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November's Doom - Into Night's Requiem Infernal (CD)

November's Doom
Into Night's Requiem Infernal
by Mike Novak at 29 July 2009, 5:37 PM

The announcement of a new NOVEMBER'S DOOM album is now something that I greet with great anticipation. Ever since 2005's Pale Haunt Departure changed my perception of what Doom Metal could be, I have had this band in regular rotation on my CD player. With 2007's The Novella Reservoir, the band could have changed their name to November's Death, as that album was easily their heaviest yet, with faster tempos and fewer slow melancholic parts, although there were a couple of great songs with only clean singing. Some complained about this heavier direction, although I was fine with it as long as the quality of the songs stayed at the same level.

NOVEMBER'S DOOM was formed all the way back in 1989, although the only original member remaining is vocalist Paul Kuhr. However, they did not release their first album until 1995 and have overall released a total of seven albums. A live DVD, entitled The Novella Vosselaar: Live in Belgium arrived in 2008.

There was a high amount of expectation among the band's fans. Some thought that NOVEMBER'S DOOM would continue in the heavily death-metal influenced direction of their last album, while others thought that the band would return to the sound of the previous album. Others even thought that this album would have a completely new sound. It turns out that Into Night's Requiem Infernal could be described as a mix between Pale Haunt Departure and 2002's To Welcome the Fade, although that description really only for people who want a basic idea of what to expect.

The truth is that NOVEMBER'S DOOM largely avoids repeating themselves. Some bands fall into a groove into how they write their songs or arrange their albums, but that is not the case here. The past two albums started with furious Death Metal epics, while the first three songs here are largely mid-paced. Kuhr even growls over acoustic guitar in Eulogy for the Living Lost, which I don't recall them doing before (it definitely works better than one might think). One big advantage of this album is the level of consistency. Every album before this had a noticeable dip in quality in the second half of the album. Lazarus Regret and especially I Hurt Those I Adore ensure that the second half is strong.

The main downside of Into Night's Requiem Infernal is that there are no songs that approach the same exceptional level as Swallowed by the Moon or Drown the Inland Mere. Even though the guitars are still really heavy, there's nothing as crushing as Rain or The Pale Haunt Departure. Even the quiet songs aren't nearly as good. The quiet songs are probably the biggest disappointment here. It's not that the songs on this album aren't solid, because they are, it is just that they just don't approach the levels of their previous output.

Despite the criticisms mentioned above, the music and vocal performances are still very good and this album is definitely worth owning. The consistency is a definite bonus. The artwork is solid, but unspectacular. NOVEMBER'S DOOM has given us another winner, it just isn't a masterpiece like their previous two.

3 Star Rating

Into Night's Requiem Infernal
Eulogy For The Living Lost
Empathy's Greed
The Fifth Day Of March
Lazarus Regret
I Hurt Those I Adore
The Harlots Lie
When Desperation Fills The Void
Paul Kuhr - Vocals
Larry Roberts - Guitar
Vito Marchese - Guitar
Chris Djuricic - Bass
Sasha Horn - Drums
Record Label: The End Records


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