#9. Not many bands reach that number of albums. Even the best bands seem to break up or otherwise call it quits after number five or six. Not so with Chicago’s Novembers Doom, however. They’re a wicked beast that refuses to die, thrashing away at anything that gets in their way, thus painting their portraits of the world with blood. Stylistically, though, they refuse to be categorized. Well, yes, you could call them death doom and that would be a pretty accurate summarization but one feels like that doesn’t imply a whole lot of depth and Novembers Doom are, in fact, a very deep band. At least on this album. From what understand, they used to sing about a lot of things that go bump in the night, spinning tales of fantasy and dark days, but this album is said to be their most personal to date and it’s easy to gather that as you listen to their first person stories and pleas.
The most interesting thing about Novembers Doom is the manner in which they mix droning, plodding doom metal rhythm with nasty death metal vocals, but they also get props for adding clean vocals to the mix as well. Think of them as a hybrid monster made up of equal parts echo-y Type O Negative vocals and sinister Watain snarls. Remarkably, though, vocalist/lyricist Paul Kuhr’s death metal vocals are only slightly harder to understand than his clean vocals, which are very comprehensible. You have to give him a big round of applause there because far too many death metal acts put out albums where you can only decipher a few words or phrases per song and that’s if you’re lucky. So it’s very refreshing to sink your teeth into a slice of death metal where you’re actually intended to understand what they’re singing.
All in all, Bled White is a heavy, majestic yet vulnerable concoction that you can swallow without making a bloody mess of your throat. If you’re a sado-masochistic listener it might not be vile enough for you but most metal heads should enjoy indulging in it. Highlights: “Bled White,” “The Memory Room,” and “Clear.”