Album Review: A New Renaissance - 'A New Renaissance'

1 February 2008 | 6:22 pm | Staff Writer

Promising stuff from the folks who gave us Degreassi Junior High…

I’m not sure how we ended up

with a copy of A New Renaissance’s most recent full length.

After all, how many French/Canadian screamo bands do you know? Location

and low profile aside, the eight songs on offer are of the same quality

as most of the stuff that’s coming out of the US at the moment, and

although the whole sing/scream thing doesn’t really leave much room

for experimentation, there are enough variations on the formula to keep

things interesting. 


While the influence of current

scene kings Underoath is quite obvious, A NewRenaissance

possess a certain something that allows them to stand on their own two

feet. Maybe there’s something in the Canadian water, but bands like Alexisonfire, Grade and the Cancer Bats have shown

that the Canucks are capable of incorporating the sounds of their American

peers into their own unique take on their chosen genre. 


If you own a copy of They’re

Only Chasing Safety then opening track “She” may sound a little

familiar, however vocalist Simon Marois possess more of a throaty

yell than an indecipherable scream, which gives the song a bit of an

edge. “Veiled Coercion” places more of an emphasis on metal riffing

to begin with but the band is able to retain its sense of melody through

a series of catchy choruses and interludes. 


“Passions Shared Are Distant

Dreams” starts with a bang but rather than capitalizing on the already

built momentum A New Renaissance opts to slow things down to

your typical rock meets punk verses. Fortunately the follow up track

is the strongest of the album and although it’ll never win any points

for originality, “In Greed Much Is Sown” showcases some excellent

guitar parts, interesting tempo changes and an anthem like chorus. Even

the song’s quieter moments manage to hold your attention. 


I’m not really sure what A New Renaissance were trying to achieve by having the introduction

of “Bring It On” so low in the mix, but aside from that the song

flows incredibly well and builds to the most impressive chorus on the

record. The riffs flow thick and fast through “Four More Years”

and show that the band is as competent at writing an aggressive tune

as they are a melodious one.  


The darker sounds of “Parasites”

works well but I found the vocals through the verses particularly irritating,

which is a shame because the chorus is great. “Epilogue” is another

tune that starts well but seems to lose its way the longer the song

goes on.


There are definitely some aspects

of A New Renaissance’s sound that need some work, but this

CD shows a lot of promise, something that I hope the band can capitalize

on if they stick around for another album or two. Considering “A New

Renaissance” was self recorded and produced I think they’ve done

an admirable job.


  1. She
  2. Veiled Coercion
  3. Passions Shared Are

    Distant Dreams

  4. In Greed Much Is Sown
  5. Bring It On
  6. Four More Years
  7. Parasites
  8. Epilogue