These Are They
posted on 12/2009 By:
I have to admit, despite my respect and admiration for Novembers Doom, and as much as I enjoyed this year's Into Night Requiems Infernal, I’m a little confused about the need for this project and this release.
These Are They features two current Novembers Doom members (vocalist Paul Kuhr and drummer Sasha Horn- who also writes for this site, making my review kinda awkward) as well as former Novembers Doom guitarist Steve Nicholson along with Hurtlocker guitarist Justin Jurgevich and While Heaven Wept bassist Wiley Wells. So then, why its no surprise that this Chicago supergroup of sorta sounds like Novembers Doom. No, not sorta, they sound exactly like Novembers Doom, especially since Novembers Doom started playing more straight up death metal, as Who Linger is just that. In fact I defy anyone to put both Into Night Requiems Infernal and Who Linger on shuffle and tell them apart.
Of course, having one of the more distinct and recognizable vocalists in the genre is bound to pigeonhole a band's sound as Kuhr’s voice instantly recalls Novembers Doom, and along with the fact both bands play of form or mid tempo, slightly doomy death metal, you have to wonder why this was released under a different moniker or if it is left over material from Into Night Requiems Infernal.
Now, despite the apparent negativity above, if you, as I, enjoyed Into Night Requiems Infernal as well as The Novella Reservoir, you will love Who Linger. As a semi retro throw back death metal album, there’s plenty of steady, chugging mid paced riffs, a few blast beats and an overall sense of somber gloss and introspection (some acoustics sections, some scattered synths, etc), that filled the aforementioned albums. Older bands like Massacre and Benediction come to mind, but just laced with that delicate melancholy and pacing that’s well….. Novembers Doom-ish.
I hope I’m not coming across as too negative, because Who Linger is a solid album. It’s not going to blow you away, and some of the riffs are solid, even if they seem like Into Night Requiems Infernal cast offs. But by the same token, the likes of “When the Voices Sound Deadly,” “In the Halls of Waverly,” “Eclipse Abysmal” and “The Indweller” are all enjoyable if disposable mid western death metal. Instead of a ballad, as is expected from Novembers Doom, you get a cover of Soundgarden’s “4th of July” where Kuhr delivers his always top notch clean vocal, making the somewhat classic song sound haunting, even if the version is otherwise note for note.
Still, despite being a decent album, I still have to question the reasoning behind releasing it, other than some Chicago metal networking and pals owing other pals favors (The End Records?, really?), as this really doesnt even sound like a side project it's that similar to Novembers Doom.
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