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Brilliant Nevermore - 99%

Cravinov13, May 3rd, 2007

Every band has it’s true moments of glory. Some classics are more widely accepted facts, like Queensryche’s Operation: Mindcrime, Black Sabbath’s Paranoid, and Opeth’s Blackwater Park, but some classics are more arguably opinionated, such as Tool’s Aenima, Mudvayne’s L.D. 50, and Metallica’s Master Of Puppets. Nevermore has such an arguably opinionated classic, Dreaming Neon Black, the band’s fourth album release. With it’s diverse gothic melody and brutal heaviness, Dreaming Neon Black delivers the perfect mixture of extreme metal punishment and soothing melodic atmospheres. The album also marks the band’s last album with guitarist Tim Calvert (replaced by Steve Smyth almost six years later).

Ophidian is the first track on the album, a short intro track distorted ambiance and creepy sounds that prepare for the devastation that the next track brings. Beyond Within delivers some fast and heavy guitar riffs and vicious bass work followed by Warrel Dane’s haunting vocals. The song is a perfect example of Nevermore’s brutality that breaches the line of melodic death metal mixed with it’s thrash/ power metal components that make Nevermore so unique. The song also has a good melodic breakdown of soft guitar strums and steady drum beats, that prove the band can tone themselves down for easy listening. The Death Of Passion is another fast and devastating aura of chugging riffs and haunting vocals. The song has a good range of crushing guitar riffs and slower, more atmospheric guitar melody. Easily one of the more catchy tracks on the album, the song also contains one of Jeff Loomis’ most impressive guitar solos.

Probably the only track on the album that does not impress as much is I Am The Dog. It still contains all the amazing guitar work and atmospheric melody with crushing brutality that make Nevermore who they are, the song loses credibility once Warrel Dane starts singing. Admittingly, the song has probably the best intro on the album, it ends up getting really jumbled in it’s chaotic riffage. Dreaming Neon Black, the album-titled track, is a good relief from the scorching heaviness of the previous songs, with acoustic guitar riffs and soft, melodic vocals. The big thumbs up on the song is the feature of female vocalist Christina Rhoades, who’s haunting voice counter’s Warrel Dane’s in lighter, less abrasive singing. Easily one of the best songs on the album, the dynamics of the chorus and the emphasis on the vocals are what make the song what it is, amazing.

The beautiful melodies surrounding Deconstruction are rather fooling, followed soon by some heavy riffage and dynamic vocals after an ascension of gothic medleys and distorted guitar static. The song has a nice vibe to it with it’s fast guitar work and dynamic chorus making it another good, catchy track. The Fault Of The Flesh has a very good thrashy sound to it with some great bass grooves and demonic sounding vocals at the beginning of the song. Something different is apparent on the track that makes the typical Nevermore sound more or less the normal, and it’s possible the presence of growl-like sounds from Warrel Dane overlapped with his singing that makes the song feel heavier then it is. A good track for the the familiar Nevermore ears, but not a track new fans want to look into to discover the band.

Another near perfect track is The Lotus Eaters, which is based off one of the many adventures of Odysseus from The Odyssey. The song begins with a deep guitar melody and low bass atmospheres. The song is a lot like Dreaming Neon Black, with dynamic electric guitar in the chorus with soft, mellow bridges and powerful singing. Poison Godmachine is another thrash track that follows the end of the previous with fast drumming and ripping guitar and bass riffs. The song is rather sketchy in some parts, but overall has a good, heavy atmosphere and a powerful guitar solo. All Play Dead is a rather doom inspired track, with slow, heavy riffs and more fawcetta vocals. The melodic grooves in the breakdown are the main dynamics of the track, along with the acoustic guitar in the bridges. The song has a good, catchy chorus and a very blues inspired guitar solo.

Cenotaph is another one of the more stranger tracks, with it’s soft guitar melodies and heavy bass, the song then ascends into heavy riffs that lead into some chanting vocals that don’t sound like normal Warrel Dane. The song delivers a very interesting, chilling, progressive feel that competes as one of the best songs on the album. No More Will is another fast track with a slow and melodic intro that leads into speedy riffs and soaring vocal melodies. The song also has avery raspy sound to it in both tone and atmosphere that makes it feel a tad out of place at points. Though the song has some rough moments, it is overall a rather sturdy heavy track. The album finally ends with the almost ambient, acoustic melodies of the short song Forever. The song is simple, haunting, and to the point, but makes a good closer to this classic album.