|Novembers Doom - To Welcome The Fade
01. Not The Strong
03. Lost In A Day
04. Within My Flesh
05. If Forever
06. The Spirit Seed
08. The Lifeless Silhouette
09. Dreams To Follow
10. Dark Fields For Brilliance
From Chicago, Illinois comes Novembers Doom, and with such a name no need to precise that Doom Metal is on the menu. However, the opening number sets the tone to a rather fast-paced album for Doom/Death standards. "To Welcome The Fade" features a strong lineup with Paul Kuhr [vocals], Eric Burnley [guitars, keys], Larry Roberts [guitars] and Joe Nunez [drums]. The four piece combo is not new to the scene, formed in 1989, their latest album is their fifth release. "To Welcome The Fade" was originally released through the label Dark Symphonies and it is graced by a tonic spirit that embodies Novembers Doom. Signed with The End Records this year, their new label decided to re-release the album in a 2CD format before the anticipated release of "The Pale Haunt Departure".
Blessed by another great artwork from master designer Travis Smith, this album is a great packaging of Doom Metal. Sometimes crossing the border to Gothic grounds, "To Welcome The Fade" is full of great ideas such as using a guest female singer on some of their songs and performing guitar solos here and there. However, the main force behind their music is the constant quality in the guitar work and the great doom voice of Paul. Another positive aspect is that this production is very clean and enhances the tear bringing melodies of their compositions. Also to pinpoint, their lyrics are deep and fit perfectly the songs. Serious effort in this unit gives another advantage to the band.
'Not The Strong' is a great opening track, with its Opeth-like atmosphere and hearty vocals, and it already sets the bar very high. Then, 'Broken' jumps in and confirms that Novembers Doom is no minor contestant, far from it actually! This song really blurs the line between Doom and Gothic when the charming voice of Nora O'Connor kicks in and it's nothing short of a masterpiece alongside hits from Opeth, My Dying Bride, Moonspell and the likes.
'Lost In A Day' carries a feeling a la Paradise Lost era "Draconian Times", in a doom mode. Paul's vocals on the chorus are an invitation to head-banging and the guitar lines are shaping a web of despair in one's mind. This track really stands out on "To Welcome The Fade". 'Within My Flesh' starts out as an acoustic ballad but quickly mutate into a more "standard" Doom anthem, slower, deeper, sadder but nonetheless beautiful.
If you're looking for a big dose of sorrow, 'If Forever' is your song, the true depressing ballad on the album, featuring great clean vocals. I could go on and on but by now I hope you reached the same conclusion as me, Novembers Doom fully deserves your attention, at the least! The rest of this album is for you to discover and believe me, it's more than worth it.
Not convinced yet? Well, how about a bonus CD including a video of 'Within My Flesh', two live tracks ['Last In The Day' and 'Not The Strong', Paul's voice on stage is something!] and the three excellent tracks from their self-financed "For Every Leaf That Falls" EP? Quality plus quantity equals "no brainer".
Doom fans don't need to search anywhere else, "To Welcome The Fade" is their album for sure. If you are somewhat into Opeth, Novembers Doom is by far the best US response I've found and it's no small praise. This band can do marvels on the Doom Metal market, especially in Europe and I hope they'll do just that. "To Welcome The Fade" awaits you and you don't want to miss it, so sell your old records on eBay and make a smart buy at The End Records online store. As for the future, a new release is scheduled for March 2005, "The Pale Haunt Departure". I'll be there!
Highlights: 'Lost In A Day', 'Not The Strong', 'Within My Flesh', 'Broken' and 'Dark Fields For Brilliance'