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The circle never ends….the purpose never changes face….the learning now begins…
These words would be just enough to describe the majesty of this album. But we chose the hard road, to review in cold words this heartbeating anthem of modern music. Off we go, then.
1996, one year after the beginning of the latter Warrel legacy called Nevermore, the guys from Seattle gathered forces again, also came in touch with former death metal guitarist Pat O’Brien and proceeded to record one of the best albums of the 90’s. “The Politics Of Ecstasy” is a magnificent work of rock music, and it is surely the one that set Nevermore as the hottest prospect for the second half of the nineties.
The first and foremost that you notice about this album, is Warrel. This glorious vocalist/frontman from Seattle makes once again the difference and sets the score too high for the competition. Like a chameleon, he switches styles and voices like only Geoff Tate does (no comparison of course, completely different vocalists). Sometimes he sounds like a fragile wreck in a raging sea; yet some others he is the raging storm itself. The guy is exceptionally talented in a way that seems unfair for other metal singers. His lyrics also are once again, as in their debut, just history. Psychedelic, political, social, personal, no matter what subject or style he chooses to write, he delivers the goods.
And then of course, it’s the band. Van Williams and his pounding double bass style combined with marvellous rolls and rides along with Jim Sheppard and his bulldoze-like sounding basslines make a rhythm section that many thrash/death bands would like to have. Jeff Loomis, joining forces with a guitarist famous for his monstrous sound, Pat O’Brien, gains points in riffing techniques and their combined work sets the album off to a higher level.
Everything inside the album, starting from the classic riff of “The Seven Tongues Of God” (which, by the way, is probably the most sophisticated yet edgy anti-christian song ever written) right until the final sighs of “The Learning” is sheer quality. Don’t spend time on the rather mediocre picture cover, open the jewel case and see one of the best layouts ever done in a metal album. “Wake up – your rights are gone”, while the surprised eyes gaze you in a really mesmerizing way.
Highlights of this album in my opinion are a really hard matter. Phew….yeah, after all, real classics have no highlights. And this is exactly the case here. A real metal classic, one of those that all songs are of extraordinary quality. You can make no exceptions on this one. Choking on the puke of their industry, regurgitated propaganda ministry…Acid words in an ultra album, an album that most bands would like for a swansong, yet for Warrel and his comrades, it was just the beginning of a majestic career.