Monday, April 17, 2017

November's Doom : "Hamartia"

I am always surprised when I forget these guys are from Chicago. They sound like they are from either England or Sweden. This band opens with a song that makes you think they are  melodic death metal  band that doesn't have aspirations to be anything other than that, though they wield some well crafted guitar melodies and the vocals are placed with great intention to make the most of every growl in the same way singers use every note. This album is very well produced with an excellent guitar tone as by the second song it's easy to hear the kind of love that they were tracked with. Clean vocals come in on the second song. "Plague Bird" brings in clean vocals with kind of a Katatonia feel the only problem is the melodies are not as focused as Katatonia's. They regain a little more of the focus with "Ghost" which goes in a more My Dying Bride like direction.

The sung vocals come back and this time fall somewhere between the Katatonia sound and My Dying Bride. The vocals are a mixed bag as the come across a little weak on "Ever After" as the drummer really begins to steal the show. The title track finds the vocals dropping to a more dramatic whisper. At first it feels like Wall era Pink Floyd. Its an odd ballad that never really settles into it self. "Apostasy" is more balls to the wall with death growls and double bass driving it into your face. It is one of the album's stronger songs and makes better use of the clean vocal trade off. They drift off into a more sorrowful My Dying Bride like tone on "Miasma". This has one of the albums better guitar solos on it. Lyrically it's a little to romanticized. "Zephyr" feels like it walks more of a middle ground and balances out the aggression with the more dramatic tone of the vocals.

There is a more mainstream metal hook to the guitar riffs of "Waves in the Red Cloth" the vocals could be more intense to hold the groove of the guitar. So while it sounds like the put a little more thought into making this one more compact, the vocals don't do it any huge favors. They go back into a more bland take on Katatonia that I am ot sure they are even convinced of.  I'll round this one up to a 7 as they are typically good at what they do with the more driving songs that roared more being the cream of this year's crop.


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