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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.