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I have heard of many albums that have achieved perfection, most of them in the melodic branch of metal (where power metal or progressive metal fit in), as well as a few on the extreme metal branch, which I don't listen to a lot but there are definitelly various masterpieces on it. Out of all extreme metal bands I've heard, I decided to pay a bit more of attention to it, since it pretty much got me, and I got into Nevermore eventually. After listening to a few songs by them, I decided to get 'This Godless Endeavor' and it eventually became my favorite band in the whole extreme metal, as well as my favorite album.
This album is pretty much a summing up of all Nevermore's previous releases, mixing into it every single quality that has made them an icon in metal. Dane's voice is amazing. In this album, he often alternates his types of singing from the melancholic voice to growls or harsh vocals and he makes it fit in perfectly, placing it exactly where needed, the perfect example would be "Sentient 6", a song that is overall slow, but in the end becomes heavier and Dane's vocals start to work out with hostileness. Jeff Loomis is a god, any person that listens to metal knows that. His expert-level shredding cannot be compared to that of any other. He uses extreme sweeps in the solos, a bit of tremolo picking (not to overuse it), and some tapping that is always right were it has to be. His management of diverse scales during the solos is also acknowledgeable, mainly the appropiate manage of diminished runs he does that actually don't sound too incongrous but make it have the needed terrorific sound to the solos, of course, if that is the purpose. Both Loomis and Smyth do an outstanding job with the riffs, they will get you headbanging and breaking your neck in no time, I would like to give a highlight to "My Acid Words" in this case. The rhythm musicians, Sheppard and Williams, also get a spotlight in here. While many don't pay attention to them since the guitars may overshadow their instruments, I pretended to do it to describe the sound better. Van Williams, the drummer (as you may know), is really talented, to be honest. Most of the drum lines here are pretty odd, since they may sound dissonant or even improvised at times, but this adds technicallity and progressiveness to the overall sound. His work with the double bass drums is one of the best I've heard (if not the best). Bass lines are just adequate. They do not stand out too much, since it is not what is needed, after all, Nevermore has always payed much more attention to the guitars, but you may listen to a few interesting stuff if you pay close attention to it.
Nevermore lyrics are among my favorites. I really like the way this album criticizes the shitty society we live in with the lyrics, using great comparisons and metaphors, and explaining how there is almost no way to get out this fucked up world, "not even suicide", as 'My Acid Words' says. I think Dane did a really good job in here, he deserves recognition.
"This Godless Endeavor" is an excellent album, it compiles the whole Nevermore essence, and also works as a perfect introductor for anyone who wants to get into the extreme metal world, collecting into it stuff from all the extreme metal genres, making it perfect and even having all of this, it is really digestible for most of listeners.
Highlights: "Born", "Final Product", "My Acid Words", "Sentient 6", "Sell My Heart for Stones", "The Pslam of Lydia", "This Godless Endeavor".
Nevermore has spent the better part of 10 years redefining the character of what came to be called groove metal. They’ve generally thrown themselves into just about every possible direction within the paradigm, always employing a slight tendency towards the darker aspects of early progressive metal acts like Fates Warning and Queensryche, and have consequently thrown themselves into a state of stylistic limbo. Everything about the band is technically impressive, save perhaps Warrel Dane’s hit or miss attempts at straddling the divide that exists between Geoff Tate and Phil Anselmo, but the songwriting generally suffers from a complete lack of center. One does not listen to a Nevermore album with the intent of remembering anything that is heard, and as a result they come off as bland and uneventful, despite the impressive technical aspects of each individual song.
“This Godless Endeavor” is something of an oddity amongst their previous works in that it not only bucks this trend towards non-catchy meandering, but actually occasionally reclaims some of the old melodic glory that was ejected when Dane and company folded up Sanctuary’s tents and began this outfit. The modern, heavy as a pile driver guitar tone and inventive musical twists proper to progressive music distort this hearkening back to older days, but many of the choruses heard in the somewhat catchier songs such as “Final Product”, “My Acid Words” and “Sentient 6” almost reach directly back towards the “Into The Mirror Black” sound. Dane’s melodic vocal work, which is also a bit more prevalent than previously, recovers that Tate tinge that is generally missing whenever he tries to put a dirtier character to his voice. Even when doing his viler vocal characters, Dane generally pulls it off pretty well and what emerges is something that gets beyond the cliché “I’m pissed off and I don’t need a reason” attitude common to 90s post-thrash outfits.
Although vocally speaking, this generally heavy for the sheer sake of it band does well, the real strength of this album is in a more clearly defined songwriting approach and a more stylized set of devices. Most of these viciously dark guitar sections maintain a post-thrash, grooving character, yet mix in just the right amount of melodic character to both avoid a melodic death or power metal sound and yet still seem like it wants to go that way. Loomis has always been noteworthy for his competency as a lead player, being able to rival the likes of John Petrucci and not look like a slouch, but some of the wicked rhythmic plugging heard on “Bittersweet Feast” and “The Psalm Of Lydia” almost overshadows all of the wild shredding heard on the whole album. Picture the chaotic tendencies of Megadeth when at their peak, meshed with the sludgy bottom end of Crowbar, and you’ll basically get the idea.
