Band: Novembers Doom
Album: Amid Its Hallowed Mirth
Released date: February 10th, 1995
Genre: Death/Doom Metal
Country: United States
Label: Avantgarde Music
What I love about death/doom metal records is that burdensome funereal vibe that they carry with them. There are times where I would just play albums of Paradise Lost, Anathema, Katatonia, Tiamat and My Dying Bride the whole day and never get tired of it. And I do that regardless of the state of mood that I am in. Novembers Doom is one of the bands that I tend to take heed of whenever I decide to blast some good ol’ doomy death metal tunes.
I love that very heavy and ponderous facets that Novembers Doom entails with their music. And honestly speaking, in my own opinion, I think that the Illinois-based quintet had never topped their debut studio record ‘Amid Its Hallowed Mirth‘. Don’t get me wrong on this comment though. Their later materials — ‘Of Sculptured Ivy and Stone Flowers‘, ‘The Knowing‘, ‘To Welcome the Fade‘ and ‘The Pale Haunt Departure‘ — are good death/doom metal albums, but they don’t have that perfect balance whisked with death metal and doom metal touches which their debut record possessed.
I know a lot will agree with me when I say that Amid Its Hallowed Mirth is the paramount album that Novembers Doom had crafted in their career as extreme metal musicians. This album is a masterpiece in the realm of the genre, nay, it represents all that is admired in the domain of death/doom music. Listening to it will instantly give you the idea of how Novembers Doom is heavily influenced by bands like Anathema, Paradise Lost, My Dying Bride, and Candlemass. Now for a band who started as a pure death metal act, they were playing death metal back when they were still called Laceration from 1989-1992, many were shocked by how impeccably Novembers Doom had moved to become great death/doom maestros.
All the guitar riffs of the tracks in this album bear a lot of power that will ignite the listener’s desire to bang their head. The tone brings a grotesque and dreadful atmosphere that will totally blow your fucking mind. The drum work is another outstanding factor that I love about this album. The drummer did not go too extreme, yet he still effectively delivered that robust impact on the drum sections that the fans wanted to hear. The bass, though it did not do anything unique and it never stood out, does a good job in complementing the guitars too. Perhaps Paul‘s vocal delivery is my favorite element in this album. His vocal work exhibits a very unadulterated guttural caliber which plays a major role in making this album memorable. Dude sounds really brutal, and he is indeed a sheer varmint behind the mic.
Another haunting aspect about this record is the elegiac and poetic lyrics of the songs. The lyrics, along with the already clandestine and desolated ambiance of the album, synthesized a stalwart feeling of distress and agony. This is the one aspect that is the most important ingredient in producing a record, as it is the main rationale in the matter of how the band connects with their fans.
To make this long review short, Amid Its Hallowed Mirth is a significant offering that established Novembers Doom‘s rank as one of the best extreme metal minstrels in the history of the genre. This album is a must own record for enthusiasts of death/doom metal. I definitely believe that this is one of the best of its class.