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Novembers Doom : To Welcome the Fade

Years have passed since this band's classic 'Amid Its Hallowed Mirth' debut floored doom metal fans back in the early 1990s. Since then the band has been on-and-off in terms of its existence, but this new epic release should put them squarely back in the focus of many fans.

Produced by Neil Kernon (who has worked with the likes of Nevermore and Cannibal Corpse), 'To Welcome The Fade' features extremely polished and powerful production, as good and and as professional as anything million-dollar recording mainstream artists could afford. It's obvious that both Novembers Doom and their label Dark Symphonies believed in this new material and were willing to hire a (presumably) more expensive producer, but from a sound quality point of view the end result was definitely worth it: everything from the drums to the guitars to vocals sounds simply pristine.

Musically, this is a very diverse album that definitely has a doomy feeling to it, but the mid-tempo nature of many songs probably means that Novembers Doom can't be really described as a traditional doom/death metal band anymore, as they have clearly gone beyond that simple label. The album starts off with 'Not the Strong', 'Broken' and 'Lost in a Day', three fairly dynamic pieces highlighted by some excellent hooks with a slight atonal touch to them... Reminded me somewhat of Germany's avant/doom/death metallers Disbelief, but performed in a more convincing fashion. Besides the thick guitar riffs, the band tastefully blends in subtle gothic keyboards and acoustic guitar passages, which serve as a perfect counter-weight to the heavier sections and the brutal death vocals. Next track 'Within My Flesh' is more reminiscent of November Doom's earlier recordings, preferring a slow, steady rhythm that shows these guys still definitely feel the doom. After this heavy first half, 'To Welcome the Fade' switches to a more melancholic mood with the acoustic 'If Forever', a beautiful folky/gothic ballad highlighted by passionately romantic clean singing. The album returns to a darker mood in the second half, still skillfully oscillating between heaviness, doomy acoustic melancholy and gothic beauty.

An extremely impressive comeback CD from a band that is long overdue for some massive exposure. Highly recommended.

Reviewer's rating: Unrated


Tracklist :
1. Not the Strong
2. Broken
3. Lost in a Day
4. Within My Flesh
5. If Forever
6. The Spirit Seed
7. Torn
8. The Lifeless Silhouette
9. Dreams to Follow
10. Dark Fields For Brilliance

Duration : Approx. 55 minutes

Visit the Novembers Doom bandpage.

Reviewed on ??-??-???? by Jacek Furmankiewicz
Aesthetic Death
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