Speaking as someone who is generally a detractor of this band and most other commercially viable post-thrash acts, “This Godless Endeavor” is an impressive exception to the rule, largely because it bends the rules that generally make groove metal what it is. It could be liked stylistically to the darker sound Dream Theater experimented with on “Six Degrees Of Inner Turbulence”, but it is also a better listen in all respects save perhaps the vocals. It has a clarity and function to it that is immediately obvious, although there is still an avoidance of anything that could be deemed as predictable. But more than anything else, it proves that even in the seemingly infinite sea of coal that is modern metal, there are a few diamonds to be found for those willing to do some digging.
Originally submitted to (www.metal-observer.com) on March 26, 2010.
I'm quite surprised that the Seattle-based groove/proggers could actually make something worth listening. Honestly, I never understood the hubbub over them. Sure, their technical as fuck and Warrel has unique vox (I didn't say good or bad!) but their albums are...inconsistent, to say the least. Somehow between Enemies of Reality and this album they decided to get their shit together and make something damn good. Don't believe me? Just listen to "Born," it's track one and they already kick into high gear. The tempo! The melodies! The bearable Dane vox! This album might just be their crowning achievement.
Productionwise, it's typical modern metal: No bass, vox and guitars upfront, drums in the background. In this album, it's kind of a mixed bag because Warrel Dane can be pretty annoying when he tries to sing clean, word of advice: Skip "Sentient 6," horrible ballad, horrible singer, okay-ish solo. Jeff Loomis is a fantastic player, he is the saving grace of "Medicated Nation" and "Bittersweet Feast" but there are songs which even he is powerless to redeem. Enter "Sell My Heart for Stones" and "My Acid Words." They sound like Enemies or Dead Heart era Nevermore and that is bad.
Good songs? There's plenty, aside from "Born." "Final Product," "The Psalm of Lydia," the neat instrumental "The Holocaust of Thought" and the epic finale "This Godless Endeavor." The last one is perhaps Nevermore's magnum opus, never have they done something so jawdropping, so beautiful and make Warrel sound good! To be honest, Warrel's voice is not as bad as say...Michael Sweet (if you know him then congrats!) but there are times when he just loses it and sing ever-so-slightly off key. The ballad would be absolutely horrifying if not for Loomis, a point that I can't stress enough. Yet on "This Godless Endeavor" he actually sings clean quite good. Why doesn't he sing like this? Anymore at least, he used to do this quite often in Sanctuary.
Now the meat of this album is the guitars, they are absolutely sublime. The first verse riff in the title track, the part where Warrel says "Sitting here sideways/On the cold stone floor!" that is the best riff in this album, perhaps in their entire career. The main riff in "Born" is also a serious contender, not too mention the melodies. I've heard of their reputation, they're known for suddenly going meedly-meedly in the middle of a song. But in this album it actually works! The part where Warrel yodels (I shit you not,) in "Born" has the guitars playing some runs and they are worth 1/10th the album price! Also, the sweeps in the title track: Orgasmic is an appropriate term for it, it's that good folks! Oh and Van Williams deserve a standing ovation for his drumming in this album, tight as fuck and definitely an improvement over his old style. He can blastbeat, sort of, and he rides that double bass to oblivion.
In the end, Nevermore could've done something absolutely spectacular. Instead they still have the horrible elements from their past. Once they jettison the groovish tempos and hire a singing coach for Warrel, you can bet that they will dominate the metal scene. Get this album! It's the only one worth getting, so far, from Nevermore.
Well, now here we have a quandary for me: a successful band that have not sold out and gone mallcore even after many years of struggling, an album that is getting a lot of good press, and yet I just don't think Nevermore - or this album - are all that great. "This Godless Endeavor" is getting on a lot of 'best of' lists for 2005, in many cases in the top spot. Sadly, what this says to me is that we have a lot of so-called 'metal' reviewers who are not listening closely enough to their chosen genre, and are just grabbing the most-hyped thing to show up in the mail and proclaiming it godly.
Nevermore started as Sanctuary, another band that got a lot of buzz, but was not really very good, despite what you may have heard, and many of the flaws of Sanctuary followed Warrell Dane and Co. to Nevermore. But I'm getting ahead of myself. First, what is good about this album? Well, for one thing, Nevermore are heavy as hell, and they don't write simple, dumb-chunk riffs either, so musically I like Nevermore quite a bit when they can keep the energy level up. "Endeavor" does this quite well at the start, as the first four tracks or so are uptempo bursts of metal shredding that kick along quite nicely. All these songs pretty much sound alike, but when they are this hard and heavy, I don't mind that so much. Nevermore have a tendency – not carried to excess on this album as on others – to slow down and get moody. And one of the more reliable musical equations in life is Nevermore + Slow = Dull. So when this album slows down, it more or less grinds to a halt. So tracks 5-8 are pretty much a total waste of time. But then things get good again with the blasting riffs of "Psalm Of Lydia", and the next two songs, including the title cut, are not too bad either.
The real problem Nevermore have is Warrell, who at least used to have an almighty shrieking upper range in the Sanctuary days. This was a good thing, as his midrange vocals sucked – they have always sucked – but now he either no longer has the upper range, or just won't use it. Let's be utterly honest. I always hear about how people think his vocals are 'great', and I just don't understand that at all. He has an okay voice, but he has no real range anymore, no conviction, no charisma, and crappy tone. There is just nothing exciting or compelling about his vocals at all, and in fact he tends to sing in the same key a lot, making the songs sound even more alike than they already do. I suspect that years of hard living have just taken their toll, or he never knew how to sing properly to begin with and damaged his vocal cords. So now he just sounds like a guy with a head cold.
