Novembre - Classica
Century Media
Doom/Gothic/Progressive Metal
10 songs (49'43)
Release year: 1999
Novembre, Century Media
Reviewed by Milan
Archive review

I'll admit it: I can't resist a beautiful, round woman's bottom. My flesh is weak and I'm not ashamed about it. Sure, that's nearly not enough to make a woman attractive but it would be foolish to deny its power. What this has to do with this review, you ask? Well, Novembre is a band I've always been aware of yet until recently I've never had the interest to find out what they actually sound like. Wondering which album I should start with, I was browsing through their discography until I came across the album in question, Classica. One look at the album cover and I was sold as the curves featured on it instantly struck a chord with me. The question then was: would the content of the album have the same immediate, pleasant effect on me as its cover?

Unfortunately this was not the case as initially barely anything about it stood out. That's the tricky thing about Novembre (at least as far as this album is concerned): they're not a very flashy band nor are they particularly catchy. Instead the intricacies of every song slowly reveal themselves after multiple listens. The songs rarely reach a certain climax, most don't even have an explicit chorus, instead the songs flow through several segments. This initially put me off, leaving me with no desire to listen to it again. Yet there was something that drew me back (perhaps it was the ass?) and after several listens the album managed to get under my skin.

Novembre's sound isn't very easy to describe, mixing various genres such as doom, gothic and progressive metal into one big cocktail while adding their own dreamy flavour to it. That dreamy atmosphere is probably what sets Novembre apart from their contemporaries, putting them in a spot all their own. Yet it seems to be a double-edged sword as it could put potential fans off after the first listen, just like it initally did with me. Luckily good things come to those who wait (or in this case those who listen to it more than once) as you steadily begin to notice the exquisite leadwork (just listen to Cold Blue Steel) and the fantastic solo's such as on Tales from a Winter to Come, a song that initially seems to go nowhere but ends in an absolutely terrific solo. Another essential component of the dreamy atmosphere Novembre's songs evoke is singer Carmelo Orlando. He's far from the most talented singer out there, possessing a mediocre rasp. Even worse (one would think at least) are his cleans which initially come off as lazy, barely pronouncing the words he sings (just listen to Nostalgiaplatz and My Starving Bambina). Yet after giving this some time one comes to realize that this is all in function of the atmosphere and the mood the band tries to pass on to the listener, turning the two aforementioned tracks into two highlights of the album. Finally, a special mention should go to Love Story, the single track that managed to catch my interest from the first listen. It opens with the only headbangable riff on the entire album but damn, is it a good one. The song basically employs this single riff for nearly five minutes yet it never gets tiring.

This is a tough album to talk about, even now that I've heard it multiple times it took me a lot of time to write this. I'm not sure whether I've managed to accurately describe Novembre's sound or what the band is going for. These Italians are in a space all their own, as I have no clue who to compare them too nor to whom I should aim my recommendations. I guess that the main question anyone interested in this should ask themselves is this: Am I willing to spend quite some time with this? If the answer is a clear yes, then by all means check this out. It's a terrific album, one that would be a unique addition to your discography. Whether it's their best or whether it's a good starting point in their discography I do not know (unless my intro applies to you too). There's only one thing I do know and that is that I look forward to hearing the rest of their discography as well as to hearing some new material, hopefully in the near future. And I recommend everyone to do the same.

Killing Songs :
Cold Blue Steel, Tales from a Winter to Come, My Starving Bambina, Love Story
Milan quoted 88 / 100
Other albums by Novembre that we have reviewed:
Novembre - The Blue reviewed by Joe and quoted 98 / 100
Novembre - Materia reviewed by Alex and quoted 85 / 100
Novembre - Novembrine Waltz reviewed by Chris and quoted 87 / 100
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