Novembre - URSA

Novembre - URSA

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(CD, Peaceville Records, 2016)

I cannot claim that I am a dedicated follower of Italy’s NOVEMBRE and the sole reason for this is the Gothic label following them. On the other hand, the Italians have strong Doom / Death Metal roots, so choosing not to deal with them was not the cleverest move I could have made. And it took the comeback release (the band had been inactive for some years) titled “URSA” to realize (once again) that reading press releases and not listening to the music may lead to the wrong assumptions. What I can say though is that this kind of music requires some conditions in order to reveal its potential in full capacity.

So, the not-Spring friendly weather with close to freezing temperatures and the drizzle on top painted the perfect atmosphere for digging into “URSA” and discovering all the shades of grey. Ok, the soothing sounds of the sea during “Australis” do not actually fit my grey and cold surroundings but are enough to feed the low mood via the down-tuned clean guitars, the mid-tempo and Carmelo Orlando’s clean singing. The song’s structure is quite complicated but not overwhelming, since all the layers are clearly defined and bleed to each other only to enhance the overall atmosphere. Somewhere in the middle of this, NOVEMBRE gets heavier with growling vocals and distorted guitars which can be affiliated to PARADISE LOST Gothic-painted Death Metal. Listening to the album with headphones is highly recommended in order to taste every single detail and enjoy to the maximum the multiple guitar and vocal layers. “The Rose” is the first song that immediately sticks entering with an almost Folk attitude before revisiting the Gothic / Death Metal awesome blend. Pay attention to the bass lines, especially during the guitar solo, to appreciate the depth on NOVEMBRE’s music that will not appeal to all those fast-food listeners who just want a couple of mp3 files in their phone to stream for a ridiculously short time. “Oceans Of Afternoons” pushes the scales closer to Gothic Metal norms but not the cheesy type we usually get nowadays; I am talking about TIAMAT influences mixed with PARADISE LOST and the transition from mellow to heavy is so smooth that you won’t even notice the change. If you welcome the sound of seagulls squawking during the clean guitar break with eyes close, you’ll feel the salt on your face along with the nice sea breeze; excellent! “Agathae” immediately became the star of the tracklist during the amazing AMORPHIS-type of riff (I think the guitar tuning has something to do with this) and the way the percussion expands the sound in a “Planet Caravan” kind of way. Again, the way the band has placed layer upon layers without overwhelming the music is awesome and wait until the guitar distortion enhances even more the main melody. And then songs turns heavier as if something bad had happened and the initial tranquility was disturbed by massive waves of darkness. Yeah, the growls and the fast snare drum action have this effect and brace yourself, because this will not be the only change. The band uses lots of different colors in this complicated yet most accessible sonic puzzle which is so welcoming to whoever decides to take the challenge.

Once again, I fell into the trap of labels and genres and missed the doings of this most inspired band from Italy. “URSA” has no weak moment and, in fact, is a one-hour journey through different landscapes offering a wide range of feelings and is definitely not to be taken one. Multiple listenings are also recommended and I am sure each time you’ll notice something new that you like. I hope there is a vinyl edition on the way.

10/10 


Links:

www.Novembre.Co.Uk
www.Facebook.Com/Novembre


Tracklist:

01. Australis
02. The Rose
03. Umana
04. Easter
05. URSA
06. Oceans Of Afternoons
07. Annoluce
08. Agathae
09. Bremen
10. Fin


Lineup:

Fabio Fraschini - Bass
David Folchitto - Drums
Carmelo Orlando - Guitar, Vocals, Keyboards
Massimiliano Pagliuso - Guitar