I don't think this is a terrible album or anything, but one of 2005's best? Oh please, there were so many better albums released you wouldn't get this one on a top 50. Nevermore are an average band who have a fanbase due to their longevity, for which they deserve genuine recognition, but not this much. Sanctuary were a second-rate band back in the 80s, and Nevermore are just Sanctuary with better production and worse vocals. Get a grip people, this is not an album to get all that worked up over.
Originally written for www.metalcrypt.com
Every now and again, we hear a passage from a song that makes us literally say 'holy shit!' out loud. We hear either a riff, a solo, or an intense vocal that makes us quiver and sends chills down our spines. It's not that often that we hear these passages, as when you listen to metal your standards for music tend to heighten, thus making "musical shock" a less likely occurrence.
It's also especially rare for an entire album to be consistently full of those passages from start to finish, which is what makes This Godless Endeavor from Nevermore an earth shattering album!
This album is quite perfect. There is plenty of diversity to be found here.
There are fucking heavy passages, such as the opening to Born and The Psalm Of Lydia, the riff before the solo in My Acid Words, the sweeps in My Godless Endeavor, and many MANY more.
There are fucking killer solos, usually delivered by one guitarist (Mr. Loomis) but sometimes manifest themselves through a solo battle, like 2:25 to 3:03 of The Psalm Of Lydia. Every solo here is masterfully crafted. I've heard the most appropriate solo (Sentient 6), the best sweeping passage (This Godless Endeavor, from 7:10 onwards), and the most chaotic riffs I've heard on any album here.
The bass is audible and contributes to the low end quite nicely. Wonderful tone, and in The Holocaust Of Thought adds a little melody of it's own. The drums are a constant double kick, tasteful wall of sound. The passage at 3:20 of My Acid Words could be one of my favorite in metal, and the drumming contributes highly to that.
This album from start to finish, leaves you saying "fuck yeah!" throughout the whole thing. This Godless Endeavor (the song itself) is a near 9 minute epic that I actually listen through in it's entirety every time I start it. It's an irresistible track.
The riffs here are complex, technical, but also appealing to the ear. The introduction to The Psalm Of Lydia and 0:17 of My Acid Words are good examples of technical yet appealing riffs. Then there's the just the technical mind fucking riffs of insanity like the lead guitar riff playing in the background of the chorus to Born. 0:50 of The Psalm Of Lydia features a crazy and highly technical riff, that could be a solo for other bands!
However great they are, the riffs and solos aren't all to be found here. Oh no. There are overwhelming vocals of emotional intensity, beautiful delivery, and chilling tone. The lyrics are thought provoking and original, and easy to sing along to. There's no cheese factor here.
Then you've got your marvelous acoustic playing that opens A Future Uncertain and This Godless Endeavor, and your "more" mainstream track "Sell My Heart For Stones." This is the token "rock ballad" track on the album, and damn is it powerful!
Overall, the adjectives that come to mind when describing this album are as follows:
As well as many others like awesome and wow. Get this fucking album today, buy six copies! Buy as many as you can afford!
People need to get a grip here. 14 reviews with an average of 96%? Please, this album isn't THAT good. Be realistic here, this band may be intelligent, dark, and brooding, and they may be heavy as fuck, but those two things alone aren't all that's needed to be a kick-ass heavy metal band. You need energy, conviction, power, and the overall sound of a band enjoying themselves. Just compare this to something like Jag Panzer's debut or Liege Lord's Master Control and the difference is obvious. Nevermore are missing that piece of the puzzle, as this is dark, angry music made by dark, angry people, and for dark and angry people. Those looking for easy listening music with big choruses and happy melodies will not find what they're looking for here, and neither will those looking for brutal death or thrash metal. So, the scope of enjoyment for something like this isn't as wide as it could be.
Now, 'best Nevermore album' to me, is not really saying much. This is still an overall boring and monotonous record, and Nevermore are an extremely overrated band. I lump them in with the likes of Opeth and new Blind Guardian in the respect that they're decent, but suffer from various degrees of dullness and make you want to fall asleep. In Nevermore's case, they had an extremely terrible album that made me hate this band to the point of becoming rabidly angry at the mention of their name, and it gave me the wrong impression of the band. They're just overrated as fuck, and pretty damn boring sometimes. Not the pseudo-mallcore abortion I took in while listening to Politics....
Nevermore doesn't seem to have mastered the art of captivating their listeners (well, aside from fanboys and possibly people who know fuck all about metal), as most of these songs get pretty dull. The riffs are huge, hard-hitting, and heavy, and they're certainly impressive compared to what I heard on the previous Nevermore albums I listened to, but they're still pretty average for heavy metal. I can't complain too much, I suppose. The production is massive, no metalcore comparisons to be made this time around. But it still just misses the mark for overall enjoyability. I find myself impressed with the band's technical skill, but it doesn't really go beyond that. It never goes from being "impressed" to actually enjoying and getting into the music, and that's a problem for a band. Some of Dream Theater's later work has the same effect on me, although not to the level this album does.
