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NOVATIA

Crossover Prog • Netherlands


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Novatia biography
Combining influences from everything ranging from jazz, funk and pop, NOVATIA has created their own eclectic blend of rock music. At times spherical and progressive, at times grooving and funky. Sometimes dark and brooding, sometimes light and ambient, but always immediately recognizable as NOVATIA.

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NOVATIA discography


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NOVATIA top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

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4.00 | 1 ratings
Remind you of yourself
2015
4.00 | 1 ratings
Reflections of Thoughts
2016
4.00 | 1 ratings
Flow
2017

NOVATIA Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Flow by NOVATIA album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 2017
4.00 | 1 ratings

BUY
Flow
Novatia Crossover Prog

Review by tszirmay
Special Collaborator Crossover Team

— First review of this album —
4 stars The Dutch band from Utrecht continues its progression with a delightful EP that further enhances its originality, expert musicinas looking to blend various styles into a whole new style. ''Flow'' has 5 new pieces that are even more subtle than their previous efforts, compositions that are smooth as silk with jazzy tinges, a funky bass governance and some sparkling guitar leads. Am I alone in enjoying this unique band , I hope not because the prog world would be missing out on quite a treat! Keyboardist Ingmar Kops uses more piano and e-piano to carpet the arrangements, which enhances the elegance of the tracks presented, relying on Fabian van Dijk's thick bass undertow, Joost Lobbes insistent drum presence and Rindert Bul's magic guitar weavings. Once again, lead vocalist Joep Selen offers up plenty of emotion and delicacy in his delivery, at times gentle and others more forceful, hinting at a proggier version of Tony Hadley (Spandau Ballet) . This is a special band that adds plenty of sunshine to my listening hours.

Inspired by painter Vincent van Gogh's ''Terrace of a cafe at night'' tableau , the 6 minute ''The Night is Filled with Colours'' is overflowing (sic) with velvety tonal shades , depicting a story about a man aimlessly walking through some obscure French village , looking for inspiration for his artistic craft and finally, around a hidden corner, boom! There it is! Gentle keyboard flutters augur in a kaleidoscope of detailed sounds , with tolling guitars welded to ecentric piano motifs , shifty bass and drum structures, enhanced by a main melody expertly navigated by Joep Selen, each section more powerful than the previous, the manic guitar raising the bar constantly, with insistent flair. Smooth guitar soloing only heightens the bliss, perfectly interspaced to maximum effect.

Perhaps the proggiest piece up to now in their catalog, ''Between Lines'' is a sad tirade that illustrates all the negativity so many are attracted to in our 21st paradise of apathy, an existential social malaise that has now gone global, offering the choice of abject surrender or brave courage. Musically, the mood is ponderous at first, quickly turning into manifest rage, with synths whistling despair and guitars tortured by rage. Joep spits his barely hidden venom, his voice and words highlighting the fury, the screeching axe solo carving deep into the soul, trembling and electric. Seven minutes of terrific and adventurous music.

Three shorter songs come into play, each a window of opportunity to continually search for new horizons, making 'flowing' music according to their own tastes and not dictated by big business or elevator muzak demands.

''May We Interrupt'' evolved from the need to jam and discover new sounds , here expertly led by a joyous electric piano romp , chugging guitars that twang and a lilting beat that welds molten jazzy fusion to a solid pop and rock structure , let's say even a slight Steely Dan feel. A whistling synth solo adds pizzaz to the deal.

''This Drive'' slithers into funkier realms, with the bass predominant, the melody bright and impassionate and a sunny howling vocal. Bassist Van Dijk does some thick slapping to give this even more 'drive' , while Selen reaches for some high notes, urging to take it even higher if needed.

The EP ends with ''Before Autumn Comes'', a sad song about choices , about depression and the courage it takes to overcome expectations, the downward spiral that reminds us all of our frail humanity. The atmosphere is chill, laid- back and ponderous. There is a raw feel here, quite minimalist with sweeping synth carpets, shimmering drum patterns and a gentle disposition. A beautiful piece of music , heartfelt (something this band does very well) and unpretentious.

