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Surprisingly good - 85%

Maikkeli, May 9th, 2008

First solo album from Nevermore's singer Warrel Dane, and this is surprisingly good album. I was a little bit skeptic about this album as I was waiting that this would sound a lot like Soilwork - which is a band that I never got into - as all the other members but Dane are or have been in Soilwork, but for my liking this sounds very little like Soilwork, although there is some small resembles.

Comparing "Praises To The War Machine" to Nevermore, there is very little similarities. The music is less technical, less guitar oriented and not as heavy. Music on "Praises To The War Machine" is more grooving, a lot more vocal centered and more catchy than Nevermore, Dane's voice is actually the only bigger similarity to Nevermore. In my opinion that is a good thing, as there really isn't any sense to make a side project which sounds just like the main band.

Most of the songs seem to be written around Dane's vocals, which makes Dane's voice sound more relaxed than on any Nevermore or Sanctuary album, and that is a good thing in a way. But because of sounding more relaxed he's voice lost some of it's "venom" that he has on Nevermore albums.

Music varies from heavier songs like "Messenger" (Jeff Loomis plays a solo on this songs), "Equilibrium" and "The Day The Rats Went To War" (James Murphy is playing a solo on this song) to more balladish songs like "Let You Down", "Your Chosen Misery" and "This Old Man". For some reason this album seems to be at it's best on the calmer songs. Surprising thing was that both of the cover songs that this album has - "Lucretia My Reflection" which is The Sisters Of Mercy cover and "Patterns" which is Paul Simon cover - were good.

Whole band does a good job here. Warrel Dane's singing is great. Guitar work by Peter Wichers and Matt Wicklund is good. Neither one does anything truly groundbreaking but they don't do anything bad either. Both of them also plays bass on this album. Dirk Verbeuren does a good job on drums, but like the guitarists, he doesn't do anything groundbreaking.

The weakest thing on this album is the production. It's far away from a bad production, but the drum sound is at times a bit thin. Otherwise I have nothing to complain about the production.

"Praises To The War Machine" is a great album, but if you are waiting that this would sound like Nevermore you will probably be disappointed. The only bigger minus is actually the drum sound, otherwise there really isn't any big problems.

Highlights: "When We Pray", "Your Chosen Misery", "The Day The Rats Went To War", "Brother", "This Old Man" and the limited edition bonus song "Everything Is Fading"