Warrel Dane's voice is still the weakest link, no matter how much he refines his singing style. His voice is just flat and unemotional, and he doesn't even sound like he gives a shit about what he's doing half the time. If the band had a different vocalist, with more range, emotion, and intensity, perhaps I'd actually like them. But Dane's monotonous drawling just ruins the whole thing, making the band sound as flat as he does a lot of the time, when in reality there's nothing wrong with the musical aspects of This Godless Endeavour. Note to Nevermore, please get a new vocalist, Dane doesn't cut it at all.
I mentioned that the guitar solos being the good part of this, and they are. They are the saving grace of some of these songs, because they take up so much of them. Without them, songs like "Born" and "The Final Product" would be just as boring and generic as the songs I bashed on the previous albums I listened to. "Medicated Nation" also has a very cool, shredding lead. Jeff Loomis is clearly the key here, for without him the band would truly be lost. His shredding, soaring solos are actually pretty damn cool, and they're the reason I won't be deleting this album after I submit the review.
So, Nevermore still aren't a good band, and this album is genuinely boring, aside from the solos I mentioned. Being that this is like their 8th album or something, I REALLY doubt that I'll ever truly enjoy them. It'll continue like this until the band finally throws in the towel---they'll put out new albums that are massively fellated by their fanboys, and snored at by everyone else. Nevermore just doesn't know how to create compelling music, nor do they sound like they really care about what they're doing. So, my final verdict...passable, but nondescript and not really worth your time if you have better bands to listen to. The fact that I have put off this review because listening to the album felt like a chore is evidence enough.
That thing called Musical taste is a strange thing indeed. One man's favourite album is a steaming pile of crap to someone else. But surely if almost everyone likes something, it must be great? Well, I wish that was true. I'd like to say that this album totally rocks my socks, and while there are a few really awesome moments, there's also a heap of filler that's just..not that good.
Lets start with the good first though. It's pretty obvious straight away that these dudes are impeccable musicians. This Godless Endeavour, Final Product, My Acid Words.. hell, any song has some absolutely rock solid guitar, drumming that's solid but still somewhat innovative and interesting, and a bass that's.. somewhere in the mix. Well, it's normally not there, but it does a good job in The Holocaust of Thought. Most songs are at a fairly brisk tempo, but there's enough variation in the songs so you don't get too bored.The guitars do some real nice flashy stuff, like the super epic chorus lick in Born and the fast but tasteful solo in Final Product, but they never get wanky. Yeah, when everyone in the band gets their stuff right, the results are amazing. Born has some huge riffs and is just an invigorating experience all round.. all that Heavy Metal should be. My Acid Words has some great riffs, This Godless Endeavour is that triumphant epic that will have everyone singing along at concerts, and Final Product is also a pretty enjoyable tune. One thing I'll agree with the other reviews- Nevermore definitely don't suck.
But there's many instances where they definitely don't rule. The vocals don't rule, that's for sure. I'd love to hear this band with a less operatic singer. Dare I say Hetfield would sound great with this band? That's not to say that Warren Dale is terrible.. The dude is pretty passionate, and his melody lines are solid.. But there's lots of places where he drags the songs down. Sell My Heart for Stones is a pretty painful song as it is, but Dale's vocals really drag it down more. It's not just a bad song for Nevermore- it's a bad song in general. Sentience 6 is also a somewhat sucky song. I don't mind ballads.. Whether it's Fade to Black, some strange Manowar Ballad, whatever.. But Nevermore are really bad at writing ballads. The ballads are quite cheesy, which is made worse by the cheesier-then-cheese vocals. Of course, there are a few songs where the vocals work quite well, but the majority of songs are let down by weak vocals. Oh well.
Don't get me wrong, people, I want to love this album. I don't listen to an album with the intent of picking faults, it's just that this album isn't as great as it's made out to be. It's solid power-y thrash metal (or thrashy power metal) but that's all. It's enjoyable, but the vocals aren't too good and everything's a bit inconsistent. Oh well.
A single understated bash of a snare kicks off what I could easilly call one of the best metal albums I and you could own whilst giving no hint of what awaits. Mere words alone cannot convey how exceptional this album is! "Exceptional" indeed. This is no ordinary power metal record, not that it really fits snuggly into any pre-defined genres.
The first thing you may be thinking (If you haven't heard any of this material) is what sort of metal is this? Almost all the reviewers seem to have their own opinions of what it is and they're all correct. To be honest if you like any sort of metal, be it power or death, you will find every song here a gem to behold. Thrash/Power/Doom/Progressive/Death, its all here if you want it to be. All executed with a masterful precision and passion that is somewhat lost in a lot of metal as of late.
The album explodes with opener; Born, with pummeling drums from the word go and technical riffery. The ownage continues as the song evolves into a higher form with melodic leads that dance round dane's vocal mastery. This opener gives but a taste of what the album is yet to offer as it descends further into brutal and darker territory with the next collection of excellent song-gasms.
Then we get the track five ballad: Sentient Six. What a fucking jaw dropping experience this is. Emotional and powerful to the core and not forgetting Loomis' excellent soloing, if you still have a face left after all the rest of his melting solos in the previous songs. Thats not forgetting an excellent set of solos and riffs provided by now permanent axe-man Steve Smyth of Testament fame. Actually Smyth isn't the only ex-Testament member here; guitar master James Murphy also contributes to the interlude solo piece: The Holocaust of Thought.
