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The Politics Of Ecstasy is Nevermore's second full-length album, and is named after a Timothy Leary book of the same name. Some of Leary's beliefs have found their way into singer Warrel Dane's lyrics, and have been a source of influence for some of his other albums besides this one. Besides the lyrics, this album takes a turn from the power metal sounds of their first album and throws more thrash this time, directly into the listeners ears. But if you think this album is good, wait until you hear their next CD.
The Highlights: It's hard to say that there isn't one song that isn't a highlight, because they abound. "42147", "The Seven Tongues Of God", "This Sacrament", and the title track have some heavy riffwork from both Jeff Loomis and Pat O'Brien (who would later join Cannibal Corpse). The title track in particular, has some moshpit-churning moments, if you will, particularly with the drumming (courtesy of Van Williams) and the thrash-style riffing right around the middle of the song. "The Seven Tongues Of God" and "This Sacrament" are both steady, if not spectacular songs, and "Lost" has some good vocal moments with more tight riffing. The guitar solos on this album are clear and very well-played, and Loomis proves why he is one of metal's most underrated guitarists. "Passenger" and "The Learning" are slower songs, with "The Learning" starting with a haunting opening lead section, and it works into some hallowed Warrel Dane vocals. There is a nice pull-off guitar section at the 34 second mark of "Passenger", before working into a slow, yet steady pace throughout the remainder of the song. Once again, Warrel Dane shines here, as he is one of the best in the business at using emotional-style vocals.
The lowlights: Perhaps "Precognition", which is a very short instrumental that eventually works into "42147". While it's not a bad song, it is nothing worth mentioning, and would probably be considered an "average" track, and not necessarily a "lowlight", seeing how good the rest of the album is. Other than that, there are no bad or even mediocre tracks to be found here.
Who this album's for: Fans of both power and thrash metal, but especially thrash, will find a lot to like about The Politics Of Ecstasy. Perhaps not a pure, true-blue thrash album per se, but even the most demanding fans of that genre should find this album very enjoyable. Also once again, people who are looking for non-grunge music from Seattle might enjoy this as well.
The bottom line: An excellent album with lots of riffs, great vocals, and double-bass drumming in many places, but Nevermore really hits their full stride on the next album, Dreaming Neon Black.