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Nevermore - Nevermore

1995 Century Media Records :: Reviewed by rofreason on 2005-07-08

After the break-up of Sanctuary, harpy from hell Warrel Dane, Jim Sheppard and recent recruit Jeff Loomis decided to forge ahead under a new moniker representive of a change in musical direction. Keeping the technicality of their former band, Nevermore cross the best parts of 80's power metal with an aural crunch indicative of Seattle in the 90's. (I hear more than a little AIC in The Hurting Words...) I must say though, the difference in drum styles of the two players changes the entire feel, as Arrington seems to play exactly on the beat in contrast to Williams, who pushes the feel a bit. This may also be noticable as Arrington does play on some of the slower, broodier material. Both styles are appropriate for the mood of the music, which is dark, dank and gritty. Dane's voice still has the bite for which he was known for in Sanctuary, but here is toned down a tad. Guitar sound is just awesome, produced with confidence by Neil Kernon. An excellent release that unfortunately loses me after track 6 (I can't take a song about Timothy Leary that seriously) although the delivery is in earnest. Otherwise Dane's lyrics are aptly representative of society and their poetic quality is noticable. More "metal" than the next L.P., which begins to explore cybernetic areas.

Nevermore - In Memory EP

1996 Century Media Records :: Reviewed by rofreason on 2005-07-08

Making up the other piece of the demo which got them their record deal, In Memory was released as a limited edition E.P. to tide us over to the next release. Usually, I don't really get into E.P.s, as they don't really offer much "new", but here I make an exception. The one new track (Optimist or Pessimist) is also the quickest in pace, hinting as to what's to come. Some really inspired drumming by Williams really allows the axework to float on its own. The mix is jus tright as well, not letting Dane's voice overpower the feel of the songs. A pretty dark E.P., but man does it just kill. There's an undercurrent of power here which just surges through you. I just find myself completely carried away by the music, and that doesn't seem to happen as much as it should anymore.

Nevermore - The Politics of Ecstacy

1996 Century Media Records :: Reviewed by rofreason on 2005-07-08

Continuing the progression made from Sanctuary to Nevermore, Politics is a stunning mix of the last two generations of metal. The whole album has a very mechanical feel, dominated by robotic double bass barrages which lie underneath some incredible axework. Loomis and O'Brien manage to let flow some really amazing leads. Almost inluenced by bands such as Helmet, the stop/start approach works well, only adding to the force contained within. Biggest change to my ears though is Dane's vocal delivery, which is heavily effected, and mixed much lower than on his previous work. Not a detriment, the mix actually allows everyone breathing room on this beast, forming a bombastic mass of molten power (whew!). AS with both the S/T and Sanctuary, the album starts of strong, but begins to meld together towards the end. First few tracks are killer though, and again, the lyrics (all penned by Dane) are all top-notch, adding a point in my book. A definite step forward, The Politics of Ecstasy is a crucial power metal album to have, hold and cherish.

Nevermore - Dreaming Neon Black

1999 Century Media Records :: Reviewed by rofreason on 2005-08-11

Not much of a departure here for Nevermore, even with Tim Calvert (ex-Forbidden) replacing the "Cannibal"ized Pat O'Brien on guitar duties. Somewhat of an average of the last two full-lengths, Dreaming Neon Black captures the mood of the S/T with the technicality of "Politics", yet falling a little flat in between the two. I'm not sure if Nevermore is shooting for a broader fan base, but with this, their most accessible release to date, they may have hit the mark. That's saying a lot actually, because the guitarwork here is as technical as it gets, matched by the off-the-wall percussive permutations of Van Williams. Lyrically, more poetic infusions from Dane, this time breaking one storyline into individual songsC delivered in the usual syle, yet harkening back more to the Sanctuary days then recent years. So with all the positives, I find it strange that while I really get into the album while listening, I take almost nothing away, which makes me wonder just how long it'll stay in rotation. I also may be a little harsher than I should, since I expect so much from this great band, and this album is definitely up to par, but I was hoping for them to jump it up a notch. Once again produced by Neil Kernan, which may be a con within a plus, as his overall production, while outstanding as compared to other groups, tends to make each Nevermore Release sound similar to others. Actually, the overall sound reminds me of the In Memory E.P., with less of an emotional attack.

Nevermore - This Godless Endeavor

2005 Century Media Records :: Reviewed by rofreason on 2005-09-09

Still fighting strong after all these years, Nevermore have come back with yet another strong album to keep us metalheads happy for many months.

The immediate difference here is the production, which is back on track after the unfortunate sound experiment that was Enemies of Reality. To most people, the sound quality was such a detraction that is was almost unlistenable. I didn't find it that bad, just thin. I still played the hell out of EoR! Another eye opener is the sheer heaviness of this album. Van Williams has upped the notch on his double bass speed again, mixing in some rapid fire drum work with his standard foot-based intricacies.

The third change? The songs. Nevermore has some "Nevermorisms" which include the obligatory ballad as well as lyrical content and just an overall sound niche. It's not just mid-paced power metal, when you hear them it is instantly apparent that you are listening to Nevermore.

Which is why it was such a shock to hear a death metal opening to the album.

Maybe it's the addition of Steve Smyth (Testament, Vicious Rumours) to the fold, but Nevermore have made an album heavier than anything before (IMHO). There are snatches of influence here, such as At the Gates or Meshuggah, but they are incorporated well, not turning into a game of "name that riff." And what's the secret here? I think besides the power it's the overall atmosphere and layering of sound. Andy Sneap producing helps, but these riffs are just heavy man (I know, I'm saying heavy a lot...). This isn't a new Nevermore, it's just an older, wiser, more pissed off Nevermore. Just listen to The Psalm of Lydia to hear what I mean, with everything it's just taken up a notch.

I'm very happy with this one.