Sanctuary. Guitarist Jeff Loomis was also with Sanctuary for a short time. Contrary to popular opinion, I think Nevermore are better than Sanctuary. Their music is full of emotion yet heavier than a freight train full of steel. Guitarist Tim Calvert, who joined the band before recording "dreaming neon black," is formerly of Forbidden, but left the band before recording "Dead Heart in a Dead World."
Probably the most Sanctuary-like cd in Nevermore's catalogue. This was actually the last Nevermore disc I purchased after buying everything through Dreaming Neon Black. This is probably the least listened to Nevermore CD in my collection as well as it doesn't quite hold up to the next three discs, in my opinion. May be if I had heard this one first., I would have thought it a classic, but "The Politics of Ecstasy" was actually the first album I had heard. My two favorite tracks are "What Tomorrow Knows" and the excellent "Garden of Gray."
Nevermore - in memory (Century Media) 1996
1. "Optimist or Pessimist"
Cool little ep digi-pack. "Optimist or Pessimist" is an incredible technical speed metal song! "Matricide" and "In Memory" are a Sanctuary-esq power metal songs. "Silent Hedges/Double Dare" is a cover of Bauhause (I think?!?) song. "The Sorrowed Man" is an eerie acoustic ballad. Nice little collector's item. Can't remember where I picked this one up, but I'm glad I did.
Nevermore - The Politics of Ecstasy (Century Media) 1996
1. "The Seven Tongues
of God" (6:00)
Leaner, meaner, heavier, and more technical than anything Sanctuary ever did. The song "The Seven Tongues of God" had me hooked immediately. "Politics" is melodic, progressive but heavy as any thrash band. Still can't understand why all these Sanctuary fans complain about this band. OK, Warrell Dane doesn't sing like he just inhaled helium, but he still has killer pipes. Besides, those high pitched shrieks still manage to make their way in here an there. I dunno, I just like it! "The Seven Tongues of God" is a KILLER song, matching, if not surpassing the intensity of Sanctuary's "Battle Angels." At 14:44 into the last song, "The Learning", after several minutes of silence, there is a reprise to "The Politics of Ecstasy" that is not listed on the track listing. The cover art on this disc is a bit disturbing.
Nevermore - dreaming neon black (Century Media) 1999
I love this disc. "Poison Godmachine" sends chills down my spine and is so stinking heavy! "Forever" is downright haunting. The title track sticks in your head like super glue to your fingers. There are so many different emotions present on this disc, from the fast technical speed metal to the somber acoustic interludes and even dark gothic moments. "Dreaming Neon Black" is one of those discs that I just enjoy listening to from start to finish. It's a good thing that CD's don't wear out like records did, or this one would have been wasted since I have played it so much. Supposedly this is some sort of concept album that I guess is loosely based on a woman who has died in the water and is calling out to her lover to join her in death. Ex-Forbidden guitarist Tim Calvert joined Nevermore for the recording of this disc. I saw Nevermore on this tour and they were tight. Warrel Dane is a spaz on stage. At times I thought he was going into diabetic convulsions of something. I laugh every time I think of him singing "I feel so hollow" from "The Death of Passion."
Oh, for all those who spend time complaining and raking this band over the coals because Nevermore don't sound like old Sanctuary, get a life!
Being a CD junkie, I manage to get most of my CDs relatively cheap, sometimes even free. However, there are few bands that I am willing to spend the suggested retail price for. Nevermore are one of those bands and they are worth every penny. I bought this disc the day it came out. As a matter of fact, I special ordered it long before it was released to make sure that there was a copy at the store waiting for me the day it was released. I purchased the limited edition box set that includes 3 bonus tracks as well as a poster, sticker, altered cover art, and a video track for "Next in Line." " Well, I can honestly say that in the first three days I have had this disc, it has already been spun at least six times, so I think I will get my $15 worth. The first listen, I had a smile on my face the entire time, and it sure did make rush hour go by a bit easier. "The Sound of Silence" was originally written by Simon & Garfunkel, but Nevermore's rendition sounds almost nothing like the original as the band has almost completely rewritten the song, making it their own. "Love Bites" is. of course, the song they recorded for Hard Rock Magazine's Judas Priest Tribute. As I said on the tribute review, their rendition is absolutely fabulous.Nevermore are still on the top of my list of new metal bands. I do wonder sometimes though, if the lyrics really reflect Warrel Dane as a person, he must walk in a constant state of depression. Poor guy.
