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Decembre Noir - Autumn Kings

Decembre Noir
Autumn Kings
by Dave "That Metal Guy" Campbell at 26 September 2018, 11:51 AM

From French for “Black December” comes the German quintet DECEMBRE NOIR, with their own brand of Melodic Doom/Death Metal. The band formed in 2008, and release their debut full-length “A Discouraged Believer” in 2014. Two albums later, comes their newest offering, “Autumn Kings,” set for release in November, 2018. The album contains eight lengthy tracks.

“In The Pouring Rain” starts off in a rainstorm, with rumbles of thunder in the background. A solitary guitar plays doleful notes as the thunder continues. Bass guitar joins in soon after, and the incoming of harsh vocals nearly startles me. The guitars carry forth a sad but robust sound, a little like SWALLOW THE SUN. Towards the end, the melody becomes gut-wrenching, as you can no longer tell the difference between the rain falling on your face, and your own tears. “Autumn King” is a bit darker and stronger, with thunderous kick drum occupying the latter half of the song, and guitar harmonies that build with each passing moment.

“Barricades” opens softly, with melancholy clean vocals and clean guitars. The vocals are barely above a whisper, speaking of how there is no hope inside, and how he wishes he could forgive himself. The harsh vocals come in without warning, rattling you down deep. They trade off with the clean vocals, in passages that toggle between anger and pure despair. “A Weeping Sunrise” is the longest song on the album, at just over eleven minutes. The song has several different passages that interconnect; some fast and some slow, some angry and others sad. It ends in a pretty piano sequence that slowly fades out. “Between Silence and Shards” has a regal sound to it, with a stalwart riff and slow, drawn out harsh vocals. The riff climbs here and there, building a statement.

“Dress Code Black” starts off in a marching rhythm from the drums, and a lead guitar riff that plays steadily overtop the main riff. They connect in an odd fashion, like oil and water trying to mix. It eventually works when the riff shifts to one that is fiercer, and begins to remind me of INSOMNIUM. “Hymn of Sorrow” opens with some spoken word, talking about “raging against the dying of the light.” The opening riff doesn’t have that despondent quality that much of the music has on the album. It’s pretty and graceful, albeit a little sad, with a quick passage of clean vocals. The harsh vocals however are cold and heavy with emotions. The weight of the sound threatens to crush the life out of you.

“The Downward Path” closes out the song, with a fading in Doom Metal riff. It gains speed, as it crescendos into a blurry path of maddening drumming while the riff struggles to keeps pace, and ends in the slow rains that opened the album. Overall, this was a great listen. The vocals are super deep and angsty, and the guitar work is very precise. Much of the album is very somber…this is designed to get you thinking of the darker side of life, thinking of the nothing that you have when all is said and done.

Songwriting: 8
Originality: 8
Memorability: 8
Production: 8

4 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. In the Pouring Rain
2. Autumn King
3. Barricades
4. A Weeping Sunrise
5. Between Silence and Sunrise
6. Dress Code Black
7. Hymn of Sorrow
8. The Downward Path
Lineup:
Sebastian – Guitars
Martin – Guitars
Kevin – Drums
Lars – Vocals, Lyrics
Mike – Bass
Record Label: Lifeforce Records
     


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