Now I know there is (or was) also an Italian death metal band with the name Novembre but we're not talking about them at this time. We're talking about a French duo that decided to gamble everything and created a present day version of that Judgement Night soundtrack. Hip-hop, post-rock and dark ambient are being blended into a stunning, bleak soundtrack for an apocalyptic world in the near future.
What we get on this album is indeed extremely surprising. Trip-hop like electronics and drums are being enforced by layers of guitars and soundscapes and narrated by raps and spoken word, in French. The result is outlandish. It's like walking through a desolate city, destroyed by war. The only sound you hear are the explosions in the background and a constant angsty roar. Above all of this someone is trying to explain what happened.
I guess this is what happens when you're being influences by bands like Portishead, Cult Of Luna and French hip-hop (of which I only know Manau). Yet, this duo also incorporates elements from black metal, mainly in the overall atmosphere which is quite frightening and intensly cold. The only exeption to that recipe is the instrumental breather 'Khadim', a track that also brings old school EBM to mind. Closer 'Le Pacte' repeats that industrial feel and is some weird way reminds me of Calva Y Nada.
My favorite tracks are 'Votre Ami...D', which somehow reminds me of Samael's purely electronic work, and the twisted and alienating 'Haute Couture'. The latter is, in my opinion, the absolute highlight of this album, a slow nerve-wrecking piece of electronic music with bleak guitars and a flood of preaching words. This is actually the case in all the songs but damn, that 'Haute Couture' is a brilliant piece of work.
In the end, I really have to say that I'm pleasantly surprised by Novembre and I hope this is not a one-off thing. This definitely is a combination I want to see evolve and this duo has the abilities to go to new extremes with their music. Furthermore, get these guys on stage somewhere in Belgium. I want to see that...