To Welcome The Fade
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When they hit the studios to record this album they got help from Grammy award winning producer, Neil Kernon, best known for his work with acts like Hall & Oates, Kansas, Yes, Queensryche, Judas Priest, Nevermore and Cannibal Corpse. 10 tracks. Dark Symph
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Novembers Doom always struck me as the band Paradise Lost would have sounded like if they had stayed with the sound they had on Gothic. Novembers Doom strikes the perfect balance between the doom and death metal styles, combining aggression with melancholy and despair, somber passages with bludgeoning rhythms, mournful clean and spoken vocals with a very heavy death growl. To Welcome the Fade is a fantastic example of the band's sound. It's heavy in just about every sense of the word. Some of the songs are just brutal (I'm thinking "The Spirit Seed" here), while others are heavy in terms of bleak atmosphere and lyrics ("The Lifeless Shadow"). The album is extremely well-written, impeccably produced, and remains one of the band's best works.
Obviously Novembers Doom has gone on to release some incredible albums without Burnley, but there's something special about their early works, and To Welcome the Fade is the perfect album to end that era. If you're a fan of bands like Daylight Dies, Morgion, (early) Paradise Lost and (early) Katatonia, this is a must-have album from a band that is a legend in the doom/death genre.
Edition Notes: The End Records reissued To Welcome the Fade in 2004, adding a second disc of interesting bonus material. It includes the band's 1997 3-song For Every Leaf That Falls EP, live versions of "Lost in a Day" and "Not the Strong," and a live video clip for "Within My Flesh."
The guitarists (Eric Burnley and Larry Roberts) state some unusual influences on the band's website, including Squirrel Nut Zippers, Cheap Trick, and Bjork, but don't let that scare you. Variety is healthy for any musician. The riffs are, for the most part, melodic and original, something extremely rare in this day of In Flames-recycling. A few riffs resemble recent Opeth material, while others reach back to My Dying Bride and Anathema. The main vocal style is a gutteral growl, but there are several moments of clean singing and a beautiful female voice. Vocalist Paul Kuhr shows an excellent vocal performance matched with lyrics that are very deep and personal. Bass and drums are nicely done, but kind of "standard" (which doesn't hurt anything in this case).
To sum things up, if you enjoy Saturnus, My Dying Bride, Anathema, and Opeth, don't screw around, just buy this disc...