The discovery of a new band is always exciting. Will it be something you’ve heard countless times? An experience that leaves a bad taste in your mouth? Or is it a treat from which you cannot stop consuming? I wanted to take a trip back in time to reminisce about bands/albums that not only introduced me to heavy music, but kept me coming back for more…
From The Archive: Nevermore – Dead Heart in a Dead World
Happy New Year everyone! After taking last week off to relax (sort of) and join in the mass posting of each heavy bloggers top albums of 2011, I was also pondering what album I wanted to cover next for my FTA article. Well, after much thought, I felt it was best to come back strong and discuss not only a band that, overtime, became one of my favorites, but a particular album of theirs, that to this day is still one of my go to albums. My first introduction to Nevermore was when I saw them back in 2000, where they provided support for In Flames durning their Clayman tour. I remember enjoying their sound as well as their performance, and at that time they just released their fourth full-length album, Dead Heart in a Dead World. So like any curious human being would do, I picked up their new album, popped it in the cd-player, and the rest is history.
It took some getting into Nevermore, I was so wrapped up in melo-death that I usually shrugged my shoulders to other types of metal. What a fool I was. Little did I know just how much I was going to play the hell out of Dead Heart in a Dead World, and just how much I was going to enjoy every second of it. To describe Nevermore’s sound, they blend heavy metal with elements of thrash, power, progressive and groove metal. Of course the main element of the band that stands out the most, is their vocalist Warrel Dane (of Sanctuary fame), as his vocal style is similar to that of Geoff Tate from Queensryche; very operatic and powerful. Then when have the main factor of the band, the genius behind it all, guitarist Jeff Lomis, with his guitar tones being quite heavy and very unique. This is also the first album of theirs to utilize seven-string guitars.
Dead Heart in a Dead World contains quite a few standout tracks as the albums opener, “Narcosynthesis”, kicks things off in high gear with a double bass chug assault with some powerful vocals over the top. There is some amazing lead play from Loomis and the band is super tight. “The River Dragon Has Come” is another great song where Dane delves into his falsetto highs towards the end after another blistering solo from Loomis. One of my personal favorites from the album, “The Heart Collector”, is a slow yet beautiful ballad of a song with a catchy chorus that will get one singing in no time. The ending seems to drag a bit for about another minute or so, but nonetheless, it’s still a killer tune. Aside from “Narcosynthesis”, there is also “Engines Of Hate” which harkens back to their earlier albums, with more emphasis on being faster, heavier, and thrashier.
Nevermore – “The Heart Collector”
I know this album is a hit or miss with Nevermore fans, and I’m not hear to compare it to previous albums or even their newer material. I will say though, that This Godless Endeavor is without a doubt the highest point of their career, but Dead Heart in a Dead World is the album that got me into Nevermore in the first place, and for that it will always have a special place in my heart. The album also has one of most interesting cover songs from any metal band, “The Sound of Silence”, which is a cover of a classic Simon & Garfunkel tune, that Nevermore completely made their own.
The band works great as a complete unit, with each member doing what they do best. Amazing guitar work and solos from Jeff Loomis, excellent drumming by Van Williams, great bass work from Jim Sheppard, and last but not the least, the outlandish vocals from Warrel Dane. All of their performances are captured perfectly too with the help of Andy Sneap, with his brilliant production work on the album. This album is a must, no doubt about it, and while it may not be up to their older albums standards (at least in certain fans opinions), it still provides a great deal of staying power. Anyway, with the recent departure of Jeff Loomis and Van Williams, not much is known about what Nevermore plan to do, but heres to hoping they recover strong from what is clearly a devastating blow to the band.
Nevermore – “Narcosynthesis”