Novatia has all the hallmarks of a tight band that has the musical goods to put together a world class progressive album and properly take a seat in the prog congress of stars, if their first 3 EPs are any indication. There is no reason why Novatia should not please the more melodic prog fan, as they deliver the goods and have all the instrumental gusto to stay along for a long 'flowing' ride.

4.5 waves

 Reflections of Thoughts by NOVATIA album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 2016
4.00 | 1 ratings

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Reflections of Thoughts
Novatia Crossover Prog

Review by tszirmay
Special Collaborator Crossover Team

— First review of this album —
4 stars Dutch band Novatia has a rather innovative (sorry, could not help myself!) method to its madness, by releasing a short EP in 2015 and following up with another in 2016, the two combining to form an outright first CD release. "Remind Yourself of You" was a successful initiation of sound and style that certainly set the bar high with breathtaking melodies on tracks like "Imperfection", "Closer to the Next" and Blank Home". Lead vocalist Joep Selen infuses a whopping amount of emotion in his delivery, giving the suave instrumentalists a credible and confident platform to earn their keep. On this "Reflections of Thought" EP, the band forges ahead with cunning glaze, furthering their craft with another series of five enameled ditties, taking it to a higher plane. The basic premise is still the same, a furious groove laid down by bassist Fabian van Dijk, well-lubed drumming from Joost Lobbes, shimmering colorations on the Ingmar Kops keyboards and all stitched together by Rindert Bul's crafty guitar excursions.

"Flowing Thoughts" features all those stalwart elements that make Novatia so divinely interesting, armed with huge vocals that have sorrowful intonations, a defiantly honest rhythmic foundation, cool and breezy ivories and a killer fretboard solo from Bul, very simple yet totally effective. But the melody is what pinches the ear and never lets go, twisting and turning like some pissed off school teacher, angry at its insolent pupil.

The romantic side is again expressed by the lilting "If It's Love", and I agree this isn't prog (BTW, why is love never progressive?) in the true sense of the style but nevertheless, the mood is euphoric and palpitating, just like when thunderbolts of lightning occur between 2 strangers.

The culminating prog workout is the moody "Rule", a 6 minute romp loaded with electric piano ruminations, like raindrops gently parachuting on some obedient pond, once again pivoting on a deep bass furrow, slick stick work and Joep howling at the moon with verve and gusto. The finale is pure simplistic genius, harrumphing bass guitar muscling forward undeterred.

This followed by another 6 minute+ tune, a divine bass-led extravaganza that embraces an astute jazz/ funk cocktail that shuffles along masterfully, this time featuring an arsenal of Kops' dreamy ivory pastels, mostly synthesizer or piano ornamentals, very smooth and slick, rekindling images of a solitary nighttime drive home on empty rain soaked streets, slight wind in the air, tired and weary. "Underway" is another fabulous track and proves to me at least, that Novatia actually shine on their proggier, longer tracks, where the musicians get to express themselves beyond just foundational work. Rindert offers up a squeaky clean guitar solo that hits the mark.

A stunning yet short finale puts this review to rest, a heartfelt Joep Selen plea on "And I'll Wait" , acoustic guitar and impassioned voice combine to ooze the deepest sorrow, letting go of painful memories and strident regret. Loveliness incarnate.

Deeply emotive and romantic, this is not technically demanding by any stretch, but on the other hand, extremely well-played, moody and endearing. Novatia is a new kid on the prog block. The two EPs on one make this a shrewd purchase that will please the crossover prog fan .

