Paul Kuhr - Novembers Doom
I was honoured when The End Records asked me to interview songsmith and key persona - Paul Kuhr from Chicago's Novembers Doom, concerning their forthcoming release - The Novella Reservoir. Speaking with Paul was quite illuminating, and we engaged in solicitous interchange. I have only heard Novembers Doom newest CD; but I have been aware of the band for quite sometime. I have often heard such positive feedback for Novembers Doom and Paul's powerful presence. I'm pleased to respond that he truly inspired and enlightened my awareness. He explained the theme of the new CD - water, and the stark imagery of the illustrations. So whatever your metal may be, come whet your appetite for the forlorn, imbibe the bleak, and join us in our dak metal journey as we bathe ourselves in the novel resolve, drowning in our own timely innocence.
MettleAngel: Hey there Paul, how are you doing?
MettleAngel: Really good, I guess we have about 30 minutes to converse...
Let me apologize by saying that I have known about your band for quite
sometime; although, the new album is the first time I've heard you musically.
I live in Cincinnati, Ohio, and I'm friends with Alan Scott and Matt Chapman
of Thorns Of The Carrion from Covington, Kentucky. I know they have mentioned
your band on several occasions.
MettleAngel: Yeah, I know you have been around for like two decades, as I indicated in my review. I'm surprised that I never heard your music. I do like the new album, though. I've read several reviews comparing you to Opeth and Katatonia, I think your sound is much more mature than these bands; for whom I care very little. Let's begin by discussing some songs off the new CD. My favorite track is Twilight Innocence. I loved the conceptual balance of melody and lyrics. It's about your daughter Rhiannon, correct?
MettleAngel: There is nothing wrong with that. The song is so beautiful and honest. I assume the song imagines you watching over your sleeping daughter, while reflecting over your role of fatherhood in her young life.
MettleAngel: Why would fans criticize you for writing such a sincere song from your heart. I totally relate to the words; being a father myself. I think the song evokes such passion and emotion.
MettleAngel: Yeah, and it is songs like Twilight Innocence and Leaving This which serve to create the proper balance and flow. This is why I don't like the sardonic Katatonia and Opeth references. I think vocally and musically you transcend this limited soundscape.
MettleAngel: Like Thorns Of The Carrion, you have been in the underground for so long. Still, vocally I do hear some Akerfeldt/Swano similarities. Even though I despise Opeth, Mikael has a great voice; especially when he sings with Ayreon on The Human Equation. I love everything Dan Swano does. Your vocal pronunciations are so clear and concise. I like the blend of intense guitar with your harsh and clean vocal verisimilitude.
MettleAngel: So you set the precedent for the other bands to emulate. Actually, I think you sing like Felix Stass of Crematory, mixing the clean and brutal. You have such a discernible range. Don't take this the wrong way, but you also sound like Dethklok's Nathan Explosion from Metalocalypse.
MettleAngel: Exactly, that is why the music and lyrics really leave an indelible mark. Now, has there been a recent line-up change since the last recording?
MettleAngel: I see, and many reviews have stated that The Novella Reservoir is more heavy and faster than The Pale Haunt Departure, is this true?
MettleAngel: Now let's talk about you being with The End Records. It is so difficult to label any of their acts as being metal. Granted Lordi and Sigh may fall under this umbrella; as well as your band, but artists like Extradasphere, Giant Squid, Stolen Babies, and The Unexpect transcend classifications.
MettleAngel: I so treasure all their artists, but as a journalist reviewing their bands can be quite a challenge. They just signed Lordi here in the US, so that will garner them an even greater reputation. I am also a die-hard metal consumer, and I support their mailorder site daily. I have spent quite a lot on the Roadrunner reissues. So, being signed to the End as a metal band, how would you categorize your sound, if that is even possible?
MettleAngel: What does the title Novella Reservoir symbolize?
MettleAngel: Or rather a brief story about a holder of water...
MettleAngel: Yeah,explain to me the cover artwork by Travis Smith; what's going on with the umbrella imagery?
MettleAngel: All this mention of imagery brings me to the collectors edition book - the Wayfaring Chronicles, for which The End is accepting pre-orders now. That looks like quite a promising bonus for the fans with all the illustrations, and breakdown explanation of all lyrics, as well as photos covering every era of the bands incarnation.
MettleAngel: Wow, a suede bag, like a Chevas Regale bag? How big will the actual book be?
MettleAngel: I think the Wayfaring Chronicles is an awesome idea. I'm sure fans will be quite pleased; especially with an explanation for all the lyrics ever written. Do you think that you have more of a fan base here in America or Europe?
MettleAngel: Well, your American fanbase will probably buy all your CDs, but due to your longevity, they are more than likely also parents, and have busy lives. It is probably more difficult for them to always attend live shows; although, I sure they would really like to. I know that I am looking forward to seeing you live, finally.
MettleAngel: That's really good to hear. Metal Covenant readers span the globe and will enjoy reading about, listening to your new album, and learning more about the band. Thank you for taking the time to answer my questions. I apologize for not knowing more or having previously heard your other albums. You can read my recent review of the Novella Reservoir. I hope I did not ask too many of the same old tired question you always get asked.
MettleAngel: I primarily wanted to focus on the new CD and the book.
MettleAngel: So that should cover everything for now, I hope you enjoyed our time together.