Released: 2000, Dark Symphonies
I have been hearing good things about this doom/death Chicago band for a couple of years now. Finally, I get to sit with an album of theirs and see what all the fuss is. I guess if I was a bigger freak on bands like Opeth, My Dying Bride, Paradise Lost and Anathema I would do better at placing this amongst their musical peers. With that in mind, I still found something of interest on ‘The Knowing” even though I have problems with the 100% slowness of the music as a whole.
The CD begins with what I call a “sleepy metal” intro which does the opposite of what the title suggests. The song title is “Awaken.” “Harmony Divine” follows and this song lives up to the doom/death metal tag. The vocals are death metal but more like a toned down version of what many of the Gothenburg bands use. If you like what “Harmony Divine” offers then the preceding track, “Shadows of Light” continues in the same style. Both are good songs, perhaps the best on the CD, but neither totally jumps out at me. By track #4, “Intervene” we are back into the aforementioned sleepy metal category. The recipe for this song includes take about two cords and pick out the notes slowly, put lots of echo and chorus on it to create “atmosphere” then get someone to TALK in the background over it in a bored and saddened voice. After about 1:30 of this monotony the song cuts in and it’s not too bad, kinda like Moonspell…but oh no we can’t have that…then it’s back to the sleepy section. I just cannot get into the ultra depressing atmospheric parts on this track or any of them that are scattered throughout the CD. The over abundance of talking parts over acoustic guitar is just too much for me. This is enough to put me in a comma! The Moonspell moments are cool but if I want that, I will listen to Moonspell. Perhaps if you like to read dark gothic poetry and play in graveyards in the moonlight in late October and stare at the full moon acting like you are oh so evil, then maybe this is a new band for you to check out? For me, this gets a bit pretentious. Maybe I’m being a bit harsh? I just happen to require a bit more aggression and speed to really get into something. I keep wondering, was there someone in the rehearsal room with these guys holding a metronome making sure they didn’t play faster then a certain speed? How about a bit more variety in the tempo? It is not as if these guys cannot play. If doomy and slow atmospheric “death” metal is your thing, then Novembers Doom presents a slick, well produced, well-played and polished package that you should check out.
Further information on the band can be found at their official website at http://www.novembersdoom.com