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CHILDREN OF NOVA

Neo-Prog • United States


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Children of Nova biography
CHILDREN OF NOVA formed in San Diego, California in 2007 and incorporates several diffent styles into their brand of progressive rock, inlcuding heavy metal, alternative, punk and jazz. The five members of the band had previously been in several other bands in the San Diego area. They releasedd a three-song EP of rough demos soon after forming and began playing in various clubs around the area and in 2008, began touring the west coast.

Following a year of touring, they began writing and recording their first official album "The Complexity of Light", a sci-fi concept album about the conflict between darkness and light. This album is a part of a much larger project according to the band and they have stated that the saga will be continued in future projects. The album was released directly by the band, without the backing of a label, as a digital download.

In September of 2009, the band won the award for best hard rock group at the San Diego Music Awards.

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CHILDREN OF NOVA discography


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CHILDREN OF NOVA top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

4.00 | 39 ratings
The Complexity of Light
2009
3.75 | 40 ratings
Impossible Landscape
2012

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CHILDREN OF NOVA Reviews


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 Impossible Landscape by CHILDREN OF NOVA album cover Studio Album, 2012
3.75 | 40 ratings

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Impossible Landscape
Children of Nova Neo-Prog

Review by Wolfhound

4 stars I fell in love with this group in the space of one day as I really enjoy intelligent, dynamic and energetic melodic rock/metal with progressive tones and this is it. After hearing the first CoN EP, The Complexity of Light I hunted this one down on bandcamp.com. I had read that the second album was somewhat different from the first and I half disagree with this. The music does not really sound different across the albums, I think it is more that the songs on Impossible Landscapes are on average shorter than the songs on TCoL but there are more of them. Most of the songs on TCoL are 5+ minutes long and none are under 4 minutes while all but one of the songs on Impossible Landscape are 4 minutes or less and only one song clocking in at over 6 minutes in length.

Overall the music on Impossible Landscapes is just as good as TCoL. The musicianship is tight and the instruments work well together to create great rhythms and great melodies. The guitarwork in particular is really good, the The vocals are really great and the singer has a great voice that is as versatile and dynamic as the instruments. The vocalist can really pull of some Freddie Mercury level range. There really isn't any song on this album I don't like, I just wish they were longer. This album sounds like it was made to be the slightest bit more radio friendly compared to the fist album, but it deserves to be on modern rock radio.

This group is definitely incorrectly categorized here on the Prog Archives, they are not Neo-Porg by any stretch of the imagination. There are elements of progressive metal/rock, post rock and math rock here, but at most this is Crossover Prog or Prog Related.

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 Impossible Landscape by CHILDREN OF NOVA album cover Studio Album, 2012
3.75 | 40 ratings

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Impossible Landscape
Children of Nova Neo-Prog

Review by Gallifrey

4 stars Children of Nova ? "The Impossible Landscape"

12/20

50th place album of the year

First and foremost, Children of Nova are not a neo-prog band. At all. The categorizing here is purely a mistake, unless their debut is radically different. This would fit better in Crossover, but I honestly think it's a whole new subgenre.

Children of Nova fall into an umbrella genre of bands I like to call "New Prog" (possibly accounting for the neo-prog mixup). This term, which I don't like, I stole from Wikipedia, and I use to describe The Mars Volta?esque progressive bands who may fall under progressive versions of other genres like alternative rock, indie rock and post-hardcore. Other bands here include Coheed & Cambria, Circa Survive, early Muse and Three. They focus on short and hectic songs rather than long and drawn-out epics.

To the music. The Impossible Landscape has been called a huge step down from their debut "The Complexity of Light" by fans, but I have not heard that album, and I quite like what we have here. Any fans of indie/post-hardcore will enjoy what's on store here, with nice, short songs with striking melodies and vocals similar to that of Casey from The Dear Hunter or a lower-pitched Anthony from Circa Survive. There are some pretty headbanging sections (the quick-paced 12/8 riff in opener "Kaleido") to more laid back indie stuff ("Feel Alive" and 6½ minute closer "It's Just A Ride").

With its very nice album art, "The Impossible Landscape" is very high on my to-buy list (I'm not exactly wealthy as an unemployed 16 year old), and should be good for fans of the aforementioned bands. There aren't really many drawbacks, but I'll admit that after a few listens (I'm on my 12th play of it now) it gets a bit dreary and tiring, but I'm sure most of you aren't trying to write reviews and don't need to play it that many times.

A welcome addition to the growing family of "new prog" bands, a genre I hope progarchives will recognise someday.

