Released: 2007, The End Records
I’m somewhat ashamed to admit this, but this sixth album by November’s Doom is my first time crossing paths with the band. This is especially strange given the great press the Chicago-based act has received for their previous two releases (THE PALE HAUNT DEPARTURE and TO WELCOME THE FADE). Well, better late than never right?
Given the band’s name and the morose album covers & titles, I fully expected THE NOVELLA RESERVOIR to be a full-on doom record, nice and slow & depressing. Clearly then, I was NOT prepared for the full-on death metal assault of the opening song, “Rain”. The song actually reminds me of classic mid-years Edge of Sanity. Excellent! From there, the band proves that they are unafraid of changing and shifting their music as the mood strikes them, albeit always with an overall morose doom vibe overarching things. The title track is a progressive-styled doom song, whilst “Drown the Inland Mere” is another vicious death-infected song.
Most impressively, the band pulls out two long and cleanly-sung dirges, both of which are excellent. “Twilight Innocence” is a very acoustic, personal song about vocalist Paul Kuhr’s daughter, while “Leaving” This” is a more traditional doom dirge that wouldn’t be out of place on a mid-years My Dying Bride album. All told, both songs are excellent departures from the metallic norm. Never fear though, as the rest of the album rages righteously!
I really can’t come up with a negative of this album. Perhaps it loses some focus on the back half, but there are still excellent riffs to mine there as well. I’ve also seen reviews that say this album is a bit too similar to the preceding THE PALE HAUNT DEPARTURE, but I can’t confirm that. All I know is THE NOVELLA RESERVOIR is an excellent album, and I’ll definitely be checking out the rest of the November’s Doom catalogue.