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November's Doom - The Novella Reservoir

Label: The End Records
Format: CD
Released: 2007
Reviewed By: The Goat

Woah! What in the world happened here? This was my exact reaction to November's Doom newbie. This is a massive killer of an album. The opening crescendo is a volley of blast beats and rampaging anger. It is more death metal than doom. Rain is brimming with malevolence and righteous destructive force. The title track, which comes next, begins somewhat peacefully enough some clean guitars - at first. "The Novella Reservoir" steps into a doom stance but it is far from despairing, more like vengeful. Just marvel at the seemingly peaceful strumming that happens before the song erupts to its snarl.


Wait, do you think this album is going to plod down that well tread doom path, like some many before? Think again. Just listen to the urgency of the guitars in 'Drown the Inland Mere' and the blast beats hammering rhythm. This is probably by far November Doom's best song ever by the mere (no pun intended) fact that it defies all doom standards. This song is one of the most murderous I have ever heard from a band. (Warning: Do Not Listen To This Song While Driving - You Might Take Out a Busload of Nuns - On Purpose!) Then, as if to create a radical contrast, 'Twilight Innocence' devastates by its simplicity and unabashed love. It is an acoustic, comforting lullabye, calling forth memories of Queensrche's 'Silent Lucidity'. It is such a personal song of a father to their child, that I feel like a voyeur just listening to it.

'The Voice of Failure' brings the listener back from their reverie. The urgent destructive force of 'Voice' is in keeping with the rest of the album. This is not a despairing lament, but what one might feel after the hurt of betrayal is gone. This is the rage of the believer who realizes that there is no one listening in the heavens. The doom returns with 'They Were Left To Die'. Yet, there is still anger at the injustice of witnessing some avoidable atrocity. The mid-paced tempo of this track is just a breather for the next track, 'Dominate The Human Strain'.

Somehow, November's Doom has become a rage filled hate machine (in a good, constructive way, that is). This is most evident with 'Dominate'. This song is more death metal than doom. It is an onslaught. It is quite possibly the most awesome track on this whole disc. I would not have expected this to appear on a November's Doom album, but I am so excited to hear the snarling menace in the guitars, Paul Kuhr's growled-to-the-depths-of-Gehenna vocals, and the Godzilla stomping drums. The title is perfect for the song. 'Leaving This' is such a spectacular fitting end to the album, exhibiting November's Doom at it doomiest best.

November's Doom is one of the best American doom metal bands out there. I have been a huge fan from long ago. I am so glad to see that they are still redefining their sound and creating some devastating sonic masterpieces. This is a must have for fans of My Dying Bride, Opeth, Daylight Dies, Swallow the Sun, Saturnus, and so many others.

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