Review Summary: Gloom Doom band keeps the standards high.
Novembers Doom have been tearing through the doom/death genre since 1995. One would believe that after all of these years Novembers Doom would lose their spark and become dull, with some bands this may be the case with Novembers Doom however it is not. It is extremely hard to believe that at what point this band was playing in a more thrash influenced band called Laceration, because it seems as though with how masterful the band plays their brand of music they have been playing this style of music since they could walk. They are back and more intense than ever before.
Doom isn't exactly what I would call my area of expertise, but with the little doom I have heard it is very apparent that they do what they do well. The most eye catching thing on this record is the vocals. The vocalist plays both roles of beauty and the beast. His style consist of fairly deep growls and soaring cleans, that are so gloomy they might just make you want to cry. He also pronounces ever word so clear that even a first time listener to harsh vocals can understand every word spewing out of his mouth. He is heard throughout the majority of the record in the foreground with the epic instrumental backing him deeper into his despair.
The lyrics on the record are very depressing and gloomy for the most part; this is most noticable on the track "I Hurt Those I Adore" but it is present throughout the whole album. You can truly tell the vocalist is venting about personal situations in his life throughout the record whether it be metophorically or just flat out spoken. The band utilizes the cleans mainly in the choruses, which I must say are beyond epic. The drumming on the record isn't exactly the most technical, but it blends very well with the other elements that make up the band's sound.
The band executes both heavily distorted electric guitar, clean guitar passages, and beautiful acoustic moments. This mainly helps the album dodge the deadly draggy sound that many bands in the genre fall victim to. The melodic moments on the album are amazing, mainly when the clean guitar comes in. "The Fifth Day of March" is the only song on the album that uses absolutely no distortion, and it shows that even without the extreme influences Novembers Doom can still remain interesting and relevant. All these elements add up to make this Novembers Doom's best release to date, fans of the band will not be let down.
This album never really gets too heavy for anyones taste unless you cannot tolerate growls period. This should get this album a wider variety of listeners than the typical heavy band. The bottom line is that Novembers Doom do what many death/doom bands have done but they do it better than most bands in recent memory. Overall I give this a 4.5 out of 5, at first this seemed to be more in the 3.5/4 range but after many listens this grew on me and I have to say I am officially addicted.
The only things that take away from the album is the fact that the drumming could of improved a bit, and at times some may find the depressing lyrics to get a bit tedious. I can honestly say that this is in my top 10 metal albums of the year thus far, this may seem a little ridiculous due to how short of a time this has been out but this is in fact the most epic record of 2009 yet. All sputnikmusic members should hear this as soon as possible.