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 The Complexity of Light by CHILDREN OF NOVA album cover Studio Album, 2009
4.00 | 39 ratings

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The Complexity of Light
Children of Nova Neo-Prog

Review by VanVanVan
Prog Reviewer

4 stars This isn't your typical neo-prog. Come to think of it, this isn't really your typical anything. Having far more in common with bands like The Mars Volta and The Dear Hunter than with Marillion or IQ, Children of Nova present a thoroughly modern sounding release in contrast with a genre that, despite its name, often seems to be hanging onto the past. Nonetheless, this album should have strong appeal with most prog fans and especially fans of the arm of the genre that has moved more towards alt-rock.

'The Complexity of Light' starts off with some tribal-sounding drumming over some slightly distorted guitar drones. These drones eventually coalesce into a riff proper, and vocals enter soon after in a style that references, in varying degrees, many of the aforementioned bands. The instrumental parts of the track stay eclectic throughout, with a very versatile guitar part moving from heavy riffing to psychedelic atmospheres and running the gamut of everything in between. 'The Complexity of Light' is a very, well, complex track, with several themes switching in and out, but melody is never sacrificed. In fact, much of the track feels positively anthemic due to the combination of the excellent vocal melodies and the sheer gusto with which they are delivered.

'Arcaedion' is a bit more of a straightforward track, but it's excellent regardless. Beginning with a driving guitar part, the track quickly develops a strong sense of drama, similar to the style of bands such as Coheed and Cambria, with an epic chorus to match. A very intense vocal freak-out towards the end of the track heavily reminds of the Mars Volta as well, proving quite neatly that this group is not content to merely sit in one style or make anything too easy on themselves.

'The Fall of Aphonia' takes on a more atmospheric approach; though there's definitely still some heavier riffing the guitar is allowed to take on a variety of roles, delving at various points into psychedelic soundscapes and even some very brief post-rock-ish drones. Some understated but effective keyboard shows up as well, helping to give the track a unique, varied sound, and of course the excellent vocal melodies and harmonies keep the song extremely compelling and engaging throughout.

'Second Sight Blackout' delves even further into psychedelia, starting off with some positively Floydian soundscapes and a much more languid vocal delivery that nonetheless retains the excellent sense of harmony that Children of Nova have developed throughout the release. At about the 2 minute mark the song kicks back into overdrive, introducing some falsetto, almost operatic vocals and of course more of the sharp guitar riffs that have pervaded the album. If nothing else you have to be impressed by the sheer compositional and musical skill on display here; though it may not have any extended solo passages or even fit the standard definition of 'prog,' this, (like every other song on the album) is an incredibly engaging listen, compellingly composed and precisely performed.

'The Order' certainly doesn't buck the trend of excellence. With a darker, more ominous sound than some of the other tracks, it maintains the excellent sense of drama on the album, giving the impression that you're listening to an epic story even if you can't quite make out the lyrics. The vocal performance, which of course has been stellar throughout, somehow kicks it up yet another notch for this song, with impressively high falsetto passages, beautiful wordless emoting, and even an incredibly intense scream at one point towards the end of the track. All of this really lifts the track from merely 'good' to completely great, and it works perfectly in this climactic penultimate track.

'We Collide' is the longest track on the album, and it makes for a fine closer, encapsulating everything that's been great about the release as a whole. Virtuosic playing that avoids being show-offish, a variety of different themes and of course, compelling and anthemic melodies make this final track a real treat. Encompassing a greater variety of sounds than perhaps any other track on the album, 'We Collide' feels like an appropriately epic closer and really helps in closing off the album on a high note. Nonstop, complex riffing is used to great effect, providing a perpetual backdrop of sound but never intruding into the spotlight. A great track that ends the album very well.

Overall, this is a very good release having only the minor flaw of homogeneity. As I mentioned, this isn't a huge problem as every song is so strong in its melodies, but there isn't a huge variety of sonic textures. In the grand scope of things, however, that's an incredibly minor complaint, and The Complexity of Light ends up being an incredibly compelling, fresh-sounding release. Highly recommended.

4/5

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 Impossible Landscape by CHILDREN OF NOVA album cover Studio Album, 2012
3.75 | 40 ratings

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Impossible Landscape
Children of Nova Neo-Prog

Review by DeKay

4 stars CoN's second album is an ambitious effort. Combining complexity and catchy melodic choruses, the band aims to gain a broad audience. I think that they will. This album definitely deserves to be listened, not only by the readers of this site. That is, because CoN's music is not prog in its traditional definition. It combines several modern rock elements, though I think that it is basically (some kind of) alternative prog rock.

The album flows pleasantly and all songs are full of energy. The main thing here is the very good clean melodic vocals, the clever guitar lines, the solid performance of the whole band and the numerous breaks, which are so characteristic in modern US adventurous rock music. Though the band's style is not something entirelly new, this album has so much quality, that this impression is rather a minor detail. Besides, the emotional element which is a big part of the band's music is really convincing, and this is more than just difficult.

