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MATERIA

Novembre

Experimental/Post Metal


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Novembre Materia album cover
3.71 | 47 ratings | 6 reviews | 32% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
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Studio Album, released in 2006

Songs / Tracks Listing


1. Verne (5:44)
2. Memoria Stoica (6:00)
3. Reason (7:30)
4. Aquamarine (5:13)
5. Jules (5:47)
6. Geppetto (6:59)
7. Comedia (6:55)
8. Promise (5:33)
9. Materia (5:41)
10. Croma (6:25)
11. Nothijngrad (6:08)

Total Time 67:55

Lyrics

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Music tabs (tablatures)

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Line-up / Musicians


- Carmelo Orlando / vocals, guitar
- Giuseppe Orlando / drums
- Massimiliano Pagliuso / guitar

Releases information

Novembre signed a recording contract with Peaceville Records in July 2005 for
fifth album - Materia. This album was recorded at Finnvox Studios in Helsinki,
Finland.

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MateriaMateria
Peaceville UK 2006
Audio CD$41.08
$27.99 (used)
BlueBlue
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Novembrine WaltzNovembrine Waltz
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NOVEMBRE Materia ratings distribution


3.71
(47 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(32%)
32%
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(26%)
26%
Good, but non-essential (37%)
37%
Collectors/fans only (5%)
5%
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)
0%

NOVEMBRE Materia reviews


Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Trickster F.
PROG REVIEWER
5 stars A fine example of a group improving after "mellowing up".

Nowadays there has been a common opinion that once musicians remove the heaviness or the complexity from their sound, their music gets watered down and loses some of its quality and inspiration. In the world of Progressive Metal, some of the confirmation of that theory are numberless: Opeth, Green Carnation, that list goes on... Fortunately for us, Novembre's latest release Materia is an exception to this rule. Since the group has just been added to the archives a few days ago, a short introduction in this review wouldn't be out of place. Novembre are from Italy and were among the pioneers of the extreme metal influenced prog in the early 90's and have remained an innovative collective ever since. They are commonly compared to Katatonia, My Dying Bride, Edge Of Sanity and especially Opeth(possibly due to the popularity of the latter), and although I can see where they are coming from(this is beautiful music with heavy parts), it is important to notice that Novembre are musicians of their own original ideas and any similarities can be explained by the similar period of activity, as well as somewhat close influences.

Whilst there was an abundancy of both heavy parts with growls, that could be compared to Dan Swano's work, and clean parts, often with acoustic guitars, accordian or keyboards, on the previous efforts, Materia witnesses the musicians taking a more relaxed, laid-back approach to the music, with the mellow moments clearly outnumbering the few heavy ones. Five whole years have passed since their previous album Novembrine Waltz(we're not going to count Dreams d'Azur because it was a re-rerecording of the debut album)and that's one of the reasons why it is interesting to see how their sound has developed since then. First thing that comes to mind is that Carmelo Orlando, group's vocalist, guitarist and songwriter, is even less shy of delivering a greater vocal performance. He puts on various voices throughout the record, adding to the sound of melancholy the album creates, and it is safe to say that if one enjoys his passionate singing he will love Novembre music just as much. Carmelo's singing is an important part of the group's music indeed. Giuseppe Orlando, his brother, is one of the best and also most underrated drummers in modern Progressive Rock. There aren't as many opportunities to show his skills during faster parts as on earlier albums, however, he shines throught, not merely showing off his skill, but adding to the music.

Not a single weak track can be found on the album. All emotionally powerful and excellently written, the songs flow well together as a whole and alone, without any two songs sounding the same. I wouldn't say this is happy music, however, it is definitely very uplifting and has a remarkable feel of summer - something that is very appropriate for this time. Verne sets the vibe that can be felt when listening to the whole and includes lyrics written partly in Italian. I think that singing in your own language is a very good idea as it, in most cases, sounds more sincere and natural, although there are vocalists who put on vocals in English much more successfully even than native English speaking singers. That can definitely be said about Carmelo Orlando.

