Posts Tagged ‘JJ Koczan’
Posted on Friday, July 18th, 2014
Lovingly pinched from The Obelisk: Chicago death-doom outfit Novembers Doom released their first album in 1995, nearly 20 years ago now. They weren’t the first American death-doom act, and there were others who solidified around the same time, but Novembers Doom were easily among the earliest adopters of a dramatic melancholy most common then in the European doom scene pre-Reverend Bizarre, bands like Katatonia, Paradise Lost, earliest Anathema and My Dying Bride serving as an influences to be melded with Novembers Doom‘s own Chicago death metal style.
Their progression in the years since Amid its Hallowed Mirth has been a steady line in terms of quality but has presented several distinct shifts in sound, into full-on death-doom on records like 2002′s To Welcome the Fade and 2005′s The Pale Haunt Departure, and more recently, leaning back stylistically more to death metal. The Pale Haunt Departure presented a discernible starting point, but the movement has been gradual, and over 2007′s The Novella Reservoir, 2009′s Into Night’s Requiem Infernal and 2011′s Aphotic, they’ve continued to pursue that direction.
Their latest outing, Bled White (released on The End Records, their label of the last nine years), furthers the progression to the point that Novembers Doom have very little of what would commonly be considered doom left in their sound. Instead, they offer 11 tracks / 68 minutes of depressive death metal, marked by the growl / clean-vocal tradeoffs and capital ‘r’ lyrical Romanticism of frontman Paul Kuhr and the persistent double-kick of Garry Naples. In its production and execution, Bled White is a metal album, and it retains that status even at its most subdued or melodic points, as on ‘Clear’ or the morose ‘Just Breathe.’
There seems to be a certain nihilism — or at least fuckall — in how the full-length is put together. Not in the songs themselves, which are rigidly structured, but in how they’re arranged and the overall mentality of Bled White‘s construction. With a strong opening duo of driving, catchy and pummeling metal in the title-track and subsequent ‘Heartfelt’ before the softer ‘Just Breathe’ and acoustic interlude ‘Scorpius’, it seems reasonable to call it front-loaded.
After ‘Scorpius’, ‘Unrest’ kicks back into Novembers Doom‘s blend of death and melodic theatricality — guitarists Larry Roberts and Vito Marchese and bassist Mike Feldman carefully winding between beauty and brutality as Naples tosses in blastbeats and breakdown grooves and Kuhr self-harmonizes — and from there they set about toying with the balance in their sound over the course of the brighter-toned ‘The Memory Room’, the blistering ‘The Brave Pawn’, and ‘Clear’, which has a feel like what Opeth might’ve turned into had they kept their more inventive rhythm section and dialed back on the prog fetish. But no question the opening salvo is Bled White‘s most memorable.
Continue reading: THE OBELISK REVIEW: Novembers Doom, Bled White
(courtesy of JJ Koczan / The Obelisk)
Posted on Tuesday, July 8th, 2014
Lovingly pinched from The Obelisk: Over the last two-plus decades, John Garcia‘s voice has set the standard for the sound of the California desert. His work in genre-progenitors Kyuss speaks for itself — loudly, and with much fuzz — and subsequent outfits Unida, Slo Burn, Hermano and more guest appearances than one can count […]
Posted on Saturday, July 5th, 2014
Lovingly pinched from The Obelisk: The word “epic” gets tossed around these days for everything from Homeric poetry to late-night burritos, so one hesitates to use it for fear it might be taken with a watered-down meaning. I’m at a loss, however, for how else to describe the monumental, otherworldly […]
Posted on Thursday, July 3rd, 2014
Lovingly pinched from The Obelisk: It has been 19 years since New York City doomers Blood Farmers released their self-titled debut on Hellhound Records, and while that album and their 1991 Permanent Brain Damage demo were reissued via Japan’s Leaf Hound Records in 2008 and 2004, respectively, and trio have […]
Posted on Saturday, June 28th, 2014
Lovingly pinched from The Obelisk: What sets Brooklyn trio The Golden Grass apart from the hundreds of bands the world over who cull the bulk of their influence from the heavy rock of the early ’70s and / or the original psychedelic era is a relentlessly positive mindset. Where the current […]
Posted on Sunday, June 22nd, 2014
Lovingly pinched from The Obelisk: It should stand to reason that any Dylan Carlson solo outing released under the banner of Drcarlsionalbion (also stylized in all-caps or all-lowercase) should have a certain amount of continuity with Earth, since as much as that band has become a rotating-member collaboration, Carlson‘s guitar […]
Posted on Wednesday, June 11th, 2014
Lovingy pinched from The Obelisk: One of the most challenging factors in listening to Decline and Fall objectively, or even attempting to do so, is in separating the reality of the four songs included from the fact that it’s Godflesh. Not just Godlesh, but new Godflesh, and the first new […]
Posted on Friday, June 6th, 2014
Lovingly pinched from The Obelisk: Like a lot of “lost” groups the origins of Rog & Pip are winding and complicated. The duo of Roger Lomas and Philip “Pip” Whitcher trace their origins back to mid-’60s Coventry outfit The Sorrows, which found success not in the UK, but in Italy, […]
Posted on Monday, June 2nd, 2014
Lovingly pinched from The Obelisk: Since the release of their self-titled debut in 2007, Radio Moscow have specialized in tight-knit heavy psychedelic blues rock, topped off with the barnburner fretwork of guitarist / vocalist Parker Griggs. In drummer Paul Marrone (also Astra and Psicomagia) and bassist Anthony Meier (also Sacri […]
Posted on Saturday, May 31st, 2014
Lovingly pinched from The Obelisk: A guitar line echoes, swells, is met with a quick wash of cymbal, and almost before you realize it, Dwellers have eased you into the pulsing ‘Creature Comfort’, the opener of their second album for Small Stone, Pagan Fruit. The Salt Lake City, Utah, three-piece […]