To fill a gap in your life, I can only suggest you buy this record as it's not only a masterpiece of modern metal writting from beginning to end but the passionate and emotional way it is delivered will grab your soul and never let go.
Aw yes, Nevermore. This is a band that has become very popular both in the underground and mainstream metal. They have gathered an extreme amount of success in the last few years, which is not surprising. Something pretty cool is the fact that they have managed to become pretty popular, and have not sold out and have stayed true to the style of metal they prefer to play. In case you have not heard Nevermore I pity you, as you are missing a very talented and special band who probably have a couple of albums left to give. This Godless Endeavor is their latest monster, and 6th full length release.
This Godless Endeavor is probably the biggest surprise of 2005 for me so far. I did not have high expectations for this album at all after hearing the obesity of Enemies Of Reality (which by the way, the re-release sounds so much better) I thought Nevermore's time had passed and the greatness had left them. I thought, oh this will probably just be another crap album just like the last one. Well, I sure was wrong. This Godless Endeavor is not just a good album, it is very good! What a way for Nevermore to return to the top. Warrel Dane sounds fantastic, as well does Jeff Loomis and the new guitarist Steve Smyth (Dragonlord, ex-Vicious Rumors, ex-Testament). Basically everything about this album is good; the production, the music, the lyrics, the length, etc. The musical style of this album is pretty much the same as all the others; straight up in your face fast ass kicking heavy metal. Now I'll have to admit, Nevermore does use some prog elements, but in no way are they a prog band. Besides the excellent vocal performance presented by Warrel Dane, and the insane guitar attack of Jeff Loomis and Steve Smyth, not to go unnoticed is the very cool and fast double bass work of Van Williams (this is probably the best he's done on a Nevermore album).
Almost all the songs are very good, there are a couple that sort of drag and aren't excellent, and also the interlude The Holocaust Of Thought is pretty gay, but other than that this album is very good. The best song is probably the last song This Godless Endeavor, which reminds me a lot of the song Dead Heart In A Dead World. It starts off slow and then lets loose at the 1:11 mark. This is actually a pretty fast but yet depressing song (like most of their songs), but nonetheless very good. I love the scream Dane does at the end, it reminds me of the old Sanctuary days; I'm not sure exactly what he says, but it sounds awesome.
I must applaud Nevermore on a job well done, as I did not think they would come back with such a bang. Now that I know they are still capable of kicking ass I will not turn my attention away from them, as I was ready to do. If you have been a fan of anything these guys have done, or are a fan of heavy metal or prog in general, this is an album you would very much like to check out. I'm expecting this to make it to my top 10 of 2005 list.
Over the course of their considerable history, Nevermore has evolved into one of metal’s finest outfits, releasing albums that test the limitations of aural supremacy without fail. On “This Godless Endeavor”, this faction refines a masterfully domineering sound even further, giving this album a tone that is the by-product of duly dark harmonies, rich dynamics and often, overwhelming force.
Warrel Dane has grown gracefully into his role as glum sonic ringleader, his highly impassioned singing revealing a plethora of overcast emotions. Projecting a haunting aura during the paralyzing weighty “Bittersweet Feast”, the frontman displays an extent of control that surpasses his past performances, while infusing the ideal amount of foreboding nuance into his perpetually omnipotent vocal attack. Dane has the facility to convey a kaleidoscope of moods with his distinctively authoritative voice. His affecting delivery during “Sentient 6” reflects the veteran’s skills well. This track is one of the best the band has ever put together, with the doomy, mammoth riffing of both axe-wizard Jeff Loomis and new member Steve Smyth (Testament, Dragonlord) giving the track remarkable depth.
Of all the output that Nevermore has offered to date, “This Godless Endeavor” is the most self-assured and focused. Nevermore hit on all cylinders with wicked sounding anthems such as “My Acid Words”, a track that bears the progressive Seattle metal sound, but also lapses into comprehensive thrashing chaos. Alternating between gloominess and sonorous majesty, this song unquestionably stands out as a gem, as the pulverizing beats of Van Williams lend muscle to the group’s sullen harmonies with taut, punchy pounding emphasized by the crushing bottom-end provided by four-stringer Jim Sheppard. An extremely captivating performance by Dane highlights yet another immediately enthralling cut, “Sell My Heart For Stones.” An expert arrangement keeps this track entertaining as well. Here, Nevermore move through a variety of stylistic phases that give the song an intriguingly dramatic atmosphere.
Hands down, the most riveting track that you will find on this highly significant effort is the blustery, intensely melodic “Final Product”, a track that is surpassed in its sheer relentlessness only by its muscular, dramatic chord structures. Dane spills out emotions like a river, imparting his patented theatrical antics as the band instrumentally weave a web of intense grooves complemented by mighty technical superiority.
A definitive release from a band that stands in the prime of their recording career, “This Godless Endeavor” is a crowning achievement from one of metal’s most consistently brilliant bands.
From the book "Weapons Of Mass Destruction" by Erin Fox
Nevermore have pulled out all the stops with This Godless Endeavour, their darkest release to date. The guitar playing is mind blowing, the vocal performance is awesome and the lyrical I.Q. is up to par with any band.
This is Nevermore's masterpiece I would say, even surpassing the brilliance of Dead Heart in a Dead World. The level of compostion and musicianship here is jaw droppingly good and there is just the right touch of atmosphere to give you a real jolt upon the first few listens.
