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After reading some raving reviews on this monster of a concept album, I decided to give it a spin. While I've always been a fan of Nevermore's style of progressive metal, I never realized that they had made such an epic masterpiece as this.
"Dreaming Neon Black" is in the same league as Opeth's "Still Life". Simply put, this is one of the greatest American metal accomplishments ever made. Mikael Akerfeldt himself will claim that while Opeth aren't necessarily "technical" in their guitar playing, Jeff Loomis of Nevermore sure as fuck is a shining example of technical guitar skills mixed with an undeniable inner sense of melody.
The amount of soul that went into each and every song on here is just amazing. Warrell Dane is my favorite clean vocalist bar none (sole exception being Tom S. Englund of Evergrey fame). This recording is an exercise of depression and hopelessness. It is in the same musically depressing vein as Cadaver's "In Pains", and there is no resolution to be found here either.
Musically different, but still nihilistically punishing, "Dreaming Neon Black" is an example of what happens when you combine absolute raw talent with a devestating life experience. Jeff Loomis's performance is one of the greatest guitar performances ever recorded. Some of the power chord riffs are so complex that all you can do is kind of sit back in amazement.
Truly harrowing, every song progresses into the next, but there is never an upbeat moment to be found. Every song is a dynamic masterpiece of time changes and cohesiveness. While Dream Theater's "Scenes from a Memory Pt II" was a truly astounding record in itself, I can't help but be convinced that this release by Nevermore makes that aforementioned Dream Theater masterpiece pale in comparison (big fucking time).
This dominating release also features one of the greatest heavy metal songs EVER in "No More Will". This is one of the top 5 American metal records of all time and should be recognized as such.