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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.