Novembers Doom The Novella Reservoir

Woeful, wretched and wonderful, The Novella Reservoir conveys all the anguish and bliss essential to a great Novembers Doom album. Much more than a crushing catalogue of misery and regret, the band’s latest record (flowing smoothly from 2005’s The Pale Haunt Departure) tempers its aggression with meditative, even soothing, deviations — resonant vocal melodies and acoustic instrumentation rising from the awesome sludge of the deep growls and mammoth riffs. Sometimes the album leans to either extreme, like in the ferocity of "Dominate the Human Strain” or the delicate restraint of "Twilight Innocence,” but tracks like the title piece capture that range within the bounds of a single song. While The Novella Reservoir takes Novembers Doom another step forward, nostalgic threads are also part of the record’s multidimensional structure, with glimpses of classic ’80s thrash and Opeth-esque detours into ’70s rock feeding into its sophistication and emotional depths. Drawing upon the same production talents, including Dan Swanö mixing and James Murphy mastering, The Novella Reservoir unfolds with the rich clarity of the band’s last record, underlining musical strengths already hard to miss. (The End)