Heart of Steel: Concert Reviews

NEVERMORE with Krisium and Necromancia
A1, São Paulo, Brazil. October, 19th-20th, 2001

Review and photos by Thiago Martins
South American Field Agent for Metal-Rules.com

1988. Sanctuary releases their classic debut, REFUGE DENIED. 2001. For the first time, Brazil has the chance to see Nevermore live. It's been 12 years of wait, but for the hell of it, it was worthy. Promoting their latest and better album, DEAD HEART IN A DEAD WORLD, Nevermore has made two unforgettable gigs in São Paulo. Unfortunately, the gigs weren't so well promoted, so mane people that could have gone to the gig didn't know about it. In the first day, there were about 300 people (and a huge storm in São Paulo); in the second, though, there were about 1,000. A great audience.

The venue where the gig take place isn't one of the better places in Brazil. Formerly known as Floresta, A1 is like a disco club during usual days, and it was turned into a heavy metal venue for those two days. Between the songs, one could hear some techno shit music from the halls in the side of the place - which was a reason to a fun moment when, in the second gig, Jim Sheppard got in the mic and showed how much he hated disco music. The sound for the gig was surprisingly good. Not great, but nothing I could complain about. Anyway, I think that this place can become a good place for smaller heavy metal gigs in the city (way better than other places of the same capacity).

Before Nevermore entered the stage, Brazilian acts Necromancia and Krisium were the support acts. Necromancia performed a cool gig, although their sound is not among my favorite. They play thrash metal, but it just doesn't appeal to me. They played songs from their new album, CHECK MATE, their "classic" "Greed Up the Kill", but no one of them catch me. The crowd seemed to approve.

Krisium wasn't a support act, but a co-headline. On Friday, they were scheduled to close the night, but I don't know why, they played before Nevermore the two days. It was my first time seeing Krisium live, and, man, they can play fast. I'm into death metal, but maybe not much enough to enjoy this Krisium gig. But, enjoying or not, everybody was astonished by their skills. Drummer Max Koslene is a monster in the double-bass drum. In the end of the set, it seemed that my heart was beating as fast as his drums! Guitar player Alex Camargo is extremely fast in his guitar, I couldn't follow what he was doing when soloing. I can't say that I like their gig. They last about one hour, but for me it seemed to be three or four hours. All their songs sound a bit the same, after fifteen minutes, the fast drums started to annoy me. But if you're into extremely fast stuff, well-played, make yourself a favor and see this band. As a cool fact, there were a lot of people in both days that were very much into Krisium, proving that the band has achieved a good crowd in Brazil. And they deserve it.

Finally, it was time to see Nevermore live. As the introduction song started, the band entered the stage and Warrel Dane was using the mask that is among a lot of stuff in the cover of their last album. And so "Narcosynthesis" opened their set. Although Friday there weren't less people than the next day, the audience seemed to be more into the band, singing more intense not just the chorus, but all the lyrics from thousands of songs. The almighty "Engines of Hate" came, and in the chorus the people were extremely loud both days. Warrel had them in his hands, and he proved to be a great front man. Also, he can still sing. He reached the high tones when he wanted. Van Williams is a monster in his drums. Jeff Loomis is perfect. This guy deserves a better recognition than he gets. He is one of the best guitarists I've ever seen live. In the sequence of the set, when he started to play the slow beginning of "The River Dragon Has Come", and then he played that amazing riff, it was just amazing. Touring guitarist Curren Murphy and bass legend Jim Sheppard are something incredible to see. They have a fantastic stage performance. Man, I didn't know to whom I looked while the band was playing. Everybody in this band has something for you to look.

The next song was the great ballad "The Heart Collector". In the first day, the crowd sung all the lyrics, what happened only with the chorus in the second day. But Warrel was amazing during this song, also was Jeff in its solo. Then it was time for something heavier. Warrel said "this is a song from the Politics of Ecstasy. Back then, they called it thrash metal. You know what you're supposed to do now? Start slamming your neighbors! This is 'The Seven Tongues of God!'". The crowd obeyed him on this and the next song, also from the same album, "This Sacrament".

Then it was time for something off DREAMING NEON BLACK. Welcome to the fall! It was time for some darker wrath songs, and "Beyond Within" was the first. Fast, furious, the crowd screaming their lungs out. The sequence was with the slow-deppressive-amazing title-track, that I wasn't expect to hear that night. "Dreaming Neon Black" is one of my favorite tracks and one more time the crowed in the first day showed to be more 'qualified', making all the backing vocals, even the sampler feminine vocals they did, while in the second day the people sang 'just' the chorus. After this song, the band did a short and somehow unexpected break.

When they came back, Warrel was wearing a Sacntuary t-shirt, and he said that he had waited 12 years to play in Brazil, so it was time to do something special for us. He asked if someone had heard an album called "Refuge Denied". Well, the reaction was crazy. And so they played "Battle Angels", and I could see Warrel screaming all that high-tones stuff, and some nostalgic feeling and a "dream coming true" sensation were around all the venue. The next song was another Sanctuary classic. "Taste Revenge" is my favorite off INTO THE MIRROR BLACK, and for me that song was something absolutely amazing. Curren and Jeff making the duets on the solos was great. To finish the nostalgic section, nothing more appropriate than the band playing the song "Sanctuary". Another break.

Warrel was back with the t-shirt he entered the stage(on Saturday, that classic one written "Fuck You I'm From Hell") and the band played "Inside Four Walls", that seemed to be the song that worked better in the gig. In the first day, during the solo, the band has destroyed a melon(?!?) in the stage, and then throwed it on the crowd, pretty disgusting. Then it was time for the band to cover all the basis, as said Warrel Dane. From their first self-titled album, "What Tomorrow Knows" had a reception of a hit in the crowd, for my surprise, a lot of people knew this song, and I've seen a lot of them asking for another songs from the first Nevermore album. Then, Warrel said that something was missing. Well, something off the EP IN MEMORY. And so they played the awesome BauHaus cover "Silent Hedges". In the first day, this ended the first part of the set, but on Saturday they finished it with "We Disintegrate".

For the encore set, the band played my favorite, "Next in Line". I had a blast, all the people screamed the chorus. The next song was the title track "Dead Heart in a Dead World" (emended in the first day with Next in Line, but not in the second gig). Well, I can say that this album is a classic in Brazil and even if the played other songs from it the people would know the lyrics. Warrel was extremely happy. He asked if the people would like if Nevermore plays every night in Brazil, he didn't want to go back home. The crowd seemed to approve the idea. To finish the gig, the band played their version to Paul Simon's "The Sound of Silence", the fastest song from the last album. And Warrel teased the people to invade the stage, and so it happened. It was fun seeing the security people throwing the people back to their places, and Warrel pulling them back to the stage. And so the gig has ended. I stayed waiting for more songs, maybe one more Sanctuary stuff, but nothing.

When I was going out the venue, there was this feeling that I had seen one of the better gigs of this year -if not of all time. But all of them had only one complaint: they haven't played "Future Tense". Jim Sheppard started to play it in the second day, but he just teased us, but the band didn't deliver. Maybe this is a song for the band to play the next time they tour Brazil. I hope it doesn't take another 12 years.

 

 

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