Novembre @ Materia Review

Peaceville Records

Italy’s Novembre are celebrating a fifteen year career with Materia, their fifth studio effort and debut release for Peaceville. Having not heard that much from the band in the past, I was curious to find out why they got picked to fill the opening slot for My Dying Bride’s recent shows and getting Peaceville interested at the same time.
I guess it’s quite impossible not to trace some late Katatonia influences throughout these ten tracks – being the eleventh a cover version of The Promise, by Arcadia (a band featuring some Duran Duran members) – as well as some vocal inspirations from Maynard James Keenan during his late work with A Perfect Circle. Other than that, this is how far as it goes on the matter of “subconscious persuasions”. One thing I found pretty interesting, as it gives an occasional array of mysticism, is Carmelo Orlando’s Italian singing on some of the tracks’ more rousing moments. Without standing out from the whole of a song in that sort of perceptible Moonspell’s fashion, they pretty much add another face to the harmonies and atmospheres that rely heavily on those particular songs. Jules is certainly a highlight on that note, as the track starts with Carmelo’s native singing on top of a haunting percussion moment, almost giving you that “lost in time” sensation (the guitar ahead also turns out to be quite helpful in providing the notion I just described). The title-track is also a personal favourite, as it’s perhaps the best Doom Metal song of them all – painfully sluggish and poignant, while closing with rather unexpected, but fitting, Black Metal vocals. Other equally great tracks are the opening Verne (fans of Discouraged Ones will find their solace here), the miserably beautiful Aquamarine, Geppetto (mostly acoustic-driven till it reaches a climax of hypnotising redemption) and the twisted Comedia that starts with a fast and desperate pace before culminating in a rockier mood with Orlando’s own trademark work on top.
Recorded at the band’s own Outer Sound Studios for a period of almost two years and gaining body for some extra rhythm guitar fills and mixing work at Finnvox Studios, Materia arrives as an alternative for those who seek the embrace of Doom Metal’s scattered ambience of misery and gloom, tinged with the more progressive and accessible leanings from some of today’s household names, and Novembre are definitely on their own with this remarkable recipe.

Peaceville Records

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