Release date: April 20, 2009 | Independent | Facebook | Bandcamp

Progressive rock and metal have long been the bedrock of our community. You might remember that we evolved from a site dedicated to certain technical and progressive leanings within the heavier music sections, and as much as we’ve branched out since then, the influence those times had on our tastes is insurmountable. Hell, it’s what brough us together in the first place! So let’s celebrate one of the unsing gems of those times in the late ’00s when prog rock was somewhat fashionable again, throwing its weight around in the post-hardcore and metal communities.

The Complexity of Light by Children of Nova turns 15 years old on this very day; what fortunate timing! Throwing psychedelia, prog, and post-hardcore leanings into a blender with a myriad of other flavors, the band created a spectacular feast for any self-respecting fan of bands such as Coheed and Cambria, The Mars Volta, The Dear Hunter, and many more.

Robert Miklos

It’s nothing short of a tremendous travesty that The Complexity of Light isn’t a prog cornerstone and something every prog fan worships alongside all the established household names. There are few records in the realm of prog rock/prog metal in the modern age which can say they live up to such a high standard from every point of view. Children of Nova came out of nowhere some odd 15 years ago and slapped us right in the face and earholes with an absolute masterpiece. This barely-over-half-an-hour record was so ahead of its time, that you could hand it to me at any given moment now and sell it as something that was released yesterday and guess what? I’d buy it without so much as a shred of doubt. Just take my money!

I don’t even remember exactly how I stumbled into The Complexity of Light to be honest. I’m pretty sure it was one of those deep dives I used to engage in, into the nethers of the internet for obscure musical gems – a process that feels not unlike the Klondike Gold Rush: An exhausting, possibly-already-doomed endeavor boasting an exhilarating promise of untold riches. I obviously struck gold on that fateful day and ran with it. However, unlike the gold rush, the silver lining is that I get to share the gold with everyone around me who’s willing to take it, and it enriches all our lives.

Smitten with Children of Nova, I went on to show my discovery to one of my absolute best friends. At the time I think he loved the band even more than me, listening to them on repeat so much that it legitimately pissed me off several times, prompting me to scream from across the house to change the damn music. Even the best things can be cumbersome if overdone, hahaha! It’s also weird for me to conceptualize that I love this band so much and I managed to utter those words, but excess will make you act weird sometimes.

At any rate, we became super obsessed with the band and especially The Complexity of Light to the point where we’d fawn over basically every second of it. We started to wax poetic on it, as if it was the greatest thing in the collective cultural heritage of humankind since cooking food and finding shelter. We have this thing where we call certain bands and/or records ‘music that if you’d have somehow listened to in high-school would’ve turned you into a super hero’. The Complexity of Light is one of those.

The meaning of that excessive phrase, which we eventually shortened just to ‘you’d have been a super hero on this’, was tied to something of a shortage of astonishing music discovered back when we were in high-school and still uncovering things. It also ties into how our hyperactive adolescent minds would turn anything to blinding hyperbolae upon experiencing even the slightest level of excitement. Thus, enabling the imagination to run wild and untethered with the power of a trillion neutron stars condensed into a single point of focus. Akin to a cosmic interdimensional laser which could cut through the very fabric of existence. So, you know, whenever we find something really cool the child inside goes ham over its new ‘toy’, and it’s an endless well of joy.

Nothing encapsulates this feeling of eternity, sheer power, and glorious light than the beginning of “The Order” (as well as the rest of the song), which both of us tend to agree is the highest point of the record. I mean leading up to that point the record is already extremely solid and crafts and extraordinary and highly immersive world around you, make no mistake. However, as soon as this track rolls around, you really start to understand the profoundly exaggerated descriptive statement from above.

I mean it just doesn’t hold back at all. Epic riffs, melodies and drum rolls with an ethereal falsetto in the background, opening the stage to Teo Lopez’s scintillating vocals belting out ‘Now has come/The time to bring color to my eyes/And break the barriers‘. This is also the moment in the album, when staring at the cover, made absolutely all the sense in the world. Thoth greeting the sun, praising the complexity of light, drenched in a lagoon of magic and vivid colors. To me at least, this is that bit immortalized in graphical form. It’s absolutely breathtaking.

Really though, I could just continue the rant in an extremely granular fashion, going nuts about the complexity of the arrangements, the pristine production, the outstanding performance, the utterly beautiful and creative songwriting, the epic and mystical lyrics, every little detail. Although, if you made it this far in my discourse, I think you get it. If not, go listen to the record; it’s pretty short and I absolutely guarantee you have nothing to lose. Even if you don’t like it, chances are you know someone who might just love it as much as I do.

Ultimately, I think it’s an incredible shame that such an album is still basically unknown outside of ultra-die-hard-prog-fans. I’m sure it’s not because of the music’s lack of accessibility, but it’s a plethora of other reasons that I don’t have the time or space to dive into. My hope with this, what amounts to a feverish love letter, written with such ardor that it took me forever to write, what with the excitement making typos out of every damn word and having to go back and fix it – is that I might shed some more light on Children of Nova and The Complexity of Light, so it might shine as a bright beacon for many others, as it does for me.

Dominik Böhmer

Dominik Böhmer

Pretentious? Moi?

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