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November 7 - Season 3
CD Reviews
Written by Doctor T.   
Wednesday, 29 June 2011
November 7 - CD Review
Season 3
 
November 7 - Season 3

CD Info
2011
Daily Rock Records / Musikvertrieb
12  Tracks
English Lyrics

There’s all kinds of music out there in the general area of Female Fronted Metal. You get the dark Gothic, you get the symphonic, the operatic, the doom metal. Lots of options to choose from. But every now and then, you want the pounding, edgy, furious stuff. The kind of metal that crashes through the door, grabs you by the neck and starts to expand your reality. I mean, the ‘effin HARD stuff. It might not help you with that coding problem for a Univariate analysis you’re working on, er, then again, it just might. But, when you need a lift, something to bring the blood to a boil, hard metal, especially hard metal done right can be the magic elixir. And the Swiss quartet November 7 does the job as well as anyone.

What does the press say about November 7? Well, it usually goes something like this, "Niveau ambiance, on gravite ici entre dark et electro metal, quelques éléments gothiques ça et là posent une ambiance lourde et mélancolique." That or "Nach zwei EP’s und einer Live CD veröffentlicht die Westschweizer Band November-7 knapp sechs Jahre nach ihrer Gründung ihren ersten Studio-Longplayer, der es wahrlich in sich hat".., which means I can only get a vague idea how the Europeans are reacting to the sound since my linguistic capabilities are limited to English and Spanish and a smattering of French. But, to the extent that I can figure it out, the press is impressed. And so am I. Vocalist Anna has an interesting background. Seems she’s actually an Italian, who spent some time in the States before running off to Switzerland to do some tech work. There she hooked up with some rockers, they did some recording, did some personnel changes, and ended up with a first rate sound, calling themselves November 7. . . which, you might suggest, is a novel name for a band. What’s wrong with June 8, or September 19? Well, seems they started writing their music in November and that seems to be a favorite time of the year for Anna. And the 7 you ask? Well, I’m told it’s a favorite number and has sacred meanings in a number of civilizations. Same crypto analytical with the CD title. Seems this is the third iteration of the band lineup and they wanted that reflected in the title, so Season 3 it is. And there you have it.

That current line up is a good one, with Stéphane Geiser and Matt Walters on guitars, and Yann Siegenthaler on drums. There’s a clear symphonic component. . and no keyboard player so you know this is done with programming. The band suggests their intended direction is industrial more than symphonic but sometimes the two can get a little confused, either way you define it, it adds significantly to the sound. But, it’s not the core of the sound, that distinction falls to the guitars, the drums and a solid metal vocal. You get that nomenclature from reviewers who tend to use the terms progressive, Gothic and industrial when defining the sound. I guess that works for me. But in an interesting kind of way. The music is represented by the progressive / industrial / symphonic. The Gothic tends to be reflected in the lyrics, which are more than a little interesting and sufficiently abstract to allow for some personal interpretation on the part of the listener. Of course, I asked for direct interpretation and we’ll get to that shortly.

Season 3 comes with 12 tracks. The last two are different interpretations of previous selections and actually sound like different songs. The first is Parasite, and this is a rocker of the first class. You can see one version here. And if this doesn’t take you in the right direction you’re on the wrong website. The second version is called a radio version, and it turns down the volume a little, but it still works. This is a version of metal that turns the soul, this is what we want to listen to when times are hard and we want someone to blame. Anna talked to me about this one. She said it had a meaning, she said it had something to say. This one was personal, this one was focused. This one was aimed at someone who hurt someone, someone who has something to explain. And the song goes in that direction, this is pain related, this one is screamed. Lyrically, we get the point with immediacy:

You filthy parasite
licking the dirt
Tell me is it good ?
Empty hours, empty thoughts
parasite living
Empty hours, empty thoughts

Untie Your Hands took us into an even more personal discussion. This is a song about war, this is a song about destruction, about the ultimate sacrifice. I tend to have a personal perspective on this topic, I’ve got background, I often feel Europeans don’t share that relevancy and I mentioned that to Anna. Her response was relevant, seems her grandfather went off to fight in WWII and didn’t come back. That led to some feelings, with her grandmother, her mother, and with her. War can do that to you, and this song takes us to that understanding. This is one of the more profound songs on the CD, and one of the more emotive. It’s also one of the more entertaining, we get some solid metal, some solid vocal and some background that reminds us that we’re discussing something relevant. Anna talked about this one. She clearly has some thoughts on the subject, she pointed out, "War is a form of human slavery. A bunch of powerful people, in the comfort of their palaces, decide to attack another country. The pretexts sound always very noble : security, justice, defense of democracy etc." It certainly is nice to see that someone is paying attention.

Angel takes us in another direction. This one is one of the heavier selections; this one takes us to the edge. We get a more focused metal here, the guitars make sure we know where we’re headed, the drums lay it down. And our lovely Italian vocalist cranks up the metal. Emotions at this level make us wonder, what’s it mean, what can drive us to this level of communication. Anna says it’s all personal, it has to do with her own life. She says it’s aimed at someone, but it talks to personal angels. And you get that perspective here, this one aims at the soul, it relates a message. And the band seems to have a perspective as well, the guitars get into the message, they make it a group communication. And, should you have the courage, you can get a visual here.

Her Name is the truly Gothic option. We get to the dark side here, this is what reviewers heard when the gave the Gothic tag to the CD. This is the lead off song; this is the one that sets the stage. If you have any doubt about the message, it’s cleared up early on. We’re talking about the final visitor. We’re talking about that messenger who takes us into eternity. Even Anna gets chills when she sings this one; it takes us to the final reward:

And no one knows her name
Her sulfur scent
Shrouds all of our prayers
And will bury you

World in Agony may take us to the ultimate message. Anna suggest this is an ambivalent message; you can go in multiple directions. She says, "you have both: the ‘slaughter’ we created but also the fact that we can change it because we ‘hold the future in our hands’. The track goes in a heavy metal direction with some distorted vocals, with a heavy guitar based foundation. She sings:

We belong here
To this slaughter
We belong here
To a world in agony

In the final analysis, this is what Season 3 is all about. Solid metal, solid vocals, and all attached to a solid message. Can’t get much better than that. It’s pretty clear to me, Switzerland is more than just chocolate, but the taste is just as sweet, Season 3 indeed.

9.5 / 10

Band Website

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