Released: 2003, Century Media Records
Nevermore are back with ENEMIES OF REALITY and on this one Jeff Loomis (guitars) is POSSESSED!!! Holy shit, I know he can shred and he’s done so continuously on previous albums, but again I am sitting here picking my jaw off the floor thinking, “Holy fucking hell, this guy rips like no other”. This is the first impression that this album left me with. I was so blown away with the soloing and the POLITICS OF ECSTASY styled-riffing that hardly no other thought could process. Even the somewhat muddy mix of the album is overshadowed by the quality of the playing. Mr. Loomis could give speedsters like Paul Gilbert a run for his money. In fact for some reason I wonder if he might be an inspiration for some of the shredding? If you’ve heard some of the Racer X or Mr. Gilbert’s instructional audio clips you’d probably think so.
If you look through the past reviews I’ve done for Nevermore - DEAD HEART IN A DEAD WORLD (2000) and DREAMING NEON BLACK (1999) you’ll see I’ve also given them 5’s. I can’t help it, as I stated before, it’s seems as if Nevermore can do nothing wrong. I’ve loved all their albums, and my favorite is still POLITICS OF ECSTASY, even though all their albums blow me away.
ENEMIES OF REALITY begins with the title track that is a riff heavy monster with killer shredding, drumming, and vocals. This is followed in fine form with two more scorchers, “Ambivalent” and “Never Purify”. “Tomorrow Turned Into Yesterday” is the haunting ballad of the album. Nevermore take the dark ballad to new levels and leave other bands in their wake. If this is the only element from Nevermore that you love, then this is really the only track on here that you’ll love. Perhaps you’ll also like “Who Decides” which is fairly close to a ballad… I prefer the band’s heavier, thrashy side, so I’m satisfied with just the one full “ballad”. The brutalizer “I, Voyager” levels all in it’s path. Yes it has noticeable down tuned 7-string riffing, but there’s nothing “nu” about this! On a side note, the first time I heard a 7 string was from Steve Vai WAY back before this mallcore shit falsely claimed ownership of the 7-string guitar. As a result, I do not associate the 7-string with mallcore at all! Anyway, back to Nevermore… “Seed Awakening” closes the album and it starts like a thrashing death metal tune for the riffs and drums! This is very heavy and intense for Nevermore. The shocker is the 180 degree turn the song takes at 1:30 to a comparatively laid back section. The thrashing of the beginning is repeated later in the song. This is definitely the type of song that will wake you up with its unique changes. My only complaints – the last album was in 2000, it’s now 2003 and the album is only 9 songs @ 40mins!!! I want more! There is only one song that had sections that left me head scratching wondering “what they were they thinking”. That is “Noumenon” which sounds retarded! How many times do they say: “there is no stronger drug than reality” in this song? Enough already!!! And you thought RJD said “We Rock” one too many times in the song of the same name!? The only other minor complaint is with the sound. ENEMIES was produced, mixed, and engineered by Kelly Gray...I'm not sure exactly what he did wrong but the sound seems flat, it's especially noticable when you play it in a CD changer and you have to adjust your settings or volume.
If you are a fan of Nevermore make sure you head to the record store on July 29th to buy a copy of the album! You will not be disappointed.