Nevermore – Enemies of Reality
I originally bought this album solely because of the cover art. This amazing backlit bent mask with worms crawling out of its mouth. I had seen it on the shelves for months. I had no idea about what kind of music Nevermore played, but that cover was so unbelievably cool, I had to have it. Being a student at the time I had to save money to afford it, it took me two months. I figured I had to listen to it, since I had bought it and all. From the first sizzling notes to the exploding ending, I was completely hooked.
I loved it all, the complexity of the song structures, the impossibility of the guitar playing, the share force of the rhythm section and the power of vocals. It was heavy metal, thrash metal, death metal, progressive metal and power metal all rolled in to one. It was something completely new to my ears, and it even had beautiful melodies.
The album starts out with some sizzling guitar notes that slowly crescendos into the full frontal attack of the title track. When the track kicks inn it sets the standard for the rest of the album, with some amazing guitar work and slightly out of line rhythms.
Second track, “Ambivalent” is a step up in intensity and with a great vocal delivery by Warren Dane. “Never Purify” has some finger breaking guitar work and the rhythm has a sort of limp, that makes the whole song seem a little askew, which I find unbelievably great.
“Tomorrow turned into Yesterday” is a sort of ballad, but still has more power and brutality than other metal bands only achieve in their dreams. Again Warrel gets to show yet another of his many vocal strengths, Loomis shows off his amazing technique in the solo. And the bridge man, the bridge … it’s so good.
But let’s not forget about speed, “I, Voyager” is just that, speed. And the pre-chorus is a show of how tight a band should be. Did I mention the great sing-along chorus? Well, I should, the chorus is a great sing-along chorus.
“Create the Infinite” is another fast one and probably the heaviest number on the album
“Who Decides” is another ballad, but the incredible guitar work by Jeff Loomis makes me dreamy and jealous of his skills. The lyrics are thought provoking, quasi philosophical stuff and not the usual ballad themes of love and/or loss.
“Noumenon” is slow, atmospheric and, at times creepy. “There is no stronger drug than reality” as the lyrics say over and over again. This is not my favorite track, to say the least. I’m not into the extremely atmospheric stuff in general, I enjoy it at times but usually not. Wow, I’m ambiguous and not making any sense.
“Seed Awakening” is a great finisher. It’s a great sum up of the power, brutal technicality and energy of this album.
Now I can truly understand why a lot of people don’t like this record, I truly can. It’s a difficult record to get into for most people. The blend of ballady, soft melodies with some truly progressive elements that leads to some spectacular metal can take a toll on the sanity.