Novembers Doom - Bled White review
|Release date:||July 2014|
01. Bled White
03. Just Breathe
06. The Memory Room
07. The Brave Pawn
09. The Grand Circle
11. The Silent Dark
When blood runs freely it can quickly result in death. Lose enough blood and you lose colour in the flesh and life draws to a close. Bled White is a loss of sorts for death/doom act Novembers Doom; it's not all speedy in its progression, but doom continues to be bled out and death draws ever closer. That's actually where the strength of their latest record lies; in its death throes.
Novembers Doom usually work their metal in varied shades, implementing the fusion of death and doom metal to make moody music which alternates between moments of aggression and moments of melancholy. At the surface what would appear to be standard melodic death/doom metal is exactly what they produce, in essence. Their consistent studio presence is the standard to which many comparable styles within the subgenre vie to emulate. There are few bands that can be said to have attained such a status, achieved through a continually creative resolve; they really are a measure for their kind.
In name, Novembers Doom have been becoming something of a misnomer over the years. They've let go of much of the doom metal in their style and more fully embraced the possibilities of a melodically rendered death metal. Prior to Bled White their identity has gradually taken on a gothic nature, as an aesthetical replacement to what the doom metal used to provide in their style, of which the band has self-stylised as "dark metal". The death metal is starkly presented here; the immediacy with which this stylistic focus hits is felt full-on from the outset, with the title-track placed upfront and punching a cavity straight through the listener's initial impressions.
However the stylistic dichotomy soon establishes itself throughout the track list, many tunes opting for a slower tempo and atmospheric sadness, as opposed to others which receive higher tempo and form clear points of contrast, such as "The Brave Pawn" or "Unrest," the latter matching its title well.
The juxtaposition really is overpowering. The death metal to this achieves the desired effect of pummelling the listener into a pulp, all with an infectious sense of melody. The drearier material of the longer songs doesn't leave as much of an impression, with tunes like "The Memory Room" taking a repetitious dredge as a slow paced death metal number with gothic overtones in the clean vocal arrangements, and it being situated between two quite punchy pieces in the aforementioned "Unrest" and "The Brave Pawn."
Doom isn't entirely absent, "The Grand Circle" reintroducing lost tones to the sound and marking it as the most identifiably "death/doom" track of the album, as well as "Just Breathe" casting a very downcast vibe within its transitions between heavier segments. Much of Bled White is oriented on the death side of the band's style, and where the tempo is reduced the song writing seems less engaging in comparison to the powerful up-tempo death segments. However effective use of drum fills and guitar licks in tracks like "Clear" manage to keep the effort from stagnation in its more gradual progressions, as well as nicely varied vocal work from both the harsh and cleans used throughout the album.
At the end of things, Bled White draws to a close with the exceptional "The Silent Dark," a strong and conclusive point on which to finish. Bled White may not stand above prior releases to any notable extent, however it is a noticeable shift further from doom and into the death metal aspect of the band's sound, and delivers the band's expectedly stable quality in their continued studio performance.
||Written on 12.07.2014 by R'Vannith enjoys music, he's hoping you do too.|
|Mature Depth. If there are two words that could describe all you need to know about Novembers Doom it would be those. The doom metal genre is famous for the anger and angst that bite through the heavy, drawn-out notes, creating its signature oppressive sound; but Novembers Doom has always been different. They use many of the same ingredients that are typical of doom metal but their music doesn't feel angry so much as it feels like a deeply existential message that is depressing only in how real it is. Bled White may very well be the best representation of Novembers Doom's style: powerful music with a powerful message within.
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