Japanese alt-rock band The Novembers’ seventh album ‘Angels’ proves they’ve still got the ‘Hallelujah’ touch [Music Review]

Bold new sounds and huge dynamic shifts are the new order of the day in Tokyo and other hit tracks

Chris Gillett |
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Three years on from 2016’s Hallelujah, Japanese alt-rock band The Novembers return with their seventh full-length album, Angels – and the four-piece certainly haven’t held back.

Tokyo is a bold opener, with its industrialist drone-rock expanding and ascending to ear-splitting volumes. Bad Dream is equally emphatic, with vocalist Yusuke Kobayashi’s wails drowned out by the power created by the band.

Down To Heaven and Zoning show even bigger dynamic shifts, while creating a Gothic, noise rock aesthetic, with the drums really slamming it for the big endings.

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Weirdly, though, Everything and Plastic sound completely different to the other songs surrounding them, as both deliver bright and breezy pop tunes. Close To Me treads a similar path, but at least reaches an expansive singalong chorus, which had been largely absent up to this point.

Angels hits its peak with the closing title track, where the group perfectly blends the two genres running through the record, with the track rising to an intense wall of experimental sound.

They might have been off the grid for a while, but The Novembers are certainly back with a bang.

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