Very good album, and great cover art. Recommended to all open minded prog fans (sounds a bit odd).

Favourite songs: "Erratic", "Impossible Landscape", "It;s Just A Ride".

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 Impossible Landscape by CHILDREN OF NOVA album cover Studio Album, 2012
3.75 | 40 ratings

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Impossible Landscape
Children of Nova Neo-Prog

Review by Crimzonite

4 stars I've been anticipating this album ever since I heard "The Complexity of Light" last year. I've followed the band, due to their great sound and unique style; and I was really anxious to see if they could deliver content as good as their first album once again. They have.

"Impossible Landscape" is a great time for loss of a better word. The melodies are catchy, the guitar work is delicate and intricate, and it's really easy to listen to, while still being complex and somewhat mysterious. This album works, in my opinion. It works well. Songs flow flawlessly into one another. This album flew by for me, and by the time I knew it, it was over.

Some of the highlights of the album, are: great clear vocals, interesting and creative lyrical content, challenging music, excellent balance of soft/slow songs and fast/heavier songs, and awesome guitar riffs.

Some of my favourite songs are "Erratic", which opens the album perfectly, "Impossible Landscape", "What do you see?", and "It's just a ride".

The only negative thing that I could say about this album, is the lack of guitar solos. There are semi-solos, as I like to call them, which is a solo-like riff, backing the vocals, at a usually hectic or high-intensity section of a song, but few real guitar solos.

Either way, "Impossible Landscape" is a great album, which flows well, and is great for the ear. Recommended.

Grade: A-

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 The Complexity of Light by CHILDREN OF NOVA album cover Studio Album, 2009
4.00 | 39 ratings

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The Complexity of Light
Children of Nova Neo-Prog

Review by Fyrus

5 stars Ah, the Children of Nova. A little known band that came out of nowhere with this EP and surprised everyone that listened to it. The six songs here are some of the best compositions I've ever heard, bringing forth creativity, yet comfort. It's rather difficult to describe their particular brand of music, but it's not heavy enough for metal, or symphonic enough to be... uh... symphonic. They seem to be influenced greatly by The Mars Volta and Coheed and Cambria, and that's also a good way to describe their sound.

The vocals are most easily described by simply comparing them to the Mars Volta. The singer has a rather high range, and remains there the whole time, occasionally breaking out the falsetto vocals to impress. The lyrics tell of a complicated tale, reminding me of 2112 or Coheed and Cambria. In any case, the vocalist here provides a fantastic clean and beautiful voice to carry out the themes of the album.

The instrumentation is even more interesting. I am a drummer, so I always pay special attention to the drum tracks of an album. That said, the Children of Nova drummer is brilliant. He handles complex rhythms, odd timing, fast drumming, slow drumming, and everything in between with an excessive amount of grace and style. Nothing he does sounds out of place, yet all of it impresses. The Complexity of Light and We Collide are great show cases for his drumming. The rest of the band gives great performances as well. This is a "prog" band so complex timing and rhythm is used. However, unlike many bands, it doesn't feel forced. When the band goes out of 4/4 it isn't jarring or even noticeable. They're smooth, and it all works together.

As I said earlier, many people will describe this band as a mix between The Mars Volta and Coheed. I think Children of Nova are better then either of those bands, and I can't wait for their full album release, coming fall 2011. I encourage everyone to buy this EP, because not only is it full of 6 masterful songs, but it also will help out this new artists, whom deserve to be heard.

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 The Complexity of Light by CHILDREN OF NOVA album cover Studio Album, 2009
4.00 | 39 ratings

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The Complexity of Light
Children of Nova Neo-Prog

Review by Epignosis
Special Collaborator Eclectic Prog Team

4 stars Children of Nova's debut is a smart blend of symphonic and metal, and produces some amazingly memorable and creative melodies. I guess I would describe them as how it would sound if Coheed and Cambria or The Mars Volta started playing symphonic rock. Admittedly, the album tapers off a bit around the second to last track, but the final two tracks are still quite deserving of praise. If any of this sounds appealing, lend this album an ear- preferably both- because the arrangements and their execution are brilliant.

"The Complexity of Light" Hand percussion and a spacious lead guitar opens the album, which to me evokes images of ancient Mayans. The powerful amalgamation of symphonic and metal is a real treat, especially what the band does rhythmically in conjunction with the spectacular vocal melody (just listen to that refrain). The soaring falsetto is splendid to my ears.

"Arcaedion" Sophisticated guitar playing provides a stellar introduction to the second song. The vocals come across as especially impressive. Each flourish is excellent and tightly executed. The bass work and drumming are equally notable because they add so much to the overall sound whilst standing out in their own respective ways. There's enough energy here to power the speakers their music is coming from, and probably then some.

