Novembers Doom - _Aphotic_
(The End Records, 2011)
by: Aaron McKay (8 out of 10)
The meaning of "aphotic" translates as extremely little to the total absence of light. Be that as it may, the newest release for Chicago's titans, Novembers Doom, has more than its fair share of bright spots to illuminate the sometimes overly murky metal scene.

This latest resplendent effort marks the eighth full-length release in the weighty back catalog of musical achievements from the Midwest five piece death-doomsters. This go-around _Aphotic_ explores an airier, translucent aspect maybe not as pronounced as on some their previous albums. This is due in no small part to the vocal talents of The Gathering's Anneke van Giersbergen. Also, couple that particular addition with violin child prodigy Rachel Barton Pine, and her stringed instrument abilities whereby creating a luminous new album that takes on a chillingly lucent aura. Counterbalancing those supplementary nuisances, Dan Swanö also climbed out from behind the _Aphotic_ mixing board to render a throaty contribution on "Of Age and Origin".

Eight tracks make up _Aphotic_. Passages like "Six Sides", with its suggestively riffy and rhythmic moving effortlessly into "Shadow Play" like so much white water rapids into a clear frosty twilight pool; a definitively unambiguous indication Novembers Doom is now and always has been invested in their root origin signature sound. Epic!

From a certain voluminous yawning expanse so typical of Novembers Doom's sound ("Buried") to the current challenging avant-garde edginess thus recently contrived on _Aphotic_ ("What Could Have Been"), Novembers Doom demonstrates a profound unwillingness to be overshadowed in any way traveling their chosen metal music path. This new release may reference an absence of light, but the Herculean Novembers Doom validate they will never be left in the dark. As Dylan Thomas suitably prophesied, "Wild men who caught and sang the sun in flight, And learn, too late, they grieved it on its way, Do not go gentle into that good night."


(article published 15/5/2011)

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