Novembers Doom
Hamartia


4.5
superb

Review

by Dedes USER (86 Reviews)
April 17th, 2017 | 111 replies


Release Date: 2017 | Tracklist

Review Summary: A monolith of emotion.

It’s interesting that a band as monolithic and venerable in the Doom metal scene is a band I found so late in their career. Upon my first listen they brought to mind modern Katatonia, but with a slight Melodic Death metal edge to them. But that isn’t fair, is it" That I could undermine the influence that a band formed in the ancient eon of 1989 could have served within Doom metal, is it" This isn’t saying that this couldn’t pass for a Katatonia record at points. “Hamartia” works in the same veins as albums like “The Great Cold Distance”, with lyrical themes regarding lost hope and despair, and distant vocals with instruments performing at a (usually) sluggish pace. It can be rather formulaic at points, however it executes this formula with perfect precision. This makes the album consistently solid, sacrificing the potential of mucking up the album with a poorly done experimentation for something much restrained. Still, the album has occasions where it truly shines, this being during its most cathartic and “vibrant” moments.

Of course it doesn’t shine in a bright or peppy way. I wouldn’t dare to tell a Doom band they sound peppy straight to their face unless I wanted to received a powerful lecture on the futility of happiness and how I will never experience it. Jokes aside, this album is a deep, unabashed foray into the heart of Novembers Doom. Monotone vocals are paired with brooding guitar riffs and occasional inflections of acoustic and piano, adding to the dark, blunt sound of Novembers Doom. The lyrics show this just as well. “You can’t steal my thoughts anymore, crawling through these halls of misery” This is a line off of the title track, “Hamartia”. Some will scoff, thinking of all the Doom metal tropes a line like this fills, but some will see the honesty and realness in lines like this.

Of course, some people aren’t interested in lyrical content. For those people their is still much on display off this record. It’s resplendent with heavy, crushing riffs and some incredibly powerful tribal-styled drumming paired alongside some equally powerful gutturals. This is starkly contrasted by passages of somber acoustic and some rather dreary cleans. Take the track mentioned early “Hamartia”. It’s composed of only slow-moving piano chords, acoustic guitar and monotone vocals, and then compare it to, let’s say “Miasma” or “Zephyr”. Sometimes, the crunchy riffs, diverse drum fills and monstrous growls take precedent, yet sometimes melodic guitar arpeggios and ambient piano/acoustic passages weave their way into the record instead. It’s all of the sounds you’ve heard before, yet all of it is arranged in a way that each song feels fresh and new.

This continues straight until the final track “Borderline”. What’s by far the longest track (topping 9 minutes) is easily the most cathartic and well constructed track off the album. The drums are arguably as hard-hitting as they can be heard, and they makes the tracks build up to a level of euphoria unparalleled by Doom metal as a whole, if not most metal in general. If the album kept this level of strength in its entirety, this would have been a masterfully crafted album. What we have instead is an enjoyable record complacent in its simplicity. To be honest, i’m perfectly fine with that.



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user ratings (62)
Chart.
3.4
great
other reviews of this album
PsychicChris (3.5)
Novembers Doom’s tenth album is on the same level as its predecessors in terms of production and m...


Comments:Add a Comment 
zaruyache
April 16th 2017


19368 Comments


o yay dis band

Digging: Neckbeard Deathcamp - White Nationalism is for Basement Dwelling Losers

Dedes
April 16th 2017


5810 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

Dis band fucking rules as I'm now finding out

Xenorazr
Contributing Reviewer
April 17th 2017


1342 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

I swear the growls sound like Amon Amarth here.

Sabrutin
April 17th 2017


5575 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Didn't expect it to be this good. Very tight and varied. The death metal moments have a lot of impact especially thanks to the singer being very understandable even when he is growling. Yet my favorite moments are the clean ones, which are actually like 70% of the record, I think?



Only heard bits and pieces from this band until yesterday, but I wouldn't be surprised if this turned out to be their new best album

Xenorazr
Contributing Reviewer
April 17th 2017


1342 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

Funny, I found the clean vocals to be awkward and off-putting.

Dedes
April 17th 2017


5810 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

"I swear the growls sound like Amon Amarth here"

Johann would be proud xD but yeah they are pretty similar. I knew the growls sounded familiar.

Sabrutin
April 17th 2017


5575 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

No problems with the vocals on my side. He isn't the most gifted of singers but they sound heartfelt enough to me

Voivod
Staff Reviewer
April 17th 2017


7919 Comments


Good band, but imho, not anywhere near its best European peers.

Digging: Circles Around The Sun - Let It Wander

Hellscythe
April 17th 2017


2825 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

this was a surprise. definitely their best album to date.

Flugmorph
April 17th 2017


18782 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

is it really that good tho. never quite got into this band cause they feel like generic death/doom/gothic to me

(kinda like draconian & october tide)

Digging: Death Grips - No Love Deep Web

dbizzles
April 17th 2017


11886 Comments


Dope cover. Will check, probably.

dbizzles
April 17th 2017


11886 Comments


Also, good review, have a pos. The following sentence reads funny to me though:

'Some will scoff, thinking of all the Doom metal tropes a line like this fills, but some will see the honesty and realness in lines like this.'

Hellscythe
April 17th 2017


2825 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

@Flug: it's still fairly generic but it's all-around stronger. stronger songwriting, stronger lyrics, stronger melodies, stronger atmosphere, stronger vocals. they scaled back the growls a bit in favor of the cleans and I feel like it suits them better.

AsleepInTheBack
April 17th 2017


5858 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5

aight, ima check

Sabrutin
April 17th 2017


5575 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

"Good band, but imho, not anywhere near its best European peers."



That's how I always felt, but this album seemed really something on first listen

AsleepInTheBack
April 17th 2017


5858 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5

can't stand these cleans and lyrics unfortunately

Dedes
April 17th 2017


5810 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

Yeah the vox are really hit or miss.

AdolfChrist
April 17th 2017


16964 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

only ND album ive heard in full is The Novella Reservoir. i liked it a decent amount until Twilight Innocence came on with its disgustingly cheesy lyrics.



I wonder what she dreams about

Perhaps my arms that hold her tight

All the love that warms her heart

Peaceful sleep till dawns new day



I will always keep watch over you

To keep you safe when you are scared



lol

Digging: Moribund - Oracular Eyes

Dedes
April 17th 2017


5810 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

I promise the lyrics here are infinitely better then that lol

Sabrutin
April 17th 2017


5575 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Not funny laughing at Evanescence



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