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Mystery marks UK core outfit Polar’s fourth LP Nova, if you only look at the album cover. Dig deeper and you’ll find yourself submersed in one of their best works to date.
Although not from minute one, Polar make it plain and simple, this album is meant to be played loud. The riffs in Nova are impenetrable, just look at songs such as Prey, Devil, and Drive. It’s these songs in particular that tackle that thing you come to expect from metalcore bands of today, relentless, melodic and anthem based. Frontman Adam Woodford’s vocals on the album are a highlight for its severity and stability.
A deep and complex album, on the surface, gives us a rock-solid metal album,
Surprisingly, it may be anthem heavy, but this album has a severe darkness about it. Woodford pours lyrics of hurt and pain into Nova. Woodford dives deep into themes of troubled love and despair. The song Breathe features the most introspective lyrics on the album, stating thoughts such as “I’m Only Dying not dead”. Probably the most optimistic song on the album is Midnight, as it depicts lovers staying together no matter the hardship. Woodford isn’t afraid to bear everything.
There are breaks in this song, think of them as intermissions that have an electric and ambient tone. They act as a nice diversion from the dark matter. Even more so, Amber and Dusk features some recognisably angelic and serene vocals from guest Ellie Price.
The swan song of Nova, Brother, acts as a climatic and near cinematic discharge and it’s interesting to see a song like this be restrained of time which these songs tend to do. Let’s face it, this song could have definitely been 10 mins if they adhered to the cliché, but at least they kept it to Dream Theater length.
A deep and complex album, on the surface, gives us a rock-solid metal album, with the guitars and drums in your face and Woodford’s vocals as harsh as hell. But when you turn the iceberg over, you get a haunting and relentless piece of art.
STANDOUT TRACKS: Devil, Midnight, Breathe
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