Nevermore - Enemies of Reality (Century Media) 2003
Pure brilliance! Nevermore are without a doubt one of the finest modern metal bands. Nevermore retain the traditional values of heavy metal yet stay unpredictable and sound fresh. Despite the fact that "Enemies of Reality" is the band's rawest recording to date (and worst produced, courtesy of Queensryche / Dokken producer Kelly Gray), the incredible songwriting still shines through. There is blend of brutal speed metal, technical progressive song writing, shredding guitar solos, and jaw dropping drum work...and that is just track one. The intensity really never lets up until "Tomorrow Turned into Yesterday" when 'ol Warrell brings about a somber, ballad-like dirge. "Never Purify" and "Seed Awakening" are two of my favorite tracks on the disc, both are outrageously intense. The guitar solo in "Never Purify" is unbelievable. There is one break in the music where the lead continues to play through that left my jaw on the floor. Each song here is heavy, focused and well rounded. "Enemies of Reality" has been stripped of any filler whatsoever. To be honest, I was disappointed on my first listen. I much prefer the more clean production of the rest of Nevermore's catalogue, however, after the initial disappointment wore off, with each repeated listen, this one grew on me more and more. The title track alone was stuck in my head for days. My particular copy is the limited edition double disc version that comes in a black jewel case with the Nevermore logo foil embossed (pictured above). The second disc is a DVD complete with all the band's past videos and a couple new live videos.
Nevermore - Enemies of Reality (Remix) 2005
1. "Enemies of Reality"
Everyone complained about the bassy, muddy production on the original release. Even I, in my glowing review of this CD made a comment about prefering the "clean production" of the band's earlier discs. Even the band made comments about how unhappy they were with the final product. Well, thankfull in 2005, Enemies of Reality was remix and rereleased with slightly altered artwork and far superior production. I have heard some people say this sounds like a totally new album. I can see how some might say that, but since the original release of Enemies dominated my CD player for months, it doesn't sound 'new' to me, but it does sound 'better'. I much prefer this mix done by Andy Sneap (Arch Enemy, etc.) to the muddy mix by Kelly Gray. Everthing is brighter, guitar solos cut through, the bass drum has a punch and the songs are just brought to life. A brilliant album made better.
1. "Born" (5:05)
Nevermore comes storming back with their sixth album. I am dead serious when I say this may be Nevermore's strongest release yet. Time will tell if it can top "Dreaming Neon Black" as my personal favorite Nevermore release. However, with repeated listens I tend to discover more and more things to like about this CD. The music is complex, but without coming off as a bunch of technical noodling. Rather, the songcraft here is near perfect, and that is saying alot. Of course many fans were concerned with the production, after the botched mix that Kelly Gray did on "Enemies of Reality". Well with Andy Sneap back in control, Nevermore's sound is returned to it's metallic brilliance. "This Godless Endeavor" contains nearly an hour of music. I was initially a bit disappointed as I didn't hear anything as immediately catchy as "Inside Four Walls" from Dead Hear, I, Voyager" from Enemies or "Seven Tongues of God" from Politics of Ecstasy. However, as stated earlier, this album is a grower. The more you listen, the more you discover. There are a lot of intricate, dark melodies that begin to reveal themselves. Also, you begin to realize that Jeff Loomis has actually topped himself in terms of tasty, inventive, shredding guitar solos. Once again, this is saying a lot as some of his guitar work on past CDs was already jaw-dropping awesome. Take one listen to the guitar solo in the inventive "The Psalm of Lydia" and see if it doesn't leave your jaw on the floor. It's probably also important to mention that James Murphy (formerly of Testament and Death) lays down a solo on the minute-and-a-half instrumental "The Holocaust of Thought".
As with past releases, Nevermore know how to turn up the intensity when needed. Opening track "Born" may well be one of the heaviest tracks from the band yet. Most of the tracks are actually very heavy and the songs structures are pretty complex. It's almost impossible to put into works, but Nevermore manage to successfully meld together elements of power metal, thrash metal, doom and progressive rock. However, there are some more straight forward moments as well. "My Acid Words" has a classic metal vibe that reminds me a bit of the second Sanctuary CD. Likewise, "Bittersweet Feast" is a bit more straight forward in approach than songs like the epic, nine minute long title track. Nevermore have never been afraid to step out a bit and shed the heavy metal clichés, and this CD is no exception. I might even be so bold as to say that some of the album's finer moments are the more somber, almost ballad-like songs. The problem with the term ballad, however, is that it tends to bring thoughts of pretty, sweet, radio songs. That is not the case here. "Sentient 6", while it is slow and melancholy, it is also sort of eerie and haunting, as opposed to having a pop leaning.
Lyrically, the band continues down dark, poetic roads. 'Ol Barrel certainly seems bitter towards organized religion. However, reading through the lyrics for the first and only time before writing this, I found them to be more like personal poems that are completely open to interpretation than any sort of definite statements. There are some themes picked up from past albums as well. "Sentient 6" actually picks up lyrically where "The Learning" left off from The Politics Of Ecstasy. This song is almost like an episode of the Twilight Zone in which the created (a computer in this case) becomes smart enough to start questioning it's creator, culminating into a war of creator vs. created.
Nevermore are one of the finest heavy metal bands in the '00s. Certainly, "This Godless Endeavor" is a contender for album of the year and sets a standard for new metal in the future.
I was caught Nevermore on their tour with Megadeth and Dream Theater. I was fortunate enough to be able to meet them again and have them sign my CD. (I had met them once before on their tour with Iced Earth). Unfortunately they only had enough time on stage to play six songs. Here's hoping that this CD will give them the opportunity to do their own headline tour.