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Novembers Doom : Of Sculptured Ivy and Stone Flowers

With, just as on their first album, the album title taken from an Edgar Allan Poe poem ("City in the Sea" this time), Novembers Doom returns with their second full length album. That no label had picked them up sooner always surprised me, but I guess the old saying "better late then never" holds true here. Compared to their debut album, Novembers Doom has grown a lot. Through the years they have clearly grown as musicians, and while still clearly influenced by the European Death-Doom scene, they have developed a more hard hitting edge (as often found with other US Death-Doom bands). The songs seem to be written to hit you in the face and demand the attention they deserve. Unlike with My Dying Bride, you can't wallow away comfortably in misery. No! You're supposed to be fully conscious and accept the sorrow with your eyes wide open.

Paul Kuhr experiments a lot with his vocals, and this helps to keep the total picture more interesting. Unfortunately, Cathy Ho's role is once more a small one, remaining on the background providing atmosphere by once more mainly "oooohh'ing" and "aaaahaaa'ing" her way through this album. This does prevent Novembers Doom from falling into the Gothic-metal trap. I doubt anybody who heard half a ND. song would dare to compare them to one of the so called "Beauty and the Beast" bands out there.

Despite the harder "American" edge to the music, Novembers Doom does have that romantic feel to them; they aren't afraid to include more mellow sections into their songs, making sure that all the songs remain interesting. Something which other bands seem to struggle with, often resulting to novelty instruments to keep the music interesting. Novembers Doom doesn't need and does not, revert to such trickery.

The song 'Forever With Unopened Eye' showcases Novembers Doom's need to experiment. This song has much more of a groove to it and - dare I say it? - a bit of a stoner feeling to it. Of course all done the Novembers Doom way, but it's not something I had expected from these US doomsters when I first heard this album. They however pull it off really well and the song is thoroughly enjoyable, and lord behold even fits with the rest of the album!

To conclude, Novembers Doom are one of the better active bands around, while not overly original all the time, they manage to give their own twist to well known musical ideas. This is a must for any fan of My Dying Bride and Co.

Reviewer's rating: Unrated


Tracklist :
1. With Rue and Fire
2. The Jealous Sun
3. Suffer the Red Dream
4. All the Beauty Twice again
5. Reaping Forest Calm
6. Before the Wind
7. For Every Leaf that Falls
8. Serenity Forgotten
9. Forever With Unopened Eye
10. Dawn Breaks

Duration : Approx. 50 minutes

Visit the Novembers Doom bandpage.

Reviewed on ??-??-???? by Aldo Quispel
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