Décembre Noir
Your Sunset / My Sunrise

Is this the Death/Doom album of the year? That’s for you to decide, bitch. However, Death/Doom is absolutely my wheelhouse and I have been underwhelmed by a lot of the output so far this year. At this time last year, I felt the same, and then Mother of Graves punched me in the gut. So, there’s still time. I’ve started to build my year-end list, and right now, there are 3 death doom albums: Vadiat, Fires in the Distance, and this new monstrous album from Décembre Noir.

So, what makes it special? Well, friend, I am so glad you asked. It’s passion, emotion, and heft. I don’t know that I’ve heard a better opener this year than “Dead End: May.” I know the 9-minute plus runtime may dissuade many from listening, but if you’re at all into this genre, this is only a problem if not well-crafted. There are many movements that bear mentioning (had a nice one this morning, too), including a significant build into the meat of the track, which takes around 3 minutes. That’s where the first chorus hits. A couple of minutes later is an extended spoken word section, making that growl after it hit hard. Somehow, they save the best, heaviest section for last when the chorus is repeated for a while after the music stops. This could have been the perfect opener or closer.

The next I’ll mention is “Your Sunset/My Sunrise” because it’s the title track, but it’s also excellent. At another hefty 8-minute clip, you’re probably thinking it sounds like a death doom track. You’re right, but once again songcraft comes into play. Décembre Noir obviously graduated from the school of Insomnium background melodies. There are also multiple spoken word parts in this one. As it should, the repetition of “Your sunset, my sunrise” ties it all together.

The last track I’ll mention is the closer, “Trivial Heart.” It’s over 8 minutes, which should be entirely expected by the time anyone gets here, considering overall it’s 6 tracks and around 45 minutes. There’s always the issue when it comes to this style of wearing out its welcome. That is not an issue here. Does it have the same approach as most of the other tracks? Sure. Appropriately depressing and frosty lyrics? Also, yes. The last minute or so of piano bringing it to a close isn’t out of the ordinary either. However…

It all works. As I mentioned previously, it’s all about songs, and there’s not one on the album I would even consider skipping. Shortly before finishing this review, I placed it onto my “Albums of the Year” playlist and already know I won’t regret it. It’s easily (and I do mean easily) the best death doom album I’ve heard this year. Sure, there’s time for more. Something may come out of nowhere and blow me away, but I find it hard to believe unless Novembers Doom releases a surprise album, that it’s moving from the list. I know I gave their previous one a solid review as well, but this one is many times better. If you’re into death/doom and perhaps have even heard the band before, get this immediately. I’m backing off on purchasing physical albums unless I see the band live because I spend too much money on merch. However, this one is on the way.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by J Mays
October 31st, 2023

Comments

  1. Commented by: Selppin2

    If you enjoy death/doom, definitely check out the latest album by The Crawling.

    Great write up!!


  2. Commented by: J. Mays

    Thanks for the recommendation. I’ll check them out!


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