In the mid- to late '90s and early 2000s, Novembre was usually categorized as a metal band. The Rome, Italy-based outfit (whose name means November in Italian) were called gothic metal, doom metal and alternative metal, and they were compared to bands ranging from My Dying Bride to Opeth to Katatonia. But it would be a mistake to think of Materia as strictly a metal album. Parts of the disc are relevant to metal (the generally clean vocals occasionally give way to a death metal-ish growl), but much of this 2006 release is simply alternative hard rock. But however one categorizes Materia, this is an enjoyable, well-crafted and highly melodic effort that thrives on all things melancholy. Very few rays of sunlight find their way to Materia; the songs have a dark, gloomy, brooding and less than optimistic perspective. And there is nothing wrong with that; there is no law stating that every band that records is obligated to push the smile button. A lot of Novembre's melancholia comes from a healthy appreciation of Pink Floyd, whose influence serves them well on introspective tracks like "Croma," "Aquamarine" and "Reason." Novembre rocks harder than Pink Floyd, but the Floyd influence is definitely there melodically and harmonically. It should be noted that Materia is a proudly bilingual album; most of the lyrics are in English, but Novembre include their share of Italian lyrics as well. And why not? A long list of Latin American rockers have earned a great living performing in Spanish exclusively, and if Caifanes, Maná and Alejandra Guzman can fare so well with rock en español, is there any reason why Spanish's sister language, Italian, shouldn't be used for rock purposes as well? There isn't. Novembre's use of both English and Italian lyrics is a definite plus on this engaging alternative rock/alternative metal effort.
AllMusic Review by Alex Henderson