Novembers Doom - _The Novella Reservoir_
(The End Records, 2007)
by: Aaron McKay (9.5 out of 10)
February 2007 will see the much anticipated sixth full-length effort from Chicago's uncompromising metal guardians, Novembers Doom. Few albums at all this (new) year have consumed and captivated the forecasts of the prophets in the media as much as _The Novella Reservoir_, coming off the heels of their insurmountable 2005 release _The Pale Haunt Departure_ -- with which Novembers Doom set the standard to which few could escape comparison, including themselves.

Too often the media portrays this and that as "unclassifiable" or "defying classification". This too could be said for Novembers Doom, specifically _The Novella Reservoir_; however this is not exactly truthful and more-or-less just a touch on the lazy side.

Novembers Doom have made a name for themselves building upon each album using the best of their technique to craft a perplex practice capable of dropping an insightfully complicated, but clearly thorough work onto a less-than-expecting audience; look no further than _Of Sculptured Ivy and Stone Flowers_, as well as _The Knowing_, for evidence of this undisputable reality. In 2002, _To Welcome the Fade_ seemingly supplied Novembers Doom with a vehicle driving toward the pinnacle of their career -- yet this achievement too was destined to be overcome. _The Pale Haunt Departure_ was released in 2005 to diligent touring, massive acclaim, and worldwide applause.

_The Novella Reservoir_ constitutes Novembers Doom's second release on The End Records. How does a band, even as incredibly talented and skilled as ND, set out to accomplish the daunting task of following an effort like _TPHD_? The answer can only be found by looking deeper into their collective being as a group.

Lyrically similar to their previous offering, Novembers Doom embarks down a somberly crushing path toward an approach bordering on "perplexity thru clarity" -- a description from which they've become nearly inseparable. The duality, complexity and balance found on _The Novella Reservoir_ creates a hauntingly beautiful yet morosely enchanting eight track experience. Not unlike _TPHD_, _TNR_ utilizes ND's uniquely dark styling and texture. The difference between the two releases comes on the form of "musical antagonism" on this album; without little doubt _TNR_ ratchets up the pure power contained within the disc's forty-six minute sonic escapade.

Where the waves of diverse atmosphere on _TPHD_ wash over the listener in a fashion rarely, if ever, experienced before, _The Novella Reservoir_ takes a moderately edgier approach. _TNR_ is so much more than just the next logical step in this band's powerful career -- it is indeed an evolution of proficiency in progress.


(article published 28/1/2007)

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