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Warrel Dane has become more than a member of Nevermore: he’s led the band on so many levels, and they would royally suck if he wasn’t there to expose his various gifts. As a vocalist, Dane has shown a magical talent when penning symbolic lyrics about social issues while his obscure voice coldly chills around progressive backgrounds. Since he easily carries one group by himself, Dane finally went solo with “Praises to the War Machine,” which undisputedly wins a good label despite a weaker attack on an instrumental measure. Of course, the sole reason when purchasing this album is to fully dwell in Warrel’s strange appearance, and that’s precisely what happens; thus, you’ll notice things don’t excel from an atmospheric perspective. However, I don’t care what they do, because Warrel is today’s shining star, and shine he does.
The ringleader of this emotional circle openly showcases what merits a group revolving around one individual, that being Warrel Dane. Known for bringing a very unique voice to an unoriginal faction, Dane continues his grand falsetto that exposes his twisted tone and range of notes spectacularly, not to mention the backing ambience provides more room for Dane to sing; the result is a stellar execution of oral achievement. There are no weak spots found under Dane’s presence, and no logical person can deny he single-handedly carries this CD straight to Olympus. After hearing his performance, I now prefer “Praises to the War Machine” over porn. End of story.
But all those fantastic glorifications cannot be divided amongst Warrel Dane’s remaining contributors; indeed, the other musicians are horribly bland at what they show here. Layered over Dane’s wonderful chimes are generic, sub-par riffs that unfortunately wrap around groove influence entirely, leaving percussion efforts stuck in one-two fibers and a bass that drags underneath it all. Even worse, there is not an ounce of variation dripping from its wells, making “Praises to the War Machine” crumble right as each anthem starts; it’s a devastating way to apply surroundings. Both Jeff Loomis and James Murphy bestow otherworldly solos during select offerings, yet the whole picture looks quite grim due to a poor demonstration involving too much simplicity, and not enough intelligence.
For a solo album, Warrel Dane has done satisfyingly well at showing off his esoteric vocals and obtuse poetics in proper intervals, but his backing band can’t match those great contributions on their side of things, which is downing, yet nothing severely damaging overall. In order to grasp an understanding, “Praises to the War Machine” was not forged in hopes of testing musical climaxes, but Dane’s famous voice instead, hence why it rules on his behalf and not instrumentally. Still, I’m left feeling quite good about this release in most areas, and it’s definitely something tasty for Nevermore fans craving a little more Dane.
This review was written for: www.leviatan-magazine.com