Altar of Patrons #7

Novena “Eleventh Hour”

I’m in love…

I’m in love with an album, that caught me totally unexpected but doesn’t let me go anymore. Eleventh Hour was released on March 6, and has melted with my player since then. It is Novena’s debut album, but some might already know the members from other bands, as there are Ross Jennings (Haken) and Gareth Mason (Slice The Cake) on vocals, Harrison White (guitar/keyboard/piano/percussion), guitarist Dan Thornton, bassist Matthew “Moat” Lowe (Sludge) and drummer Cameron Spence (Ravenface).

The songs can all be played on their own, but the real magic develops when you listen to the album from the beginning to the end. The variety is incredible, the musicianship of all members excellent, and the creativity amazing. They mix so many styles (prog, metal, jazz, rock, flamenco…), come up with beautiful melodies, growls and spoken words, it could have easily become artificial or ridiculous. 

But here, everything is in a natural flow. It’s like drifting on a river, starting slowly on a sunny day. You come along interesting landscapes, but the ride gets wilder the further you go, with deep and ice cold waters, dangerous rapids and dark canyons.  

The point on which “Eleventh Hour” turns from an amazing prog-rock album to something very special is Lucidity for me. The first tracks are mesmerizing, but a lot happens afterward. Songs like “Corazón”, “The Tyrant” and “Prison Walls” have so many musical and emotional turns, it’s mind-blowing.

In the end, “Eleventh Hour” leaves me overwhelmed every time… just to press play again. By Katha

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