Novembers Doom To Welcome The Fade

Chicago’s Novembers Doom continue their reign of classical doom over North American shores with To Welcome The Fade, crisply produced by long-time Queensrÿche knob-twiddler Neil Kernon. The album has major leanings to UK giants My Dying Bride and Shades Of God-era Paradise Lost but with a more mid-paced attack with plenty of classic flourishes. "Not The Strong” and "The Spirit Seed” contain (old) Cathedral-like grooves throughout, while "Broken,” "Lost In A Day” and "The Lifeless Silhouette” are perfect cross-sections of the genre: deftly bludgeoning MDB-styled chords, poignant female vocals by Nora O’Conner that complement front-man Paul Kuhr’s clean vocals, and quieter interludes that show the band’s attention to every doom detail and nuance. "Within My Flesh” has a fabulous Spanish guitar intro and "Dreams To Follow” a stunning piano sonata, but "If Forever” is a full-on acoustic ballad dedicated to Kuhr’s betrothed. O’Conner trades verses with Kuhr in the definitive "Torn,” performing possibly the first doom duet ever. The fetching cover art by Travis Smith is but a fraction of the mournful beauty contained within, as Novembers Doom remain the premier doom act on this side of the pond. (Dark Symphonies)