Memoria Stoica and Reason are next and they deserve being commented on because of the post-rock influence that is very present and significant here. This influence can be felt throughout the whole album, yet these songs are more post-rocking than anything else. The third track has acoustic guitar work that reminds me of maudlin of the Well's interludes a lot for some reason. Aquamarine, the next song, is hands down my favourite composition here. The main vocal harmony is my favourite from Novembre, the songwriting is brilliant and the magnificent solo create an incomparable atmosphere that sends chills down my spine. Then you can feel the song getting more tense and you can see what is going to come next - the first extreme part. It comes almost spontaneously(in a good way), and once again proves the musicians being masters of music, knowing precisely when and how to use which elements to achieve the necessary results.

Jules supposedly means 'July' in Italian and proves my assumption of Materia being a summer themed music. My favourite moment comes in at about 2:37. Geppetto is next offering more pleasant moments to the listener. I can not bet what the song is really about, but I believe that it refers to the character from Pinocchio. I like it how Novembre uses such names that are closely associated with their native land(Come Pierrot and Venezia Dismal also come to mind). Comedia follows and starts with blast beats, something that is an unusual sight in this album. I suppose it all serves to the artist's aim for this song as Carmello also comically hits "funny" notes. Only those who haven't listened to My Dying Bride will say that this singing is not related to Aaron Stainthorpe, widely known for such vocal performances. Comedia also has my favourite guitar solo on this record(the first of the two), which, unlike most solo's in rock music, actually adds something to the song. Promise is next and what do you know, it's a Duran Duran cover. You'd think that's an unexpected choice but it actually isn't Novembre have covered Depeche Mode and Kate Bush on their previous releases and are influenced by pop music, which serves the purpose of making the music more emotional and memorable, as I have noticed. I haven't heard the original, but I really like this cover. It sounds very Novembresque, meaning that if I hadn't known it was a cover I wouldn't doubt it is their own song. A nice choice, really!

We have only three songs left and all three include extreme vocals - the title track and Croma in the end, and Nothjingrad throughout in moderate amounts that won't scare off even the biggest growl hater. Once again, the way the extreme side of the music comes in is very original. Croma is an extremely unique song even for Novembre and could take some time getting used to. I especially like the transition where the shriek comes out - Dance... Dance... AAARGH! - unpredictable, but natural on repeat listens. Nothijngrad closes the album and despite flowing with other songs well, it is also the track that reminds me of older Novembre the most. The riffs here are among the best that can be found on the release and you can't help listening to it in awe.

What is left for me to say that this is so far the most enjoyable album you'll be able to acquire this year. Novembre's faithful fans will find something to love on this release and every person who hasn't been introduced to this Itallian group's work yet should start with this album, as it should be much easier to find than the group's back catalogue. This album is less extreme than Novembre's earlier music, so it should be checked first by the people who aren't keen on darker Progressive Metal. Recommended to anyone seeking an emotional and marvellous musical journey this year!

A Must Have!

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Send comments to Trickster F. (BETA) | Report this review (#75864) | Review Permalink
Posted Saturday, April 22, 2006

Review by Finnforest
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars This was an interesting, melodic, and easy to digest prog-metal title. I was quite impressed with the overall mood and sound of the music, dark, drifting, ethereal, without the crushing excess of other metal bands. The lyrics are expressive and poetic. The cover art perfectly sets the mood for the music within. They manage to create a medatative trance-like state that carries through many of the songs, and this may annoy those looking for manic shifts and wailing solos, but that also means that Materia may be a good choice for non-Metal folks looking to dip their toe in the water. This is not an album that will scare off anyone and in fact could be described as quite lovely although definately somber. 3.5 stars.

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Send comments to Finnforest (BETA) | Report this review (#117678) | Review Permalink
Posted Sunday, April 08, 2007

Review by Prog Leviathan
PROG REVIEWER
2 stars A well-composed and occasionally interesting set of ominous and deep-sounding metal tunes limited in their impact due to a bland, repetative delivery and unremarkable playing.

"Materia" has a dark, brooding feel which persists throughout its length, with excellent dynamics to carry the listener along in a sort of somber boyounacy. The quite moments reverberate with beautiful textures, and the heavy stuff bombards one with slow-tempo, sonic walls of sound. "Materia's" sound isn't nearly as heavy or intense as some of Novembre's metal peers, and is very easy to listen to, but that might not be a good thing in the end. There are many layers to unravel, with the band member's musicinaship coming across as understated (or unambitious). The drummer is the standout member, and plays with an energy and enthusiasm which makes the two guitar players seems almost sedated.

