Every once in a while, there’s nothing better than some straight up metalcore to bang your head, sing-a-long and mosh with – and Novelists deliver that in spades. The French band have consistently delivered powerful and slightly out of the ordinary mix of metal, groove and tech metal since their formation in 2012, and – thankfully – deliver the goods live.
Novelists (7) conjure up more noise than you’d imagine possible for a four piece. On stage, lead guitar player Florestan Durand is a force to be reckoned with, with blistering solos trading places with pummeling metalcore riffing and entirely delivered by himself and bass player Nicolas Delestrade.
Lead singer, Matteo Gelsomino, is a force to be reckoned with, easily switching between the typical metal roar and a gruff, nineties tinged singing voice that fill out choruses that resemble something from the playbook of bands like Rise To Remain circa their first EP.
Their set unfortunately feels cut slightly too short, and ending on an emotional note rather than a powerful metal banger leaves things hanging slightly in the air – there are more great things to come from Novelists, especially as their most recent songs certainly seem more sophisticated, and stretching outside of the metalcore boundary.
Next up are our headliners, Being As An Ocean (8). The long-term metalcore/post-hardcore/spoken word outfit have been around for 7 years now – but nothing sounds particuarly dated, bar the slightly generic beatdown guitar that rears its head during songs taken from their debut record, 2012’s Dear G-D.
Lead vocalist Joel Quartuccio spends the majority of the gig in the crowd with the fans – but the band more than make the most of their stage time; banging heads and strutting around the stage.
Flourishes of lead guitar work from Tyler Ross allow him chance to shine – the acoustic sections showcase a guitarist who is very comfortable with his instrument; able to transmit emotion which is then conducted via Joel’s lyricism and emotional delivery, which veers between spoken word and distorted screams, and into the crowd which bellow the lyrics directly back to the frontman.
The setlist is reliant on their later day output, with seven tracks taken from Waiting For Morning To Come, and eight from this years PROXY: An A.N.I.M.O Story. By the end of the show, there has been a sort of catharsis in the room – the crowd moving as one with the band – which is unsurprising for a band of Being As An Ocean’s emotional stature. Their return will be eagerly awaited.