"The Fall of Aphonia" Muted guitar and electronic bleeps give way to lush, almost feminine vocals. The range of this vocalist is certainly impressive, and he does sound like a more restrained Cedric Bixler-Zavala. While the focus may be on the bright vocals, the rhythm never gets stale, using hard-hitting and tight riffs blended with softer fare to create a rich texture supporting the melody.

"Second Sight Blackout" The band provides the listener with an appropriate break by placing the softest song on the album here. It is smooth, with clean wah guitar and a gentle lead. However, it gets much heavier at times, especially as it moves toward its conclusion.

"The Order" Blasts of guitar and that exotic, ethereal vocal brings in a heavy verse. This composition itself is on the disjointed side, with a lot of machine-gun drumming and seemingly misplaced guitar parts. However, the subsequent, echoing guitar phrases are very interesting to listen to.

"We Collide" That fantastic clean, reverberating guitar is back, and gives way to the band's usual dexterous performance. Children of Nova make great use of dynamics even if the overall arrangement drags a bit. The group is as excellent as they have been throughout this album, but my mind simply wanders during this last piece, as it is missing the hooks and melodies that made the previous songs amazing.

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 The Complexity of Light by CHILDREN OF NOVA album cover Studio Album, 2009
4.00 | 39 ratings

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The Complexity of Light
Children of Nova Neo-Prog

Review by progrockcritic

4 stars Is Children of Nova a rock band that discovered metal alone was not enough to satisfy the musical expression and then pushed their music into post-modern Neo-progressive rock? Arcaedion is an excellent representation of a unique, refreshing blend of metal/prog/power rock. Strong vocals, melodic metal progression, power rock guitar riffs, with seamless transitions into symphonic synthesized movements are all evident on this disc, and to excellent result.

Their digitally self-released Complexity of Light has great hooks, wonderful harmonies, with acid-psychedelic guitars that set the mood, and Squire-like bass riffs that simply excel. The drums complement well, but appear to be tuned high. The music suffers as a result; the overall recording of the drum set is the weakest part of this album.

Children of Nova's lead vocalist, TEO, has great range, with a very strong, elegant falsetto. There is always the concern that a falsetto vocal cannot be sustained in later years, once the detrimental effects of performing and advancing age weakens the vocalist's depth and range. Children of Nova should be careful not to fall into that trap and consider allowing guest female vocalists to contribute on future projects. As always, you are physically bound to the music you record.

"Arceadia" may be the best song on the album. This song has a strong chorus, excellent drumming and bottom, with an exceptional bass guitar performance. But again it is the lead guitar that sets the song apart with an almost discordant shred and disparate edge that flies above the music or slices straight through it like a ginzu knife. The only drawback to the song is that it is too short! There is a nice transition into "Fall of Aphonia" where a symphonic progression transitions into a ragged guitar riff that takes this song to a metal edge that blurs the mind. Is this the same song that began with such serenity?

"Second Sight Blackout" begins in a floydian/tangerine dream movement transitioning into a balladic melody that highlights very strong harmonies. Before you can settle down, the metal returns and this time the progression is predictable and slightly disappointing. The band sometimes relies on a style of sustained vocal harmony (hiding the lack of a strong a melody). It is a Nickelback trick, and in excess can be grating. For more than half of this song, this style of vocal depresses the music. But the ending is strong and the segway into "The Order" is beautifully accomplished.

"The Order " is a fine example of the expansive depth of possibilities for Children of Nova's music. The lyrics explore a worn-out concept, however. It is these contrasts between musical excellence and lyrical or melodic-harmonic adequacy that this potentially dominant band will need to resolve in their next release.

The album closes with the song "We Collide" which, amazingly, reminded this critic of the first release from Evanescence. This is one of the strongest songs on the disc, with soaring vocals, intense guitar, and powerful transitions. Despite the minor flaws, Children of Nova have created an excellent album that will stay on this critic's itunes for a long time.

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 The Complexity of Light by CHILDREN OF NOVA album cover Studio Album, 2009
4.00 | 39 ratings

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The Complexity of Light
Children of Nova Neo-Prog

Review by Prog-jester
Prog Reviewer

4 stars First of all, are you THE MARS VOLTA fan? Stop reading then and go buy yourself this EP, because it's simply superb! It reminds of good old days of "De-loused in the Comatorium", when Cedric and Omar were rather aimed on writing good songs instead of putting on tape LSD-influenced jams and regarding a collection of them as an album. What is good about THE MARS VOLTA is that they've returned to their songwriting with "Octahedron", almost acoustic and laid-back album, but if you want some TMV songs that are the same way wild and challenging as they used to be, look no further than here! Surely CHILDREN OF NOVA's musicians are not even close to Omar and Cedric, they sound a bit more sane (it's like nowadays DREDG covering AT THE DRIVE-IN), but it's a good experience anyway. Recommended!

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