October 29, 2021

It was only a year ago that the British progressive rock band Novena released their debut album, the absolutely genius Eleventh Hour and this is a record that any self-respecting music fan should have in their collection. The band formed in 2013 and made plenty of people sit up and take notice with their monumental Secondary Genesis EP that re-wrote the book on progressive rock and they then further established their gorgeous and sumptuous sound with Eleventh Hour. They have a rich and lush sound which is an ambitious fusing of the prodigiously talented bands of Haken, Opeth, Pain Of Salvation, Spock’s Beard and It Bites.

Perhaps, this is no real surprise given that the band is made up by some very high quality musicians with vocalists Ross Jennings (Haken) and Gareth Mason (Slice The Cake) combining with Harrison White on guitar/keyboards, Dan Thornton (ex-HAARP Machine, ex-No Sin Evades His Gaze) on guitar, Cameron Spence (Ravenface) on drums and Moat Lowe (Sludge, ex-NSEHG) on bass. The COVID pandemic hit the band hard as with every other group and they were unable to tour or promote their very special debut but the band did the next best thing by recording several ‘live at home’ performances which then led to the Live At Home EP released in July and they have now followed this up with three new tracks featuring the stunning 12-minute epic The Stopped Clock which is typical progressive Novena but with a feel of Bowie’s tragically compelling Blackstar track from the album of the same name.

Watch out for the interesting cover of the Billie Eilish song Bury A Friend which is given the real Novena treatment to give the song a totally different lease of life although still following the core template of the original. In Loving Memory is another complicated but utterly compelling prog work out and shows that the signs for the second album are very good indeed.

It doesn’t matter where you start your relationship – each release being an excellent starting point but the critical issue is that you do give them a listen. Once you are in you will be hooked by this fresh, brilliant and utterly compelling band.

The Stopped Clock

  1. The Stopped Clock
  2. Bury A Friend
  3. In Loving Memory