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Novembre - Ursa Award winner

by Dave "That Metal Guy" Campbell at 16 June 2016, 10:59 AM

NOVEMBRE is a Doom/Progressive/Death Metal band based out of Rome, Italy. Formed in 1990 and originally called CATACOMB, The band had previously release seven studio albums, before going into a hiatus after the release of “The Blue” in 2007. This new studio album presented for review contains ten tracks. “Australis” is the opening track. It comes in softly, with humming and acoustic guitars, like the waves of low tide. The main riff is earnest and the clean harmonic vocals are very pretty. The Death vocals go deep and give the song a dangerous edge to the already doomy atmosphere. “The Rose” is full of complex texture yet retains a melody that you can easily connect with. Visually, it’s more like a deep blue or black rose…still a beautiful sight but obviously dark in nature. “Umana” has a brighter key, but like an attractive coral snake, the colorful patterns hide a deadly venom. The strings that bring a crescendo to the end of the song are just chilling.

“Easter” is more straightforward and melancholy, with a twist from the Death vocal passages. Just after the halfway mark, it takes a completely different direction with a renewed bite. The title track, “Ursa,” has a totally compelling sound and the 3/4 meter makes it stand out from some of the other tracks. If I had to pick a song to showcase on the album it would probably be this one, because it might be the most balanced and the one that shows their incredible synergy of sound. “Oceans of Afternoons” is a slower and methodical exercise in downtrodden sound, as the title suggests. But, there are sidesteps into the light here and there that once again bring great temperance. The saxophone solo at the end is right on point. “Annoulce” shows off a great hook and the band’s ability to stretch outside of their anything but typical approach and embrace something a little more slick. This not only shows off their versatility but their sense of diversity as well.

“Agathae” continues in this vein, pushing the ceiling of their building of creativity even higher. The folky, atmospheric opening, complete with hand held tom drums is mesmerizing. From there it completely changes direction several times to the closing, ushering in some darkness as well. “Bremen” is somewhat thicker in sound from the rhythmic main riff, and heavier as well, they pause at precise moments to let some beauty flow. “Fin” closes the album, with grace and refinement tempering the aggression. This is a standard setting album. So many diverse and unique sounds went into these compositions, and I think this is the band’s best album to date. Awe-inspiring beauty, dark, melancholy and powerful emotions, and reverie abound at every turn.

Songwriting: 9
Originality: 10
Memorability: 9
Production: 9

4 Star Rating

1. Australis
2. The Rose
3. Umana
4. Easter
5. Ursa
6. Oceans of Afternoons
7. Annoluce
8. Agathae
9. Bremen
10. Fin
Carmelo Orlando – Guitars, Vocals, Keyboards
Massimiliano Pagliuso – Guitars
Record Label: Peaceville Records


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Edited 02 October 2022

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