Novembre
Classica


4.0
excellent

Review

by Kyle Ward EMERITUS
May 17th, 2008 | 40 replies


Release Date: 1999 | Tracklist


Sometimes I wonder why it is that so many great albums fly under the radar so quickly. There are tons of hidden gems just waiting to be discovered which sound so good and so professional that you would think it was an album by an artist of higher stature. So, while you have the popular bands out there tripping and falling on their faces (again) but still garnering much attention and hype, you have albums by bands which play music for the sake of, well, the sake of playing music. I have no doubt in my mind that if any metal fan scratched just inches below the surface of big-name acts they would find material which out paces and out plays those bands which, for some odd and unknown reason, sell albums which were performed with a noticeable sense of laziness and lack of creativity.

Such is the case with Italian band Novembre’s third long player, Classica. The similarities between Novembre and the highly acclaimed progressive death metal band Opeth are quite astounding, but the differences are equally potent. No, this band isn’t an Opeth clone, so there is no reason to think that you have heard this album before, it’s just that Novembre plays the same relative style of metal, with clean vocals and death metal vocals alike, and acoustic passages, slower pace, etc. However, Novembre does it with a meticulous attention to detail, making sure that every single moment of each song has something interesting which the listener will appreciate. The amount of dead space on this record is nil, there isn’t really a moment where you question if the song has ended or not. They don’t attempt to create these insane, epic 14 minute tracks, they keep the song lengths in the realm of the human attention span, with most of the songs falling into the 4 ½ to 5 minute range, a good length but nothing insane. So the first thing to note here is that this is not the kind of album which will put you to sleep with boredom.

The decision to make the track lengths rather short (in comparison to other bands of the same genre) does not mean that those moments of serenity and calm are gone. Quite the contrary, actually, there are multiple instances where the music slows to a crawl and an acoustic guitar strums away to the melodies of clean vocals. The break in the middle of the impressive “Tales From A Winter To Come” is the perfect example, because it separates the two halves of heavy, heavy death metal sections and just gives you a small break. The melodies present are also quite potent. There are some seriously, seriously intense riffs here which are impossible to not notice. Every single song is packed with guitar riffs which sound so melodic and emotional, you will keep thinking to yourself that there is no way that the entire album could be like this. That’s the case with the first two tracks, because “Cold Blue Steel” and “Tales From A Winter To Come” just slap you in the face with this seriously impressive guitar performance.

While those two tracks are both heavy and melodic, the other side of Classica comes forth in the oddly titled “Nostalgiaplatz”, which is purely clean vocals, which seem distant and very out-of-body in their production and tone. The guitars play an important role, as they are the driving force of this track, not the vocals. The riffing at the beginning and the solo at the end are both a treat for the ears, because on this album you get the melodic guitars in both the calmer songs and the heavy songs. Generally, the album is paced at a very interesting mid-tempo, usually breaking that to go slower. Occasionally, though, we get the faster paced song such as “Love Story”, but even that has it’s slower moments, which gives the album a very doom metal-like atmosphere, something which I greatly appreciate because it’s nice to listen to a death metal album which goes this slowly.

In case it’s not apparent yet, this album is quite the showcase of opposites. You have your fast paced and slow paced sections, your clean and death metal vocals, your electric and acoustic guitars, your moments of insanity and your moments of serenity, Classica really is an interesting take on the death metal genre, bordering along the lines of progressive and doom, with each of those elements making an appearance here. Sure, you can relate it to Opeth, as I’m sure many people will, but the fact is this is an entirely different sound. It’s more contained, it’s more melodic, and it’s more meaningful. Just one listen and I’m sure you will agree, Novembre’s Classica is a stunning achievement in songwriting ability and execution.

Pros
+ Insane Melodies
+ Awesome Vocals
+ Great Pacing
+ Lots Of Variety
+ Excellent Production

Cons
- Clean Vocals Are Hit Or Miss



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user ratings (110)
Chart.
4.1
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
Crysis
Emeritus
March 16th 2008


17272 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Not as long as I wanted it to be but this will do. Please excuse the Opeth comparisons, they may be overused but I find it fitting with this album.

Digging: Kauan - Kaiho

Slaytan
March 16th 2008


1185 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I got this about a month ago and it hasn't lost it's playback ability despite my near constant listening. I don't think the review needs to be longer, you covered everything on the album well.

Crysis
Emeritus
March 16th 2008


17272 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I haven't heard The Blue but I would probably bet this is Novembre's best album.

Crysis
Emeritus
March 16th 2008


17272 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

It wasn't you that reviewed The Blue?


Nope, it wasn't

Get this album, I'm sure that you will like it.This Message Edited On 03.16.08

BallsToTheWall
March 16th 2008


48066 Comments


Another good review. I have The Blue and it's pretty cool. I'll check this out later.

Digging: Flesh Field - Strain

jrowa001
March 16th 2008


8752 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

this is their best album, but The Blue is not that far behind

SynGates
March 16th 2008


2467 Comments


I liked The Blue so I guess I'll check it. Pretty good review but I don't think these guys are anything like Opeth. They have the harsh and clean variation but I mean come on.

combustion07
March 16th 2008


5587 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

What's better: this or The Blue?




The Blue and this are about equal, I'd get this first though.







DBlitz
March 17th 2008


1693 Comments


Might check these guys out

rasputin
March 17th 2008


14896 Comments


good review, I've really been meaning to have a look at these guys. How similar are they to In Mourning?

Pebster49
March 17th 2008


3003 Comments


Novembre is awesome! This album I havent listened to too much, even though I do have it

Willie
Moderator
March 17th 2008


17277 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Great review... I've been meaning to check these guys out (I was going to get "The Blue").

making sure that every single moment of each song has something interesting which the listener will appreciate.
Which is something Opeth doesn't always worry about too much...

Digging: Samael - Hegemony

Essence
March 17th 2008


5816 Comments


Top notch review as always crysis;

You've got a long run-on sentence in the second paragraph though. It reads awkwardly.

Crysis
Emeritus
March 17th 2008


17272 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I think I know which one you're talking about, I'll look at it later. Thanks for the comments, I know some of the Opeth comparisons are pretty noticeable in the review but that is how I feel with this band.

Crimson
March 17th 2008


1937 Comments


It wasn't you that reviewed The Blue?

That was me actually, hah.
How similar are they to In Mourning?

Not at all similar in any way.This Message Edited On 03.17.08

DBlitz
March 17th 2008


1693 Comments


This is very good, I love it

yas666eer
March 18th 2008


281 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

great review... this is the best out of the lot of me..

stargazer76
October 2nd 2008


218 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Bought this after reading the excellent review. Great album, with superb melodies and lots of variety - their best yet! Onirica East is just awesome.

This Message Edited On 10.02.08

Willie
Moderator
October 2nd 2008


17277 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Great album, with superb melodies and lots of variety - their best yet! Onirica East is just awesome.
Agreed. Have you heard "The Blue" yet because that album is actually better than this.

BallsToTheWall
October 2nd 2008


48066 Comments


This is a band I know I should listen to more but I don't I have The Blue but forgot about. I will re-investigate more if it's as good as people are saying it is. I remember one track i liked. Don't remember specifically but it had female vocals, unsuprisingly enough.



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