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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.