The album kicks off with "Born", which is probably the catchiest song on the record. It starts off with a few monster riffs and some dark and menacing vocals from singer Warrell Dane. The chorus is a spectacle in itself, with perfect vocal layering as well as a very busy guitar line behind a fierce rythm section. This song rips and only leaves you begging for more. Jeff Loomis' playing here, especially during the solo is mind boggling and is as clean as anyone in the game right now.
"Final Product" is another standout track. What makes this song so great is the way it is arranged. The end with the bridge simply takes he song to a higher level. It's all in the composition my friends. "Sentient 6" is another great song, being the more ballady track of the album. It starts off slowly but picks up for an anthemic chorus which many metalheads are bound to enjoy. The playing is quite tasteful and Dane's vocals once again shine.
Then we enter what I consider to be the best section of the record. The last four tracks all smoke and are all horn worthy. "Sell My Heart For Stones" once again sees the band attack you with a wall of sound before pounding you with a stellar chorus full of emotion and attitude. "Psalm of Lydia" is a straight up balls to the wall rocker which has probably the best headbanging riff off the entire record. The solo section is also amazing as Loomis and New guitarist Steve Smyth exchange leads as flawlessly as is possible."A Future Uncertain" starts off with eerie vocal harmonization that makes one question where exactly this song is going. But the acoustic guitar playing is so enticing you just stick around for more. The rest of the song is well worth it, with riffs and vocal exchanges that are simply very well executed. After this song we have the main feast and title track.
"This Godless Endeavour", the album closer and most epic track,is possibly the best song this band has ever written. This song has an amazing buildup with amazing interplay between the guitar playing and the vocal patterns until you get hit by probably the heaviest riff Jeff Loomis has ever written. The verse is spectacular and amazing, with Dane at his finest and a rythm section just too heavy for words. Then comes the middle of the song where Loomis just shreds and goes sweep arpeggio crazy for about four minutes, sweeping away over a bridge and over a vocal line even, very interesting stuff. Then you get pounded by an instrumental section where the guitar tone is simply relentless. Then back to the stunning verse and the song closes out so nicely that you're left gasping for air.
The production on this release is perfect, a good job by Andy Sneap. Every instrument and also the vocals are crystal clear. Performance wise everyone is in top shape here. The drumming is quick and precise, the bass playing is subtle and tasteful, and shall we not even mention the guitar playing, which is out of this world. As for the vocals, I am aware that many people dislike Warrel's approach, but I find he fits the band's sound perfectly.
This is Nevermore's best record, one where everything just meshed perfectly to create This Godless Endeavour, my album of the year or 2005.
While I like this album less than my other two favorite albums this year, Ghost Reveries and Alien, I must give it a high score, because it extremely tight, extremely consistent, and just overall kicks ass on every song.
Yup, this is another Nevermore album, the band that does typical prog metal right with a serious dark edge. This Godless Endeavor is an album they needed to redeem themselves from the lackluster effort that was Enemies of Reality. Not a bad album, but a sub par Nevermore album. This sees Nevermore redeeming themselves in every way possible and even establishing themselves as a better band than they were pre-EoR. To beat an album like Dreaming Neon Black or Dead Heart in a Dead World is no easy feat, but I believe they've done it with this album.
This album is heavy. Really heavy, and while there is some subtle beauty and nice acoustic work, it's usually used just to emphasize the heavy parts when they come in. This music is so heavy that sometimes, even though Dane Warrell is singing, it is so anti-melodic that it's just as heavy as any death metal. And other times, like during choruses, Dane Warrell, while still simply singing in the same style, sounds like he's singing the chorus to a catchy Kamelot song. If that made any sense to you, I'm happy. The playing is tight and easily on par with any Dream Theater or Symphony X work. The drummer is phenomenal and always knows how to fit the situation right. The guitarist of course is sick. The riffage is extremely awesome throughout, and all their songs are very much thrash more than anything.
There is no weak track here, but there are a few super excellent songs. The opener "Born" kicks your ass right away with a very thrashy opening sequence with some death vocals, then starts with Warrell's signature style singing. The chorus is pretty catchy and fun, but the pre-chorus section where the drummer double times his playing is super...the "no solution/ no retribution" section. The next song, Final Product, is on the same level as Born, with some great riffing through, a pretty catchy chorus, great drumming, and just all-around GREAT thrash. The part at 1:57...so head-bangable. The third track is more of the same, although it's heavier in a better way and the chorus is catchier. Pre-chorus is great. This song is thrashy as hell and one of my all-time favorite metal songs.
Bittersweet Feast is, as the title suggests, a very bitter song, and a pretty good listen. It just barely drops off in quality from the last three songs, however. Sentient 6 is a more epic sort of song that builds throughout. Starts out simple, moves acoustic, goes super heavy. Not as catchy are fast or furious as the past tracks, but has some nice keyboard work and is a more emotional-ish song. Medicated Nation is one of the most bitter songs I've ever heard. It's dark, angry, mocking and just generally radiates mocking fury. I woulda laughed if someone told me you could make music this angry without growling. Oh, in case you haven't figured it out, Nevermore is very anti-America.