4.5 Mirrored beliefs

 Remind you of yourself  by NOVATIA album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 2015
4.00 | 1 ratings

BUY
Remind you of yourself
Novatia Crossover Prog

Review by tszirmay
Special Collaborator Crossover Team

— First review of this album —
4 stars So the improbable happened the other day, actually a month ago when I landed on this Dutch band, previously unheard and unknown, they had a few songs on this their debut album "Remind You of Yourself" that simply blew my mind away, though quite subtly I must say. I looked up their website and the group photo grabbed my attention with unbounded fury, five totally different looking musicians who shared the notion of smile, from one extreme to the other. Beaming smile, then a less radiant one, then a huge smirk, followed by barely a sneer, and ending in just plain, no smile but still happy! Talk about group synthesis, osmosis or convergence, call it what you will! Heavily grooved with some intricate yet basic structures and a passionate delivery, fueled by a killer vocalist and great band dynamics. These guys get it! They created their own style and its simply fabulous, a prog group with an arsenal of spine tingling melodies and the ability and desire to deliver it sonically. Way too intense to be pop prog, its message is undeniable, a commitment to create sublime, atmospheric music but loaded with passion and fire. Joep Selen has a tremendously gifted voice, deeply emotive and sincere , perhaps more comfortable in the higher range but to me, this has always been the perfect barometer of a vocalist, one who can navigate the high notes with drive and sustain and proceed to blow all the growly rockers to smithereens! That is the measure and Joep comes shining through each time. Axeman Rindert Bul is not the flashy type but prefers lightning bolt interventions when needed, which is often. His style is assured and elegant, slippery and erudite in a myriad of settings, from pastoral to ripping electric. Ingmar Kops is a keyboard Van Gogh, adding tones, textures and musical paint to the overall canvas. In general, Dutch prog drummers hold their own and then some. Joost Lobbes is a classic prime timekeeper who is solid and propulsive. Finally, Fabian van Dijk mans the 4 string hydraulic propeller, pushing, urging and even shoving things along, in order to get to the Promised Land. That is a cool lineup and a super cool image. Dedicated, committed and hugely dynamic, this just may be the best stuff I have heard from Holland in ages, who keep introducing new players in a fresher, brighter style like Our Oceans or Fractal Mirror , for example. Again having a voice to match the arrangements make this a must buy for our dear prog 'confrerie', musical brothers in arms (or ears).

The EP contains five tracks, all sensational, homogeneous yet also diverse within their tight, I mean tight, musical approach, each an outright jewel in their own right. Instead of talking about the tunes in their sequence, why not start with the final track "Blank Home", which will slay anyone who listens to it the very first time (like a real virgin!). A heart wrenching, near 7 minute comet of emotion, searing the darkness of space with such a bold statement, the sheer mannerisms and confidence required to pull this off with merely a bead of sweat rippling onto the console. "Imperfection" starts the adventure on a poignant note, with expressive voice, forlorn piano and brittle guitar all uniting as one, a slick beat then kicks in, propelling a jazzy, funky sonic breeze into dreamland that is immediately appealing in the most pleasant way possible: a strong set of melodies that make one wonder where they might have heard this before. Joep delivers an adroit vocal, in a manner close to Skeem's Serge Barbaro. Things heat up considerably with a sinewy bass fueled groove on "Closer", a rather unassuming shuffle that is atmospheric to the hilt, loads of melancholia thrown in for good measure. Pleading vocals add to the emotion, the slight accent actually quite original and in no way detrimental to the enjoyment. "How Does It Feel" has a jazzy feel, something akin to Squeeze, with a bouncy bass riff motoring the vehicle nicely, warm breeze and a cool sense of contentment. Rindert shoots off a simple guitar solo and Joep soars once again, high and mighty. "Closer to Next" sounds like a continuation of the "Closer" track, moodier and even more impressive, shuddering organ waves, colourful bassist van Dijk carving another noteworthy groove on which the various keyboard and guitar colorations hang on for dear life, gently effective and insistent. A Truly fine track, with loads of feeling and sensation, Rindert Bul shoving a nice solo while Joep adorns the delirious chorus with gusto. Easily the EP's triumphal peak! The finale "Blank Home" is just right behind, as expressed earlier, a suave and silky closing piece to an innovative, gently pleasing and mature work. A sensationally pretty cover seals the deal and a promise of more to come.

4 Self imaged mirrors

Thanks to tszirmay for the artist addition. and to NotAProghead for the last updates

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