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Novembers Doom - To Welcome the Fade (Re-Release)

It feels a little strange reviewing this disc by Novembers Doom since I reviewed a more recent album before this one.  Instead of wanting to compare it to previous releases, I find myself comparing it to their newest album, The Pale Haunt Departure.  While their newest album blew me away, this album didn't really give me the same impression at first.  Now don't think this is not good, quality metal.  This is some great stuff.  It just took a few listens for it to sink in.  The opening song from this doomy death metal band, "Not the Strong", is a powerful, energetic opener with mid-paced speed and deep growling vocals.  It's probably my favorite song on the album.  The next song "Broken" finds the band utilizing female vocals.   Nora O'Connor sounds very similar to that chick from Sixpence None the Richer.  Very good vocals for sure, but the jury is still out on whether it works here.  While their latest album finds the band taking a much darker road with their music, this album has many lighter moments.  The death vocals almost sound "heartfelt" at times and the times when they sound angry, it's not overly convincing.  Like in the song "The Lifeless Silhouette" where Paul Kuhr uses the f-word twice.  The lyrics sound angry, but I'm just not feeling it. 

Again, don't get me wrong.  This is a great disc.  I just think it fails in a few areas where The Pale Haunt Departure succeeds.  I guess that's the bad part of reviewing a band's latest and best album first.  If your first experience with Novembers Doom is their latest album, you'll definitely want to pick this up too.  I just doubt you'll like it quite as much.

One bonus with this disc (which is a re-release of the original version) is that it comes with the out of print EP, For Every Leaf that Falls.  The disc has the three songs from the EP, which are solid doom/death metal and two live songs from the To Welcome the Fade era.  The live songs have good sound quality.  There is also a video for the song "Within My Flesh", which is a live version of the song that really does nothing much for me as it's just the band on stage with very little movement.  Good song, boring video.

Lyrically, the band seems to take more of an anger approach with lyrics of regret, pain, and disappointment with faith and others who let them down.  The song "Within My Flesh" states, "My rage to help me through the day/And visions of black to cure my loss/I taunt the pain to prove it's real/And greet my facade with a grin/Look what your God has made me/Placing spikes within my flesh/A crown of nails for my sunken head/To shy away from this freak."  Another few lines in "The Lifeless Silhouette" state, "So I damn your f**king life/And I pray you suffer long/And all the angels turn their backs/From the site of your pitiful face/No God will save your soul/For there is no love for you/You left that all behind/The day you learned to f**cking speak."  Nice, encouraging lyrics.  Not really the album to listen to to give you a pick me up after that hard, depressing day at work.

Overall, this is a very strong release by Novembers Doom.  The lyrical content is a huge disappointment compared to The Pale Haunt Departure, and the musical performance is not as strong, but it's still a very worthwhile listen.

Rating: 84/100

Review By: Matt Morrow

Label: The End Records

Total Songs: 10 on Disc 1 and 5 plus 1 video on Disc 2.

Total Time: 54:51 on Disc 1 and 29:08 on Disc 2

Tracklisting: Disc 1 - 1. Not the Strong, 2. Broken, 3. Lost in a Day, 4. Within My Flesh, 5. If Forever, 6. The Spirit Seed, 7. Torn, 8. The Lifeless Silhouette, 9. Dreams to Follow, 10. Dark Fields for Brilliance.  Disc 2 - 1. For Every Leaf that Falls, 2. The Jealous Sun, 3. Dawn Breaks, 4. Lost in a Day (Live), 5. Not the Strong (Live).  Video - Within My Flesh.

Best Songs: Tracks 1, 4, 5, and 6.

Band Lineup: Paul Kuhr - Vocals, Eric Burnley - Guitar/Keyboards, Larry Roberts - Guitar, Joe Nunez - Drums/Percussion.

Band Website: http://www.novembersdoom.com