Holocaust of Thought, transition piece, nice though. Sell My Heart For Stones is another great song. Opens with some acoustic, and builds until that crashing riff comes in and kicks your ass...again. Good performance by Dane here. The Psalm of Lydia is a straight out assault...it just gets straight to the point and starts riffing, solo-ing right from the get go. Excellent piece. A Future Uncertain is a bit like SMHFS in the way it's written and how it builds. When that opening riff comes in....oh so awesome. The last track, the title track is great. Not much to say about it, it's about everything you would expect from a closer.
What a consistently great album. All throughout it kicks your ass. Great guitar playing, furious yet brilliant drum work, very good lyrics, although I don't particularly like mocking America, angry as hell without overdoing it. And there is NO bad song. I could turn on any track besides possibly Holocaust of Thought because that's a transition piece and wholly enjoy it. Awesome job, Nevermore.
"Enemies of Reality" was not a bad album, but by Nevermore's lofty standards it was downright weak and uninspired, not to mention poorly-produced to boot. "This Godless Endeavour" very much annihilates that CD and buries it deep to be forgotten. The band sounds like it has newfound energy and passion, most evident in Warrel Dane's outstanding baritone vocals as well as the rest of the band simply nailing it down with conviction. Andy Sneap's trademark speaker-brutalizing production is taken to a new level of ambient destruction here, too--this is his best production and mix to date, to my ears.
New guitar recruit Steve Smyth slots in so well right alongside guitar diety Jeff Loomis that Arch Enemy had best watch their backs. The array of amazing, amazing guitar work they cram into every bit of this CD is unreal in its diversity and intensity, utilizing a wide selection of tones, styles, and feels to create amazing dynamics. Mind-boggling leads, textured background chords, the customary crushing 7-string riffs, flamenco-flavored acoustics, tricky harmony parts, and clean chorused parts all combine into a guitar tapestry of such breathtaking execution that you finish this CD thinking that mere mortals could never have done all this.
Jim Sheppard benefits from a much more authoritative bass tone that growls beneath the guitars like an angered lion and Van Williams' anvil chorus pounding has never sounded better. (This guy must buy drumsticks by the gross or something.) His sound is not as obviously triggered as it was on the last album, but there are some obvious clickety-clack parts like on certain segments of "Final Product".
Standouts? Oh, boy...lots of those!
Opener "Born" is a scalding thrasher with creepy effected/layered vocals on the high-speed verses that segue into a classic Nevermore melodic and uplifting chorus to forge a metal beast of monstrous proportions--and this is just the first song.
"Final Product" has an irresistible sense of forward motion throughout its length, and the likes of Hatebreed had best be taking notes when that thundering breakdown kicks in at the 3-minute mark with Jeff Loomis cranking out one of his patented ridiculous harmony leads over the top of the lot. It ought to give these new school metalcore/stomp rock dweebs a lesson in how to make a breakdown both brutally powerful and musically able too.
"My Acid Words" starts out with more thrashing riffage and a pronounced nod to the Gothenburg sound that has infiltrated modern American metal as of the last several years. Only Nevermore pull it off far better than most of the bands who are milking that style to death. It goes into more mid tempo territory for the verses with slinky/funky syncopations--with a monster like Van manning the kit with his sense of time and letting a beat breathe, this is inevitable.
"Bittersweet Feast" is slower and more deliberate, with some particularly vicious lyrics dealing with the government and the media conspiring to dumb down America's population--there is an overall concept behind the lyrics of this album along those lines, and Dane pulls no punches in his snarling sarcasm and bitterness. An otherworldly whammy pedal-soaked solo section takes this one to a whole new level courtesy of Mr. Smyth.
"Sentient 6" is my favorite song on the album. It starts off in a poignant vein, the tale of a computer yearning to be human and progresses into heavier territory as the computer realizes that humanity is not what it was hoping it would be and is in fact rather not worth looking up to at all. At roughly the halfway point it shifts gears into an incredibly oppressive grind that feels like a tank flattening all in its path inexorably as Dane snarls "Sequence activate, trip the hammer to eradicate/I must exterminate/I will spread swift justice on their land!" He sounds evil as all get out on this part and I love it. It segues into an emotional ending that suddenly turns stark and naked, and you are left murmuring "WTFO?" after being razed and burned by this monstrous track.
"The Holocaust of Thought" is a short and sweet little instrumental that fades in with a catchy little bass riff and features some incredible soloing from guest axeman James Murphy.
The rest of the CD is outstanding too, but those are just my picks.
In truth, this will be the album to really push Nevermore into the top tier of American metal, if you ask me. I truly hope it gets them some headlining action, because these guys so well deserve it after all these years of striving and working. This is the real deal, not any of this stupid metalcore stomp rock garbage passing itself off as metal these days--spend your money wisely, kids.
2005 is one of the greatest years metal ever had since the 80's. Just look at the number of great releases by bands such as Dark Tranquility, Exodus and a list too long to name. Among these bands, Nevermore is one who really got the cream of the year. This Godless Endeavor is perfection for Nevermore which they have hinted at but not achieved in other stellar albums such as Dreaming Neon Black and the monstrous Politics’ Of Ecstasy. Simply put, this album would easily reach the top 5 in the best albums of 2005 which is an amazingly tough feat to accomplish considering the number of stellar releases this year.
