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Interview

Novembre Discusses Returning With New Album "URSA"

Photo of Novembre

Band Photo: Novembre (?)

It's been quite a few years since Novembre dropped previous full-length album "The Blue," and now the Italian gothic metal act is finally set to return with new release "URSA."

A few days out from the official release date through Peaceville Ecords, vocalist / guitarist
Carmelo Orlando got in touch with us to chat about the album and what went on in the intervening years of down time.

Read on to find out what Orlando has to say about the social commentary found on the album, the laundry list of stellar guest musicians that appear on these new tracks, and what he thinks of the band inching in on a 25th anniversary.

xFiruath: Novembre was on ice for a few years and is now back with two new members. Can you give me a rundown on how the band returned from hibernation and came to be in this current incarnation?

Carmelo: We decided to take a break back in 2008 in order to figure out this huge CD sales crisis that was happening. Back then albums were leaked online almost immediately and that affected the sales. That was quite frustrating so we wanted to figure out this thing because it felt like a useless effort. Unfortunately too many years have passed and at some point I decided that enough was enough and I started to assemble and record new songs.

xFiruath: What's happening lyrically on new album “URSA,” and would you consider this a concept record?

Carmelo: No I wouldn't consider it a concept album because there is no common theme on the lyrics. But certainly there are some animalist and political satire content hidden between the lines. Besides, I kept on writing lyrics in the usual poetical and hermetical way that I always used.

xFiruath: Can you explain what's happening in the artwork for me?

Carmelo: The cover artwork was done by Travis Smith and it represents a female figure in a classical fashion like a Botticelli Venus. She is holding a baby bear on her arms and she is coming out from ice. And this is quite symbolic because the bear represents many things; it represents the animal world, or it’s the symbol of Soviet Union which is described in the “Animal farm” novel from George Orwell, from which I borrowed the title. “URSA” is indeed the acronym for “Union des Républiques Socialistes Animales,” which was the title initially chosen for the French translation of the Orwell’s novel.

xFiruath: Who did you bring on as far as guest musicians, and how do you think their contributions shaped the record or changed its sound?

Carmelo: We hired a couple of friends from this album, that is Fabio Fraschini on bass guitar, who was already bass player for “Dreams d’Azur” and “Materia.” Then we called David Folchitto on the drums. Both of them did terrific work. There is also a saxophone solo played from Paolo Sapia and backing vocals from Tatiana Ronchetti, but the best and most important guest for this album is Anders Nystrom from Katatonia. He did a solo on the “Annoluce” song and it is extremely beautiful and fits perfectly with the song.

xFiruath: Where did the recording process take place for this album?

Carmelo: We recorded it at Massimiliano’s Studios (the Blue Noise Studios), and Fabio Fraschini Studios (the Play Rec Studios), and then we mixed and mastered at Dan Swano’s Unisound studios in Sweden. Wwe didn't face any particular challenge except for it was July and August and it was terribly hot. That was one of the hottest Summers I recall. It was weary but exciting. We knew we were doing something very important and we were determined to do it in the best possible way.

xFiruath: Have you seen any reviews yet, and what have you thought of the feedback so far?

Carmelo: The feedback is terrific. I've only read a few reviews and they are all very, very happy about the album and that makes us proud. That means that our effort has been awarded. On the other hand we could read the feedback of the “Umana” lyric video that Peaceville posted a few weeks ago on Youtube, which was overwhelming and heart-warming. An incredible number of views. None of us expected this much!

xFiruath: What different formats of the album will be released, and are there any bonus tracks or extra songs that were recorded but not included with the finished album?

Carmelo: Yes the album will also be released on double vinyl and there is a single EP for free if you pre-order the album from the Peaceville website. The EP contains the “Annoluce” single plus 2 unreleased tracks, which brings the total to 12 new tracks.

xFiruath: I see you guys have been on Peaceville for three records now. What would you say is the best thing about working with the label, and do you foresee staying in the future for whatever comes next?

Carmelo: I can definitely tell you that we will stay with them for the next album, that is for sure. It is a very prestigious label and we are so proud to be with them. They have been the label of my all times favorite bands: like Darkthrone, Autopsy, Paradise Lost, Anathema, My Dying Bride, Katatonia and I don't wish to sign with any other label.

xFiruath: You guys marked your 20th anniversary as a band a few years back and the 25th is coming up pretty soon. Do you think you'll be doing anything special to commemorate those milestones?

Carmelo: Haha I don't like birthdays. I was never into this celebration, commemoration thing, but perhaps the label will be doing something anyways. And I don't think we will object if this will happen. In other words, I have no idea!

xFiruath: What's coming out in the music world you are looking forward to? I see you guys were posted on FB about that Katatonia album. I'm a fellow fan always on the lookout for the next Katatonia release.

Carmelo: I definitely cannot wait to hear the new Katatonia album because I am a fan from a very long time. There are however a lot of other great artists around and I am hearing a lot of good music coming up recently. Good sign!

xFiruath: Where is the band heading out on the road to support "URSA" in the live setting this year?

Carmelo: We have an Italian tour scheduled for April and May and there is an agent that is putting up an European tour for September – October, but I'm not sure about the dates and the cities we'll hit. I guess we will post news as soon as we have it.

xFiruath's avatar

Ty Arthur splits his time between writing dark fiction, spreading the word about underground metal bands, and bringing you the latest gaming news. His sci-fi, grimdark fantasy, and horror novels can be found at Amazon.

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