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Premiere: Novembers Doom – “Heartfelt”

HEARTFELT is the perfect combination of what defines Novembers Doom. It has the aggression, and the melodic touch with layered vocal harmonies. From start to finish, this song represents what we’re all about.

– Paul Kuhr

Although it’s foolish to attribute either result to a band’s intentions, it’s nevertheless true that many musical careers can be described one of two ways:

First, those bands that capture popular attention, flash bright and hot and fast, and then fade just as soon.

Second, those bands that run their races regardless of who’s watching; proud and patient and persistent.

Chicago’s Novembers Doom are almost a textbook case of the latter. Although beginning as a stately, gothic doom/death act — an Americanized My Dying Bride, for shorthand — the band soon transformed into a rangier creature, just as likely to lay down a carpet of double-bass aggression as to send corseted hearts a-flutter with windswept melodrama. The absolute pinnacle of their death/doom synthesis is 2005’s The Pale Haunt Departure, which married some of singer Paul Kuhr’s most personal, painful lyrics to the most witheringly heavy and maturely melancholy compositions in the band’s history.

Since then, Novembers Doom have seen considerable line-up changes in addition to a slew of notable side-projects, from the progressive/psychedelic weirdness of Subterranean Masquerade to the even more deathly These Are They. On the new album Bled White, however, the band remains proud and patient and persistent. The lead tune “Heartfelt,” is proof positive that this band’s sturdiness remains undiminished: the verses crunch and groove with moves that feel so right for devotees of mid-period Katatonia and Paradise Lost, while the silky-smooth chorus rings with hints of the same dour downcastness that made Woods Of Ypres such a bleak joy.

The players churn and stamp and whinny. The road goes ever on and on, and there’s a great comfort in knowing they’re still walking out there somewhere, even if just beyond the horizon of your remembering.

Novembers Doom’s Bled White will be available through The End Records on July 15. Preorder packages are available now.

— Dan Lawrence

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