Vera : With the first two albums ’A Discouraged Believer’ and ’Forsaken Earth’, Décembre Noir (remember, this is a German band) has convinced every aficionado of melodic yet powerful doom/death metal, I am sure of that! Now that autumn is drawing near, this happens to be the suitable season to dive into the grievous melancholy of their third album. It cannot be coincidence that it is entitled ‘Autumn Kings’ and kings of the genre, they are. No doubt about that.
It is a celebration of familiar sounds when we listen to the eight new gloomy epics. All seems just a little bit darker and more depressing than their earlier works, but what remains is that power and momentum. The five-piece hailing from Erfurt kicks off with ‘In The Pouring Rain’ and I can’t help but chill when hearing that pouring rain with thunderstorms on the record. Slow plucking guitars join in, soon a juicy death growl of singer Lars resounds. Think in the vein of Swallow The Sun or Saturnus. The songs vary from seven to eleven minutes length, but they are all cautiously built up towards climaxes with proper accelerations. What rules in every song are the melodious and compelling guitar leads. Sensitive solos are played in galore. Sometimes one can notice a slightly My Dying Bride flavour in those guitar skills. Most of the songs also include spoken fragments, those are rendered in a poetic manner and sound very serious. That’s reminding us of Draconian and Saturnus. In ‘Barricades’ – which starts with beautiful plucking guitars – we hear Erwin Franz of Catalepsia adding any clean vocals. In the magnificent ‘A Weeping Sunrise’ we hear piano and Marcus Bischoff of Heaven Shall Burn has a guest appearance in the rather up-tempo ‘Between Silence And Shards’. ‘Dress.Code.Black’ is the single, but the guys remain true to their signature style. With ‘Hymn Of Sorrow’ we have another highlight, one with extra intense vocal parts. The sentence ‘Rage against the dying of the light’ is repeated a few times and it instantly haunted me. When we listen to ‘The Downward Path’, we have enchanted ourselves in a delicious doom solace bath for more than an hour. We can only conclude that this is a must have for every fan of doom/death metal with momentum.