Novembre – The Blue

Novembre are an Italian band hailing from the Eternal City itself, namely Rome. I’m not the biggest supporter of Italian metal, however I find the music these guys make quite enjoyable. Despite several periods of trials and tribulations with line-up changes and different labels, the band managed to release a nice set of albums, including Novembrine Waltz (2001), Dreams d’Azur (2002) and The Blue (2007). It’s been awfully quiet on the Novembre front lately, so that’s an excellent occasion to shed some light on the band’s latest studio album, entitled The Blue.

On The Blue the band manage to fill the void between Opeth, Katatonia and Anathema. This album also packs a real punch compared to the lighter hearted Materia (2006), due to the increase of guttural vocals and heavier song material. This album seems to be more in the Opeth theatre of operations, but has also retained the progressive and melancholic character, which is also an integral part of the signature Novembre sound.

This more grim approach comes to fruition in Cobalt Of March, Bluecracy, Architheme, Iridescene and Deorbit. These songs breath the same atmosphere as Anathema’s Alternative 4 and Judgement to a lesser extent, due to extensive use of acoustic guitar parts. Nascene, Argentic and Zenith are generally more atmospheric in nature and the explore Novembre’s more melancholic pastures. The warm clean vocals by Carmelo Orlando reinforce the Weltschmertz notion, which Novembre shares with bands like Paradise Lost and the aforementioned Anathema and Katatonia.

I can’t stress enough that Novembre has truly found a sound of their own on The Blue, despite obvious references to Opeth, Anathema and Katatonia. The overall song quality is very high and the adventurous nature gives this album a somewhat progressive feel as well. The only possible drawback I can think it’s the relatively long length of The Blue, but this can be countered with some perseverance.

On The Blue Novembre managed to find the right balance between aggression and soothing melancholy. Despite obvious references to the bands mentioned above, it’s their strongest to date. I hope these Italians haven’t completely vanished from the earth and that they’re working on some fresh material.

written by Raymond Westland

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