into those classic hard power metal days. Let’s not make that happen!
German drummer Jörg Quaquil nails the powerful beat and ponderous groove needed to make the songs flourish, while guitar player Alex Spalvieri from Italy doses his riffs and melodic leads perfectly, matching the tenure and stride of the songs. Over all this classic shred and thunder, it is Green who shines with his powerful vocals flexed around the intricate tracks delivered. Also handling bass duties, Eddie is at the helm on all accounts.
ROB HALFORD AND GEOFF TATE
Off the bat Nova Skellis swings the title track into action, wielding the classic US power metal axe like never before. Eddie’s vocals are raw and powerful, constantly pitching up, holding between Halford and Tate, while brawling the roughness of the late Carl Albert. Especially the Halfordian snarl is still dominantly present and aged well as proven on the songs like ,,Life Amongst the Damned”, ,,Fall in Line” and ,,Gods to Strike you Down” with its Maiden wallop ending and galloping prog breaks. It is classic firing on all accounts and the Falcon screams, his high notes without falling into cringing falsetto.
Green is the living proof of seasoning vocal cords not failing. Impressive are the slower paced and ominous tracks with sincere gut ‘n growl. ,,All the Comfort of the Graveyard” is insanely well-crafted reviving a ,,Victim of Changes” vibe wrapped up in Black Sabbath shiny black foil. ,,Morrigan’s Rede” is even more dominant on the low howl. Guitars are just jaw dropping, with Spalvieri switching between ultra-heavy doom and classic metal. Geoff Thorpe comes to mind, with Vicious Rumors more than once lurking. ,,Wicked Child” is the soundtrack for anyone with a young adult under their roof in line with anything you expect from classic metal.
Going classic hardrock, ,,Something Wicked this Way Comes” is in line with English hard rock of the 70s resonating though. Green whales and roars powerful. His vocal edge bordering with the great Ronnie James Dio, though Falcon falls back on the ominous mentioned snarl. It is powerful and discharging classic rock as much as metal. Metal yielding on the wicked ,,Skull Full of Bees” with its high pace, lashing and flinging at the pace pedal. A neck-wrecker that lashes constantly, like the great and epic head turner ,,Once Upon a Time”, with its contained power surge and pressure building. Green making it daunting powerful.
My personal favorite is the bass fused ,,Mother, May I?” with its powerful groove and drawing potent riffs. Green lays down a powerful performance with raw growls and wailing notes stretched with echoing pipes. It is powerful discharging mischief and agony.
NOVA SKELLIS – THE CONCLUSION
Drawing together classic contemporary hard rocking vibes with classic metal riffs and powerful metal drumming Nova Skellis impacts. Double bass firing up the groove that is prolonged by Green’s low bass throb. Tasteful melodies and licks, wonderful soling and hard blunt riff trauma are delivered onto the listeners. A perfect symbioses of classic metal ingredients that is empowered by Eddie’s wonderful versatile vocals.
Though it suffers a weaker production, the album is a trident of untied metal forces. Make sure to listen in and flex your neck-muscles. Tip for the Top!
Release date: 4 April 2023