Reviewed: October 2000
Released: 2000, Century Media
This band can do no wrong! Despite losing guitarist Tim Calvert and continuing on as a four piece, this band is as strong as ever. The hooks on this CD dig deep running the gauntlet from brutality to beauty. Warrel Dane’s voice is in top form, the guitar talents of Jeff Loomis are simply breathtaking, the drumming by Van Williams is as usual intricate and not simple patterns and Jim Sheppard’s bass lines are pumped out with a fury.
I’m not too much into the down-tuned 7-string playing style but Jeff Loomis proves that this stereotyped sound can be shaped into something bordering on genius and totally NEVERMORE! I dunno why he used the 7-string on every song though. He could of used some standard tunings and 6-string guitars as well. It does give the album a “feel” and it is not muddy sounding or leaning anywhere towards those unmentionable trendy bands who use the 7-string beasts. The CD begins with a flashback to their CD The Politics of Ecstasy with the intense song “Narcosynthesis.” “Inside Four Walls” begins with a total ass kicking riff which sounds very cool with the mixture of open string and pull-off notes. Not a typical sounding riff at all but it will have you wanting to bang your heard from the start. The chorus on this track has some very nice melodic twists. Lyrically this one gets into the political spectrum. It’s not hard to tell that Warrel is quite bitter about the justice system. “The River Dragon Has Gone” has a solo on it that elevated my already high opinion of Jeff Loomis’s lead playing. I really like the part where the lead is doubled up…insane! There is also the emotional elements that can be heard in the amazing and deep “The Heart Collector.” The upbeat track “We Disintegrate” has a hint of Warrel’s Sanctuary vocal style with some pretty high signing. I think he should of done more of the song like it though cause it’s awesome!! I miss that aspect of his singing. He should mix that into his style a bit more rather then abandon it entirely. “The Sound of Silence” – has what I’ll just call a godly intro!! Killer riffing, some tasty double kick drumming done very originally. The riffing on parts of this song is borderline death metal! The album’s title track starts out with a bass and vocal intro that they record with an effect to make it sound like it is coming from an old record player. The song then slams in with a very intense riff. The chorus is total Warrel – what a melody line! How does he come up with this stuff? Vocal god indeed!!
Every song on this CD has something in it that blows my mind – whether it be a vocal melody, a guitar solo, an excellent drum pattern, etc. I’ve had this CD stuck in my player for a few weeks now and I can’t get the songs out of my mind. This band are steadily climbing up to the top of my list of favorite bands…there is no stopping this band!! Visit the bands official website at www.the.nl/nevermore
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