Awaraxid 7mg is the sophomore album from Swiss metal act November-7. The concept behind the title is a drug to cure us of our dull state of adulthood, and return us to our childhood state when we had our own dreams and ambitions, before being corrupted by the world around us. It’s a great album to go with the title too, combining industrial metal and gothic metal, with a real colour and vibrance.
Tug of War kicks off the album brilliantly, with a chunky industrial guitar sound delivering heavy, catchy riffs, against a backdrop of melodic synths and electronics. Their sound isn’t the easiest to define, with elements of electronic music, gothic and industrial metal, and alternative rock all entering the melting pot of ideas for November-7 to combine into a fresh, vibrant sound – heavy, catchy and exciting. The keyboards and electronics really round out the heavy riffs with that extra melody and energy, while their vocalist Anamaria has a great voice, melodic, yet powerful and slightly gritty, it’s a very charismatic performance, especially on the brilliant Acid Life, a track that’s simultaneously heavy, gloomy and catchy, and on the pummeling, melodic Black Veil. Wicked Love is a great mid paced track, with the industrial riffs delivering a certain groove, and a powerful chorus and sweeping guitar solo make it one of the better tracks here. The solos are sparse on Awaraxid 7mg though, and a good few more of them throughout the album wouldn’t have gone amiss. There are also a few slightly weaker tracks in Another Day which lacks a little power, and Pieces of Me, a track which despite a good solo is a bit average compared to others on the album, and Your Turn which has a simply cringeworthy chorus.
With the gothic and industrial elements providing more than a nod to the sound of Lacuna Coil, November-7 have delivered an album that’s much better than anything their idols have done in years – while Lacuna Coil have been going through the motions since Karmacode, sounding stale and played out, November-7 instead made a really energetic and unique album for the style. It seems they have picked up the pieces of Lacuna Coil’s broken crown halo and remade it in their own style, and they should be the new band to take over from them in the gothic/industrial stakes. It’s almost paradoxical that with the refreshing, different style, it sounds like November-7’s music will have great commerical appeal, but that’s not to say anything derogatory towards November-7, it’s rather a compliment – despite a few weak tracks they’ve managed to create a fresh sounding heavy metal album that’s imbued with catchiness and impressive melodic sense, especially with those brilliant keyboards and riffs. If they were from America they’d be sure to go massive with this, and they would deserve it.