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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.