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Dreaming Neon Black
Released: 1999, Century Media Records
The gods of all that is heavy have smiled upon us yet again with the (so far) best metal release of 1999!! I could end this review here with one word - GODLY! However, for the poor souls out there who have yet to hear the pure metal genius of Nevermore I will elaborate.
In the beginning there was Sanctuary, a band who Dave Mustaine even took a liking to and produced their first CD. Then came the ahead of it's time Into the Mirror Black in 1991. Next came the breakup of Sanctuary leaving two of it's members - vocalist Warrel Dane and bassist Jim Sheppard to carry on with a new band called Nevermore. Nevermore have released 3 CD's (two full length's and one EP). Each CD is a testament to true metal as it is meant to be played - with finesse, talent, melody, aggression and power!!
The first full track on the CD is "Beyond Within", a head banging masterpiece that shows right away that this CD can pound along with the heaviest moments of their metal godsend 1996 CD Politics of Ectascy. Much of Dreaming Neon Black is in the vein of this song but there are a few surprises, namely the title track "Dreaming Neon Black"....talk about a hauntingly yet still heavy song! Vocally, Warrel really shines on this song. It will probably throw you at first, as it is slower and starts acoustically, but by the time the chorus cuts in you will be absorbed!! Warrel really wrenches on this one as it really drips with emotion as does the many voicings found on the last track "Forever." If this CD doesn't have you thinking that Warrel is a vocal god then you are NOT a metalhead. In fact if you can't find something exciting about Nevermore, then you obviously are not into metal!! Besides great vocals we also have a band that aren't afraid of lead guitar. With the addition of ex-Forbidden axeman Tim Calvert we have one of the best paired of lead guitarists around.
On the whole, Dreaming Neon Black is not quite as intense as Politics... - it comes off sounding like a cross between Politics... and their moodier EP In Memory. Besides great music and vocals this CD has another hidden treat to offer - it's a concept record! This is not the type of concept record that bangs you over the head with the storyline. For those of you with an abundance of time, you'll have to delve deep into the lyrics to catch the story, but the metal musical brilliance alone will leave all fans of true metal in awe!!!!!
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