|Novembers Doom - The Pale Haunt Departure
8 March 2005
01. The Pale Haunt Departure
02. Swallowed By The Moon
03. Autumn Reflection
04. Dark World Burden
05. In The Absence Of Grace
06. The Dead Leaf Echo
07. Through A Child's Eyes
08. Collapse Of The Falling Throe
The best Dark Metal band from the US is back baby! The Doom combo from Chicago that is Novembers Doom is there and there's no stopping them. 'The Pale Haunt Departure' is the title of their last epic record and it will continue to put the band alongside masters such as Opeth and Katatonia. The band saw the departure of Eric Burnley on guitars, traded for Vito Marchese who was already part of the Novembers Doom family. The rest of the lineup is unchanged with Paul Kuhr [vocals], Larry Roberts [guitars, keys], Joe Nunez [drums] and Mike LeGros [bass, who left the band since the recording]. Eric is still contributing on keyboards.
While their previous album 'To Welcome The Fade' sometimes flirted with Gothic melodies, 'The Pale Haunt Departure' demarks itself with a more consistent Doom feeling to it. Some melodies could clearly be on an Anathema record, with a more aggressive attitude, and it surely sounds amazing. Overall, the album appears more atmospheric than 'To Welcome The Fade' as the opening number/title track reveals, bringing Novembers Doom to another level of musicianship. The record clocks just below 52 minutes of first-rate Doom Metal and has the steadiness of a masterpiece such as Opeth's "Blackwater Park", exciting from the first note to the last.
Paul Kuhr is displaying his talents through his typical deep growling/singing and now even more frequent clean vocals than ever before. Thus, listening to 'Autumn Reflection' is blissful as Paul only uses clean vocals on that one and it shines bright on this album.
With excellent production and engineering, mixed by musician/producer Dan Swanö [Edge Of Sanity, Bloodbath, Nightingale] and mastered by guitarist James Murphy [Death, Obituary, Testament], this album has the most professional sound actually available and it also perfectly fits Novembers Doom's musical style. The artwork by Attila Kis is gorgeous, very eye-catching and totally "doomish".
Better than ever, Novembers Doom signs a hell of an album, blending terrific acoustic guitars with atmospheric melodies and transcending vocals. Among the "new bands" hailing from the USA, these guys have the biggest potential to conquer the international market. Fans of Anathema, Opeth, Katatonia and My Dying Bride must listen to 'The Pale Haunt Departure' as it will probably be the best record in the genre this year. As for the rest of you, discovering this talented combo through this album would be the smartest thing you'd ever do.
Highlights: 'The Pale Haunt Departure', 'Autumn Reflection', 'Dark World Burden' and 'Through a Child's Eyes'