Release DetailsLABEL Peaceville
RELEASED ON 11/20/2007
posted on 11/2007 By:
Italy’s Novembre have a strong discography, so it’s not surprising that The Blue is yet another great record from the brothers Orlando and company. In fact, though not up to par with the devastating Classica or the emotion-filled Novembrine Waltz, The Blue is arguably their finest effort since 2001 – a six year span that included the releases of Wish I Could Dream It Again remake Dreams d’Azur in 2002 and Peaceville debut Materia in 2006.
Frontman Carmelo Orlando (vocals, guitars) has always had a versatile, unique voice, and he excels here by way of emotion-ridden, clean lines and biting, acidic growls. Distinct and passionate, Novembre wouldn’t be the same without him. The compositions themselves are somewhat varied, too, and it’s worth mentioning that the quintet continues to mildly evolve, ensuring that none of the seven albums could be mistaken for each other. Speaking of, a noticeable change is the increase in aggression – evident in the frequent use of growls – which is a notch or two above last year’s Materia. Following a serene, acoustic-laden introductory passage, “Anaemia” launches into a driven, melancholy verse that Orlando’s supreme growling and clean vocalizing enhance. Also compelling is the similar-minded “Triesteitaliana,” and one should perk up at the brief, guitar solos that pepper this and several other songs.
In addition, “Cobalt of March” and “Bluecracy” are equally deserving of praise, while parts of “Architeme” (2:49-3:19) are nothing less than earth shattering. For differences, however, the depressive “Nascence” contains female accompaniment, “Iridescence” brandishes a bold ending, “Sound Odyssey” incorporates piano, “Zenith” uses flute, and “Cantus Christi” utilizes acoustic guitar, which is prevalent throughout the entire recording. As is the case with Novembre’s offerings, “Zenith,” “Argentic,” and “Deorbit” make for a strong close to a highly consistent album. Still, in weighing their previous output, it’s not as if this displays radical improvement, nor deviates from the norm all that much. Even so, that’s not what I was hoping for, nor expecting.
While they’ve been compared to Katatonia, The Old Dead Tree, and Opeth, among others – perhaps the reasoning stems from the fact that they’re all European, have vocalists who both sing and growl (or used to), and convey a serious amount of emotion – there’s not a group out there that sounds exactly like Novembre, even if the aforementioned do indeed share a few traits. Regardless, The Blue, despite its occasional sameness, holds its own.
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