Nevermore's genre has always been divided among the masses. On one hand most of the people slot them into the "Progressive Power Thrash" genre whereas on the other hand Thrash purists say they aren't thrash and are "Half-thrash". Nevermore's genre is extremely hard to pin down as the there is no power metal band as angered or sadistic as Nevermore, there's no power metal band who plays as hard as Nevermore, there's no guitarist except for a few (Gus G, Herman Li) in power metal who can compare to the shredding genius of Jeff Loomis and only Alexi of Children Of Bodom manages to surpass him. Warrel’s low, brooding voice may piss off many people but I’d say it perfectly fits the dark overtones of the music – tell me if a really over-the-top power metal vocalist or a rough thrash vocalist would fit? Could you imagine ZP Theart from Dragonforce or Steve Souza from Exodus singing here? I bet not. Therefore, Nevermore have always been a band with a style of their own, playing a style that’s vaguely power metal but has a power and message of its own far different from that genre and a style that’s heavy and nearly thrashy but not quite thrash as some people point out. This album is another one by Nevermore that’s unclassifiable and enjoyable as hell for metal fan.
There have been no flaws that have been associated with this CD and even I feel so. Its an almost perfect CD and I only restrict a hundred because hundred's need to be given only to classics that have stood the test of time such as Rust In Peace, Painkiller or Seventh Son Of A Seventh Son and even though this is an awesome CD we have yet to see if it can stand the ultimate test of time. On a song level, everything here just as many releases in 2005 plain rules. There can’t be anything better to describe how good this album really is except hearing it for yourself and experiencing Nevermore’s excellent craftsmanship. Right from opener Born we are treated to a style of metal that is distinctly their Nevermore’s own– an unclassifiable style full of catchy choruses, lyrics related to human issues rather than Tolkien and virtuoso solos.
Although all the songs in This Godless Endeavor are brilliant, I will mention to you a few that will especially catch your ear’s attention – Bittersweet Feast, Opener Born, This Godless Endeavor, My Acid Words and Medicated Nation. Bittersweet Feast has the sweetest chorus on the album. It uses double-layered voices and uses them better than anyone had earlier culminating into a total classic in its own right. Then, opener Born is heavy and fast with another catchy chorus which Nevermore can’t stop churning out. The title track stands at an epic length of 8 minutes 30 seconds and has a very dark overtone to it, its length is full of ripping solos and Warrel does one of his sparse screeches in the end – “The sky is falling!” My Acid Words is full of excellent virtuoso guitaring and Medicated Nation gets a special mention for its anti-drug lyrics which I love. This Godless Endeavor doesn’t have anything that’s totally a ballad except for the Children-Of-The-Damned like Sentient 6 which gets faster when nearing the end and the slower parts of Sell My Heart for Stones.
Regarding lyrics, Warrel has always been a sort of a poet. A modern Shakespeare who talks of Society, Mans plight and religious issues instead of dwelling in love. There are fine examples of his lyrics in this album and the past, in this album it can be seen in the form of Medicated Nation, My Acid Words, Bittersweet Feast and the title track.
Overall, the album is well worth hearing unless you’re a really happy power metal band who wont touch anything that’s remotely sad or doesn’t have excess double-bass use or you’re a thrash purist who thinks nevermore are “Half-Thrash” and are propagating the wrong form of thrash and therefore refuse them right away. Nevermore has oodles of talent on display and I’m sure it’d appeal to any metal fan with an open mind whether he likes Black, Death or Thrash metal. Just hear it and pay no heed to any rumors about the album, I’m pretty sure you’d thank me later. Now, to see if this masterpiece can stand the test of time.
Its quite unbelieveable how this band manages to put out album after album of the most top notch quality heavy fucking metal. A lot of bands into their 7th studio album, either water down, or take their foot off the pedal to rest on their laurels (something which Nevermore could have easily done), but holy fucking shit!!! this wasnt the case. Infact, they have released an absolute masterpiece, one that is easily comparable, if not better than their past moments of glory (Dreaming Neon Black, Politics of Ecstacy & DHIADW). I kid you not.
From the opening thrasher 'Born', to the epic title track that closes the album, you will find it extremely difficult to just sit in one place and go about your work. Every song demands your full fucking attention!! There is not a single filler track to be found throughout its 57 minutes. Each and every song is built like a labyrinth, filled with passages of breathtaking melodies, killer riffs, mindblowing vocal melodies, and what we all love in our metal: spontaneously-ejaculation-induncing guitar solos provided by none other than Jeff Loomis. Every song has a fair number of eye popping moments, whether its the solo on 'The Final Product', or the utterly depressing and heartbreaking vocals on 'Sentient 6', or the sheer technical excellence of the entire band on 'Psalm of Lydia'. I can write down a list of all these moments and run into pages.
I've been almost continuously spinning this album for the past one month, and I still can't figure out which is my favourite track...so far the only song, which hasn't got that status is the short but haunting instrumental, 'The Haulocaust of Thought'.
If you are a fan of Nevermore, you will be blown away by this album. I cannot comprehend an instance of any fan being even remotely disappointed with this masterpiece. (You can't even bitch about the production this time)
If you havent heard Nevermore before, This Godless Endeavor is THE album to start off with...and chances are, you will NOT be disappointed.
If you aren't a fan of Nevermore, then stay the fuck away, because they are at their absolute bone-crushing best on this album..and you will really hate them for that, if you lay your poor ears on this record.
Killerist of all the killer tracks:
The Final Product
This Godless Endeavor
Psalm of Lydia