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Review of the Album "Materia" by Italian Metal Band Novembre

Ara is a journalism graduate from California State University, Northridge, who is always looking to explore his writing opportunities.

Materia is the fifth official studio album for Novembre so this number 5 represents that.

Materia is the fifth official studio album for Novembre so this number 5 represents that.

The Album Materia Represents a Style Change for Novembre

Novembre, one of the bands in Italy that has really made a name for themselves with their doom and death metal style over the years came out with their 2006 album called Materia. Materiais described as having a more progressive rock kind of influence. There is also an attempt by the band to use Italian lyrics in their songs. After their 1996 album Arte Novecento which is a very solid album in the career of Novembre, I got the urge to dive even deeper into the band’s discography and so far it has worked out to be a pleasant sort of decision. Listening to the music of Novembre has been a welcome addition to my musical listening library during these current times as people are still forced to stay indoors. The album’s title might as well have been Material because it is Materia without the L. Joining the Orlando brothers for this album is guitarist Massimiliano Pagliuso who has been in the band since 1997, making him one of the longest serving members.

Lyrically, the songs on Materia deal with the meaning of life and the meaning of our existence on this planet. One example of this is the song called “Aquamarine.” Sometimes we look for someone or something to caress us and make us feel like we are loved so we go about that search for that something which will make us feel valued or loved.

In addition, Materia has two songs that were originally planned to be included as part of the album Novembrine Waltz but they were scrapped. These songs are “Croma” and “Nothijngrad.”

A Quick Note

In order to make things easier for readers, let me remind you that 2002’s Dreams D’ Azur is actually not the 5th album of Novembre but it is the re-recording of the band’s debut album back in 1994.

The Musical Style of Materia and Influences

Stylistically, Materia resembles the way in which later albums by the band Amorphis were composed and I also detect the influence of the Dutch band The Gathering. We are also starting to see the band put more Italian lyrics into their music. One quality that is present about Novembre that deserves a lot of credit is the fact that their music does not bring your mood down, make you feel gloomy or morose even though they have had that doom metal sound for a while. Materia has that progressive rock feel without the heavy, crunching guitars that their countrymen Lacuna Coil would use around this time period in 2006. However, Novembre’s use of Italian lyrics in their songs has been more often than Lacuna Coil has done. This kind of approach might help them attract more metal fans in Italy.

Final Thoughts and Analysis of the Album Materia

What is neat about Materia is the various acoustic parts which makes it enjoyable to listen to. “Reason” might as well be a song in which a man thanks the love of his life for such a beautiful spring season that he has had. One line that we can analyze to infer about this is the verse that Carmelo Orlando sings, saying “you are the reason for this May.” But perhaps the biggest highlight of this album is the acoustic dominated song “Geppetto” as you can tell that the style is very much progressive in nature with a feel of Fates Warning plus Yngwie J. Malmsteen and a touch of Novembre’s own progressive style of play. “Comedia” starts off with this sort of guitar work that repeats and sort of chugs along if you know what I mean. As the rain falls, the man looks for a way to get himself and his lover out if a world that feels so out of place and chaotic. The best songs in Materia are "Geppetto" and "Comedia."

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© 2020 Ara Vahanian

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