There is a definite pattern to the group's composition which, although generally thoughtful and occasionally cool, repeats on almost every track, making it difficult to distinguish them or remember anything specific. I suppose "Materia's" mood is more important than its highlights, but its perpetual metal roar becomes a chore to get through before too long, and the listener will probably be wondering where the time went. There isn't exactley a "weak track", because there's nothing especially good to compare it to: it's all the same.

Carmelo Orlando's vocals are my final strike against "Materia", and its a pretty big one. He has a tuned-down (as in its pitch), inflectionless, nasaly drone used throughout the album. His range, phrasing, and energy feels exceptionally uninspired, especially since it is very exposed and upfront in most tracks. Some may find a melancholy emotion hidden somewhere within his long-held, tenor drone... but not me.

I like dark metal quite a bit, but Orlando's voice and the blandness of the group's musicianship makes "Materia" just for fans.

Songwriting: 3 Instrumental Performances: 3 Lyrics/Vocals: 1 Style/Emotion/Replay: 2

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Send comments to Prog Leviathan (BETA) | Report this review (#254186) | Review Permalink
Posted Thursday, December 03, 2009

Review by Conor Fynes
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars 'Materia' - Novembre (7/10)

The Italian dark metal group Novembre has never been known for any bone-crushing heaviness, but their first bigger label album 'Materia' would certainly show the band go down a more melodic route than ever. From the same record company that hosts such legendary atmospheric acts as Katatonia, Novembre is in good company with Peaceville, and it has certainly been reflected in their sound. At the sacrifice of vitality and intensity in their sound, Novembre has made a noble choice to take things in a more harmonious direction, but the deep sense of loss and melancholy in the band's formula is stronger than ever.

From the saddening opener 'Verne' onwards, Novembre asserts themselves as a very vocal-centric act. Singer Carmelo Orlando's voice very important both in the songwriting as well as the production mix, and the music therefore relies heavily on his delivery. While evidently not a technically skilled singer in terms of range, Orlando's voice does carry a very distinct tone to it, and an ability to transmit emotion that works beautifully for the bands sound. The musicianship here is rarely dependent on technicality; the instruments instead are focused on emotional dynamic and the context of the songs. That being said, the drums

'Materia' starts off excellently. With absolutely majestic tracks as the hymnal 'Verne', the dynamic 'Reason' and the catchy 'Aquamarine', the first half of the album is real gold. The highlight of the album here however is none other than 'Jules', which is easily the best composed and performed track here. Beginning with an exotic acoustic guitar strum, the piece quickly builds into a grief-ridden riff and strong melodies from Carmelo. Had every track on the album reached this level of strength, I would have no problem deeming 'Materia' a masterpiece. Not all is such gold however.

The second half does take a turn for the worse. While never bad by any measure, it feels as if the same melodic tricks and ideas are being reprised and recycled for a second side, with slight tweaks in the formula. Simply, the melodies here feel less striking than they are in the first half, although a few such as the title track and 'Nothijingrad' certainly keep the album worth listening to all the way through, regardless of the sameness of the sound throughout.

A great album, with a convincing sound from these Italian metallers. Here, the band shows they can write some great music and make a fitting performance to back it up, but the consistency of the work does leave something missing.

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Send comments to Conor Fynes (BETA) | Report this review (#421708) | Review Permalink
Posted Thursday, March 24, 2011

Latest members reviews

5 stars Let me start out saying that I only review albums that I'm really passionate about; maybe it's a band I love or maybe it's a band who's talented but still needs to work some things out. Well, right away, Novembre is one of my all-time favorite bands, so this is going to be a good review. Now, I ... (read more)

Report this review (#255806) | Posted by CSmitty | Sunday, December 13, 2009 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Beautiful album...It brings melancholic memories and emotions...A MUST for all gothic metal and progressive metal fans, and generally for everyone who wants to listen to a beautiful masterpiece, that shows that italians are musically not so bad as the world thinks... Better than Rhapsody, Necrod ... (read more)

Report this review (#79895) | Posted by | Wednesday, May 31, 2006 | Review Permanlink

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