Now they come back with their sophomore album, Anova Exam; but what has changed? Well, the most obvious is the band’s new lineup. Former drummer Martin Jones, who had left in the past, had replaced him on drums, whilst former guitarist James Deighton replaced Billy Batson on guitar. The bass player has been taken on by Martin Carthy, whilst former bass player John Cocker moved over to keyboards, giving the band a much more streamlined sound than the band used to have before.
The title of the album Anova Exam refers to the fact that the band’s sound has undergone many changes since holding. Whereas holding was primarily a heavy metal album, it’s now more of a mix of different genres, such as jazz, blues and even funk. It would appear that the band are trying to branch out and diversify themselves, so that their music can keep up with the ever-changing music industry.
On Hold, the band had a tendency to take themselves too seriously, and it’s probably why they lost many fans in the first place. In this case, their songs are far more serious and heavy metal sounding than usual, and I suppose it’s a reflection of where their music sounds from. On Hold was a very well-received album by everyone who heard it, but some people felt that it lacked variety, which may have something to do with the band’s original drummer leaving in the past. However, on this album they really do have some great songs, which is great for their new sound.
Billy Batson was forced to change his drumming style because of Martin Carthy’s involvement, which leads to John Cocker becoming the primary drummer for the band, as well as the bass player, replacing the former bass player Billy Deighton. This move has led to the band playing a lot more songs on hold than usual. Although this is hardly unusual for bands, it does seem to have changed the way they perform, as they now play longer songs that have more layers and dynamics. as compared to the shorter and more straightforward songs that they played on Hold.
James Deighton, on bass, is very familiar with the genre and has a very large variety of tracks under his belt. He is a long-time fan of doom metal and black metal, and this has been evident on his solo albums and work with fellow band members, such as The Black Keys and Dream Theater. His work on Hold and Anova exams is also very unique.
This band also have a few guest vocals, including that of Peter Murphy, who had vocals on Hold. They have also recruited David Gilmour, who has a very impressive voice, and he does his vocals well, especially on Anova Exam. He is known for his high-pitched vocals, which adds a very unusual, yet interesting effect to the band’s music.
I would say that Anova is a great band, but I am not as impressed with how the band has grown since their debut. Their debut album was mainly acoustic based and had that slightly doomy sound, but Anova Exam is a lot more modern and has a more melodic sound to it. The band has also added a lot of diversity on their sound, but this is also apparent on their music videos.