Novembers Doom - Aphotic
The End Records
Progressive/Doom/Death Metal
8 songs (50'40'')
Release year: 2011
Novembers Doom, The End Records
Reviewed by Jared
Archive review

About a month or two ago I decided to do a little reading up on some unfamiliar bands. One in particular, Novembers Doom, seemed to be a combination of death and doom metal that would, in the end, make me very happy for having discovered. Doom metal sounding bands have been so difficult for me to grasp at times, but Novembers Doom approach to the sound is so much more pleasing to the ear, as it combines very tenacious and heavy riffing alongside very beautiful and moving vocals. The song Autumn Reflection from the album The Pale Haunt Departure was the first time I had actually heard something from the band, and I immediately was taken by the mood and the powerful feelings evoked from the well-crafted song. Aphotic is the latest album to be dropped from the band and after two years since its release, I'm sure there are fans wanting to hear what they have in store next.

One of the best features of the album is the hardened intimidating guitar riffs that make up quite the majority of the tracks. They are huge, monstrous, and leave little reason for you not to shake your head. The first three tracks, The Dark Host, Harvest Scythe, and Buried are definitely along those lines. The riffs are fantastic in every regard, but the vocals will make you become pretty immersed with the band, and the wonderful style they have adopted. This album may have decided to go a little bit more progressive sounding, but this record deserves just as much attention as their previous work. In Aphotic, the doom influence isn’t as reflected as they may have done so in their past. The clean singing is absolutely astronomical, and is quite the ear pleasing experience. Paul Kuhr’s moving and catchy choruses are indeed a highpoint. The track, What Could Have Been, puts him up with Anneke Van Giersbergen, formally the lead guitarist and singer of the Dutch alternative rock band The Gathering. It takes the album to a much slower demeanor, containing strictly voice and acoustic guitars.

After the short break from a calmer tranquil track, the album picks back up right where it left off. The two part song, Of Age and Origin, really captures what this album is all about. The first section entitled A Violent Day, once again reproduces the heavy riffing with an obvious dark and evil motive. Going from the track, A Violent Day, only means the second track could be more uplifting right? A Day of Joy completely flips the attitude for the second half with a lot of emphasis on clean vocals layered over one another which in the end, are just plain stunning.

Six Sides may be one of my favorite tracks on the entire album, especially since the guitar work at times really sold me. The song has simple guitar riffs, but the harmonization they implement about half-way through sounds down right perfect, especially with the tones they use for their instruments. The album ends with the track, Shadow Play, which begins with a somber tone using clean voice and very soft drumming. The drums on the album sound outstanding which I feel should be mentioned. Most bands today sound extremely synthetic and over the top, but Novembers Doom really nailed it when performing and mixing the drum tracks. The second half of the song kicks in with more aggression, but ends when I did not want it to. Not that this album is short by any means, I just found myself not wanting my experience to end at all with Aphotic.

There may haven’t been much news concerning what Novembers Doom may have been up to lately, but it’s the perfect time for anyone interested in the band to catch up with all their discography has to offer, and there is plenty of great music to be heard. After listening to Aphotic, it would’ve been a top choice for 2011. Hopefully Novembers Doom will be working on something soon, and if it’s anything like Aphotic, we will have yet another large monster to try to contain.

Killing Songs :
The Dark Host, Harvest Scythe, Of Age and Origin Parts 1 and 2, Six Sides
Jared quoted 91 / 100
Other albums by Novembers Doom that we have reviewed:
Novembers Doom - Amid Its Hallowed Mirth reviewed by Jared and quoted 70 / 100
Novembers Doom - Bled White reviewed by Jared and quoted 95 / 100
Novembers Doom - The Novella Reservoir reviewed by Alex and quoted 90 / 100
Novembers Doom - The Pale Haunt Departure reviewed by Alex and quoted 90 / 100
Novembers Doom - To Welcome the Fade reviewed by Alex and quoted 77 / 100
To see all 7 reviews click here
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