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Children of Nova - Impossible Landscape CD (album) cover

IMPOSSIBLE LANDSCAPE

Children of Nova

Neo-Prog


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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-

Report this review (#690815)
Posted Monday, March 26, 2012 | Review Permalink
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".

Report this review (#690826)
Posted Monday, March 26, 2012 | Review Permalink
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 6 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.

Report this review (#802496)
Posted Friday, August 10, 2012 | Review Permalink
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.

Report this review (#899020)
Posted Thursday, January 24, 2013 | Review Permalink

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