Nevermore

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Dead Heart In A Dead World

Nevermore - Dead Heart In A Dead World ©2000 Century Media
1. Narcosynthesis
2. We Disintegrate
3. Inside Four Walls
4. Evolution 169
5. The River Dragon Has Come
6. The Heart Collector
7. Engines Of Hate
8. The Sound Of Silence
9. Insignificant
10. Believe In Nothing
11. Dead Heart In A Dead World

Nevermore are a band I have listened to for a while without ever really being able to decide if I like them or not. My first exposure was 1996's Politics Of Ecstacy. I was amazed at the force of the music. The angst of the lyrical content left me a bit cold, but I was impressed with how the band managed to imbue the music with that same passion and drive. So I listened to the next CD in the roster, Dreaming Neon Black, and was again impressed with how the band took the melancholy nature of the songs and managed to express an inexpressible sense of loss throughout the music.

Both of the above CDs prepared me to a large degree for what I found on their latest work. While I may not have always enjoyed the discs, I loved the content, if that makes any sense. I was very impressed with the band's ability to convey emotion through their music. Dead Heart In A Dead World follows in that pattern very nicely. This release sees the angst and energy of Politics of Ecstacy bundled together with the melancholy of Dreaming Neon Black. The songs are melodic and aggressive. The musical onslaught is impressive and technical. The songs are complex with layer upon layer of sound. This disc has managed to capture my attention by blending the words and music at an even higher level than their previous works. There is so much going on in the songs that it will take several listens to hear it all.

Dead Heart In A Dead World is a deft assault on your ears and heart. The emotional level of the CD will be familiar to fans of Nevermore. So too will the aggressive and technical level of the music. There are not many bands this adept at their craft. Nevermore raises the bar once again.

Review by Matthew Braymiller

Review date: 12/2000

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Believe In Nothing EP

Nevermore - Believe In Nothing EP ©2001 Century Media
1. Believe In Nothing (Single Version)
2. Sound Of Silence
3. All The Cowards Hide
4. Love Bites
5. Believe In Nothing (CD Version)
6. Believe In Nothing (CD-ROM Video)

This CD single offers several things to fans of Nevermore that you're not going to find on their Dead Heart in a Dead World disc. There's the edited version of the title track along with a video of that same version. Those by themselves are not compelling enough to warrant purchasing this disc. There is also the cover of Simon and Garfunkel's "Sound of Silence" (also found on Dead Heart) which just does not work at all, in my opinion. The song reminds me of the Christian speed metal band Deliverance when they released a speed metal version of "Silent Night". There are some songs that translate well into a metal framework and there are some that don't. "Sound of Silence" is one of those that is best left alone. There is a previously unreleased track, "All The Cowards Hide". It is a very heavy track that will pound its way into your head, but is still not the best representation of the technical merits of Nevermore. There's also the cover of Judas Priest's "Love Bites", which is a great, heavy track and a good interpretation of Judas Priest's original take on it. Fans of the band will have to decide if the two unreleased tracks and the video are desirable enough to merit buying the disc. First time listeners are encouraged to look elsewhere.

In the final analysis, you have two songs for which you might wish to buy this single, neither of which is the title track. This isn't the best selling point when you consider that the best song on the single is the title track. If you're looking for a good sample of Nevermore, I'd recommend sticking with the full CD Dead Heart in a Dead World. Nevermore are too good a band to have your view of them biased by this single's presentation of them.

Review by Matthew Braymiller

Review date: 06/2001

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This Godless Endeavor

Nevermore - This Godless Endeavor ©2005 Century Media
1. Born
2. Final Product
3. My Acid Words
4. Bittersweet Feast
5. Sentient 6
6. Medicated Nation
7. The Holocaust Of Thought
8. Sell My Heart For Stones
9. The Psalm Of Lydia
10. A Future Uncertain
11. This Godless Endeavor

Reviewing an album fairly can be tough when said album alternatively makes you go "this rocks!" and "godDAMN this is so annoying", depending on atmospheric pressure, the amount of glucose you've ingested and how the freeway traffic is behaving. Nevermore's latest, This Godless Endeavor, has exhibited that tendency to a fairly extreme degree: while I have enjoyed the heck out of many of its songs ("Born"), several tracks ("Sentient 6", in particular) have made me want to throw the CD out the window and hope for a large truck to run it over.

The music is pretty standard semi-progressive melodic thrash/classic metal Nevermore fare, with over-the-top vocals that often evoke Geoff Tate's more annoying tendencies, unabashedly technical guitar work, tight and brutal drumming, and politically charged lyrics whose insight, depth and originality of treatment would make an eleven-year-old proud. If you've heard Nevermore before, there's nothing really new here, and I suppose that's probably not such a bad thing, since the band's fanbase laps this up like mother's milk. In all fairness, Nevermore is very good at what they do, and if you're going to listen to this kind of metal, you might as well get it from them.

So what should we make of this? On the one hand, you have seriously strong riffing with good vocal melodies, ripping drums, super tight ensemble playing, and classically exciting guitar solos (especially on the title track), while on the other you have a singer whose oversinging and mannerisms sometimes make you consider strangling his entire extended family, laughable, pompous and hackneyed lyrical themes, and songwriting that pushes the envelope about as far as a dead mail carrier in a broken down hearse. If that's your bag, by all means order the album right now. Otherwise, ask a friend to loan you his/her copy and make yourself an abridged version that trims all the unnecessary introspective blubber. Your experience will be greatly enhanced.

Review by Rog The Frog Billerey-Mosier

Review date: 07/2005

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