Novembers Doom - Aphotic
The End Records - May 10th 2011
By Jason Wick
Artists face many obstacles throughout their careers that often determine how extensive and fruitful their time in the industry is. Even when you hold a veteran status, such as Novembers Doom does, a lot of battles remain to be won. One of the more difficult challenges for an established act to have success in is to achieve a sense of progression without alienating the current fan base; and this is something the men behind this band have had a good amount of success with throughout their 22 years of existence.
Official Novembers Doom Website
Official Novembers Doom MySpace
Official Novembers Doom Facebook
Official Novembers Doom Twitter
Official The End Records Website
Eight full length albums within their career and Novembers Doom is still managing to switch things up while keeping a distinct atmosphere and feel in addition to improving on many technical fronts. With its aggressive and punchy approach Aphotic demonstrates that the creative engines within the band have a lot more fuel left in the tank. Quite frankly, it is difficult to come across a band that demonstrates this much will to improve so far into their career.
Rhythmically the act continues to improve upon assaulting the listener with hooks instead of simple rapid jabs in the heavier moments, as well as capitalizing on both anticipation and tension. These moments are still rounded out by mellow yet engaging passages which highlight Paul Kuhr’s growth on the clean vocal front. Despite the ‘bi-polar’ nature of Novembers Doom’s sound Aphotic does flow seamlessly throughout.
All in all progression is found on most fronts, and where it isn’t the band is just as strong as they previously stood. Precision and top notch song writing is capped off with engaging lyrics delivered in great form from Paul’s crushing fashion to guest appearances from both Anneke Van Giersbergen (The Gathering) and the legendary Dan Swanö (Edge of Sanity, Nightingale). Swanö is also responsible for the mixing of the album once again; continuing to be a great compliment to the work Chris Wisco has put in with the band in the studio.
Aphotic is yet another great release for this group out of Chicago. Mastering the art of melancholy, yet offering a sense of empowerment to the listener. This album will please the bands current fan base while garnering the attention of first time listeners, as well as those that have passed over their previous efforts.