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This is the second most highly praised Nevermore album after 'Dead Heart In A Dead World' and while it has slightly more good ideas than that album, it's still another boring "modern" metal suckfest with nothing that can hold your interest for more than just random split moment.
One of the most praised things on this album other than the vocals of the "magnificent" Warrel Dane is the really heavy almost death metal-like production. While it's not that bad itself, it doesn't work if you're trying to be really heavy, without good songwriting to back it up.
As for the vocals, this time Warrel Dane's voice becomes completely awful all the way. That's not to say he was better on the first Nevermore album. Yes, his vocal performance was weak, but at least he threw in some great falsettos, which saved his voice from being completely awful. But no falsettos are to be found this time. His delivery and range now basically alternate
between dragged out clean whiny vocals and overloud yelled whiny vocals that are not that far removed from mallcore. Honestly he could be the "singer" for KORN and the difference would be roughly the same!
There is only one song on this album that's worth hearing all the way through and that's the number song '42147'. It has very minimal lyrics and it could be considered an instrumental, which it should have been in the first place, because without the vocals it would've been a little better. But even though Warrel Dane is annoying as usual, it's much easier to get past his voice to hear the rest of the song. It's above average midpaced song that flows nicely, goes through a few tempo/riff changes where each one is contributing something to the song, some well done solos there and there, and even a clean guitar interlude in the middle with some spoken vocals is done effectively and serves well as a transition to another slower part of a song. It's an odd number by Nevermore standards, but hey, it WORKS!
Then the rest has some highlights in a few places like in 'Seven Tongues Of God' for example. It starts off with a nice thrashy riff that goes from midpaced to fast. Then everything dies when the song slows down and turns into a boring groovefest of suckitude. A solo in the middle somewhat saves it from being utter shite.
Also songs like 'The Tiananmen Man' just kinda go through the motions. The highlights in it, occur at 1:28 and 2:53 where the solid riffage with decent and well done soloing takes place.
However, the title track is absolutely the worst song on the album ever. Seriously, it could've been on a KORN album for god sake!!! It's that formulaic, stupid and modern. It drags on and on very slowly. You got the dumbfuck plodding groovecore riff that carries the entire song with a droning second guitar in the background, distorted whispered vocals combined with loud shouted whiny vocals that are so fucking awful!!! Then, there is a fast part randomly thrown in the middle that has nothing to do with the rest of the song. Nevertheless, it's a highlight in sea of feces that this song is. It has a nice thrash riff played at a well reasonable fast pace, then some crazy experimental guitar stuff, then the same riff comes back again and it goes to suckage vortex right after the fast part is over. If it wasn't for that fast part, the song itself would've gotten a BIG FAT ZERO. That's how awful it is!
Why must ""singers"" like Warrel be considered one of the best metal vocalists ever???? Heavy metal singers should be considered great for having powerful and energetic voice and ability to sing on-key like Rob Fucken Halford and not for the whiny and angsty emo faggotry shit of Warrel Dane that Nevermore fanboys love to death!!!
The last song 'The Learning' attempts to be epic, but turns into a typical boring Nevermore fare. There is Warrel getting overemotional over an okay clean riff that drags on for too long. Then the song picks up at 2:25. While it does have good riffage ideas, they are often repetative and there is nothing to hold them together. However there is one memorable highlight in this song, which occurs at 5:42. That's where the good riff ideas form into one coherent one minute passage that flows nicely with effective riff changes and nicely done soloing. Then it all turns to shit with annoying distorted vocals at 6:43
and more fucking around.