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The Pale Haunt Departure

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(15 Reviews)

Metal Album Reviews[RSS]

  • This album was a wonderful mix of Death & Doom, reminded me of Opeth in some ways, but not better then them. Novembers Doom has a great way of playing Doom/Death Metal, it’s very to the point & graceful. If you are a Speed Death Metal listener, you might want to skip this, but if you like Opeth, Old Man’s Child, & alittle Nevermore, this maybe a great find for you. I’m giving it 5 stars because i think it has killer vocals (death & regular), interesting riffs & the drummer doesn’t over play himself. I recomend Opeth & Nevermore for the ones who enjoy this album

    Posted on December 14, 2009 - Permalink - Buy Now
  • It is all too easy to simply liken one band to another and call it a review. Although, when i listen to this album it reminds me of some opeths songs. The vocals remind me of opeths song “demon of the fall.” they are death vocals, but are controlled rather then screames, and the lyrics are detectable.
    This album is mainly slow and heavy, but retainig the melody that saves it from sounding like lesser death/doom metal bands.
    There is breaks in the heavines though with atmospheric acoustic passages and clean vocals.
    This album is eerie, lots or reverb, slow marching tom tom, acoustic guitars and deep clean vocals contrasted with death vox. The lyrics are typically doomy but do not come across as bedroom poetry as is often the case in doom

    To characterize this album i would say that it is doomy and deathy, but is contrasted with atmospheric and eerie songs and passages. It contains the odd bit of double pedals, and even an acoustic (well – clean anyway)track. This is a subtle album, it has melody but is not necessarily catchy and it is heavy but this does not disguise the subtleties of the guitarists and the vocals.They write good, not obvious song structures, which i give them respect for.

    in short, there is nothing necessarily bad about about this album – though it is not stunning either. If you like opethy death, or doom you will like this album and it is worth hearing – it is subtle and required several listens.

    i appreciate this review is rather general and does not really look at individual tracks, but it is one of those albums which is more about mood and the album as a whole then individual parts.

    wprth having if you like

    my dying bride
    ….all the usual doom/death suspects


    Posted on December 14, 2009 - Permalink - Buy Now
  • Before I start my review, a disclaimer is in order: I am a neophyte in the world of doom metal. Given that the only bands that I’ve listened to extensively that even moderately approach doom Agalloch and November’s Doom, I can’t say I know much about the genre. However, I am a huge fan of all music progressive, especially in the Opeth vein, and this album certainly succeeds in that area.

    Much like Opeth, Novembers Doom merges crushing heavy sections with heartfelt mellow parts, although I’d say Novembers Doom is slightly heavier, and the riffs are more doom influenced. These guys really do have a unique sound, and all the pieces fit together perfectly. A true standout has to be Paul Kuhr’s vocals; when brutal, they are clear and powerful. When soft, they lend emotional weight to rather light lyrics.

    There is not a weak track on this album, although I must recommend “The Dead Leaf Echo” for its beautiful, almost Spanish-sounding intro, and “Collapse of its Fallen Throe” for an incredible, heavy doom riff. I am overall very impressed and will definitely be acquiring their back catalog.

    Any words I write will probably not convince you to get this album, so go listen to a song for yourself. From the Novembers Doom website:

    Swallowed By The Moon

    A very strong track, and quite indicative of the rest of the album. If you like that song, you’ll enjoy the rest of the album. If not, you may want to look somewhere else. Highly recommended.

    Posted on December 14, 2009 - Permalink - Buy Now
  • NOVEMBER’S DOOM – The Pale Haunt Departure
    This is my first intro into November’s Doom catalogue and I can honestly say I am quite impressed… Usually I prefer some faster paced Metal, but this was honestly quite fulfilling to my aural senses…
    While certain tracks echo the mighty Opeth, (Namely the opening Title Track) they do seem to distinguish themselves. The Majority of the other six tracks fuse traditional Sludge filled Doom with passages of dark beauty and often use the acoustic to further their ambience. Tracks like `Swallowed by the Moon’ and `Through a Childs Eyes’, are both powerful tracks, epic in its scope, especially the lyrics.
    If anything, ND can create an amazing dark, gloomy atmosphere like few others… At times the music is as beautiful as it is Mellon collie.

    Musicianship is quite good, some really intricate guitar parts, more so during the Acoustic passages. Also the drummer uses some nice patterns which despite the general speed of the music are quite detailed. (Especially his tribal beats and tom-tom work.) Vocals are a definite high-point… This is a band that with a poor singer would fall victim to being lost within the pack. Yet Kuhr’s powerful growls and somber singing give this band an edge among many others.

    This disc is recommended for fans of such great prog-metal bands such as, Opeth, Enslaved, Katatonia, and Agalloch.

    Favorite Songs: Swallowed by the Moon, Autumn Reflection, and Through a Child’s Eyes.
    -4.5 Stars

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    Posted on December 13, 2009 - Permalink - Buy Now
  • Previous reviewers of Chicago based doom metal act Novembers Doom may have set the band up for failure in the eyes of many potential new fans by superfluously comparing them favorably to crowned genre giant Opeth, a band that has yet to be dethroned by the crop of newer death metal hordes. Novembers Doom is unquestionably a talented and innovative group, but unrealistically marketing them as a successor or even replacement for a band like Opeth has probably done them more harm than good. The title track of The Pale Haunt Departure starts off very strong with eerie distorted voices calling out from the void coupled with a building drum beat that is clearly leading into some mind blowing metal insanity. This is unfortunately where the flop happens for both the title track and nearly every other track on the entire album.

    All of The Pale Haunt Departure’s songs have such excellently crafted intro segments that it would be nearly inconceivable that the music following the introduction could be anything but blazing new territory into the hallowed halls of metal history. While each song has merit on its own, they all go sharply downhill in quality after the first thirty to forty-five seconds with a tendency to plod along boringly without even a hint of the flavor shown at the beginning of the song. The songs are all solid, ranging from tolerable to absolutely great, but it’s hard to appreciate them after hearing the near perfect intros.

    The vocalist for November’s Doom has a surprisingly clear and understandable death metal growl, but regrettably he doesn’t seem to have a very wide range, as the tone of the growls remain consistently the exact same throughout the entire album. The clean vocals vary between laughably silly and really good, which is something that extreme metal enthusiasts just have to live with. Towards the beginning of the second track “Swallowed By The Moon”, there is some clean talking rather than actual melodic singing and it is black metal cheese at its worst, but the clean singing during the rest of the track is surprisingly good. Acoustic interludes, and even completely acoustic songs, are scattered throughout the album with enough variety to be interesting and keep the listener’s interest. The only exception would be in the song “Through A Child’s Eyes”. While it is a great mild song on its own, they definitely should have left out the background sounds of a baby cooing, which seems completely out of place on an otherwise doom oriented album.

    If Novembers Doom had just somehow continued to incorporate the themes of each intro throughout the entire track, and hadn’t made almost every song repetitive and boring after the first half minute this honestly could have been one of the top 10 metal albums of all time. Maybe after a few more albums when the vocalist has had a chance to expand his range considerably and the band can refine their sound then Novembers Doom could feasibly compare to Opeth. As it currently stands, Novembers Doom is a solid metal act, but nothing to burn a church over.

    Posted on December 13, 2009 - Permalink - Buy Now