This week marks the release of the ninth album from Chicago’s Novembers Doom, “Bled White.” I have to admit I have been waiting for this album with much anticipation. I first came across Novembers Doom in 2009 after the release of their seventh album, “Into Night’s Requiem Infernal”, which was one of my first beach-side-happy-discoveries, and inspired me to use idle time in the sand for seeking out new artists. Novembers Doom is why I like listening to doom metal while watching waves crash on the beach.
When the band’s last release, “Aphotic”, dropped in 2011, I quickly digested it and asked, “please sir, I want some more.” Alas, it would be three long years waiting for new material, but now that “Bled White” has arrived, I can take pleasure in the fact that the wait was worthwhile.
Novembers Doom, for those unfamiliar, unleash a melancholy-inducing blend of death/doom in a style that is all their own. The band’s music alone is enough to suffocate every inclination toward a happy thought. The vocals are split between a massive-yet-very-enunciated harsh vocal and clean, dream-like singing. In the past I have often felt Paul Kuhr’s clean vocals tickled my brain with recognition of someone else, and it wasn’t until today that I realized it was Katatonia. I also hear just the slightest bit of David Gold/Woods of Ypres, but that may be due to my recently listening to their “Wet Leather” contribution to the “Heart of Gold” David Gold tribute album.
Nine albums in, it comes as no surprise that Novembers Doom has got doom down to a science. Which is not to say that these songs are formulaic; I simply mean that they have honed their craft down to its finest incarnation. The drums are massive and the guitar tone is enviably perfect for such heavy riffs. Novembers Doom is nearing death-doom perfection, if such a thing exists. I wouldn’t want them to ever achieve total perfection, because what kingdoms would that leave to conquer? However, continually pushing towards that boundary leaves the promise of even greater things to come.
My admiration for Novembers Doom continues to grow with every pass through “Bled White.” I don’t think there is any chance I could overstate how much I enjoy this album. Like a child on Christmas Eve, I’m impatiently waiting for this afternoon when I can pick up my mail, where I know waits the vinyl edition of “Bled White” that I preordered a month ago. This is going to sound so good on vinyl. I recommend checking this album out in whatever format you can get your greedy little paws on in the shortest amount of time.
Since you’ve been good, and bothered to read this far, here is your reward. Click below to hear the new track “Heartfelt.” Prepare for aural devastation.