[dropcap]There[/dropcap] are certain dates in the calendar a fellow Industrial enthusiast cannot possibly miss out on (It’s not christmas, unless your mom got you the super rare Zos Kia bootleg you hunted for years. More like Pagan Easter). Not anually recurring but always impatiently awaited are releases of the German Industrial label Galakthorrö, home of great acts like Herz Jühning or Hermann Kopp, who first rose to fame contributing to the soundtrack of the German horror cult movie Nekromantik and, of course, Haus Arafna and November Növelet, both run by label owners Mr. and Mrs. Arafna, who made a name of their own as one of the best known Industrial acts ever, releasing great music since 1993, and starting their pop offspring November Növelet in 1994 to make use of their pop sensibilities that are well hidden under Haus Arafna’s teeth grinding harshness. The World in Devotion is their third full-length release, following the very acclaimed and celebrated From Heaven To Earth, released in 1999, and Magic, released in 2007.
Since then, we’ve been waiting for new material from November Növelet and The World In Devotion was worth the long wait for sure, and you got exactly what you wanted – a minimalistic, gloomy album, mixing up influences of Lo-Fi Minimal Wave, some decent EBM influences, Industrial and Pop, a mixture that reminds me of the atmosphere of Nico‘s solo efforts. Stepping back from the world, escaping in dreamy sound scapes and monotonous rhythm patterns keeping you in loose touch with reality, November Növelet’s new album is one perfect album for a gloomy late autumn day you dream away wandering through fallen leaves, thus, the atmosphere of the album is the real highlight. But not just that, the songs work perfectly on their own.
Created on vintage synthesizers, well-known for their distinct warm sound, songs like He’s Dying Beside or The World In Devotion – both have been premiered on post-punk.com – work perfectly on their own, the latter one is a designated dance floor smasher, closer to dance music than anything the project has created before, but that’s a wrong trace to get an overall impression of the album, especially judging from the title track. Seemingly, Mr. and Mrs. Arafna went down a path that is closer to Ambient music than ever, and the real highlights are the songs I had to discover and unweave in my head, best working with high quality headphones. The opening track Be Grateful To Your Murderer is one good example for that, the first step in a surreal haunted house, one that is beyond dancing skeletons kitsch, creating horror by subtly misplaced details, something best shown by In Circles or Don’t Know Why I Love You. Always sounds like a chant from a haunted basement, the sparse rhythm are slowly ticking onwards – The minimalism gives so much room for your own mental cinema that I certainly cannot give a definite listening companion in a short review.
The trip through November Növelet’s soundscapes were always pleasant, and their amazing back catalogue now has a very nice addition called The World In Devotion. Admittedly, the album was a little harder to me to discover because of the more ambient driven, less song-oriented tracks, challenging and forcing you to work yourself into the album to find the real treasures aside from the dance floor oriented tracks, like the title track or Restless. I do not say that to scare you off but to give advise you – the listening experience is getting from “pleasant” to “extremely pleasant” by listening to this album more often. If you’re lucky enough to get your hands on the limited vinyl edition, grab that one – highly recommended!
- Be Grateful To Your Murderer
- The World In Devotion
- Living Perfection
- In Circles
- Don’t Know Why I Love You
- He’s Dying Beside
- Crying Walls
- Made of Gold