Ξ May 7th, 2009 | → 0 Comments | ∇ Album Reviews |
I recently rebooted my PC, and had to re-add all 26789 tracks back into my iTunes. This reset my play count, which was admittedly slightly upsetting considering I was finally over halfway through all the tracks since my previous boot. But it presented me with an opportunity to listen through a number of albums I love and haven’t listened to in a while. I occasionally have a tendency to leave my favourites behind in order to explore every new band, genre or album I can find.
I’m so glad I made this decision, because I have rediscovered one of the most important albums in my life, Nevermore’s ‘This Godless Endeavor’. Released in 2005, it cemented Nevermore’s reputation as one of the most important and consistent progressive metal bands. ‘This Godless Endeavor’ combined all the best elements of Nevermore’s sounds; the progressive, dense riff patterns and tearing solos of guitarist Jeff Loomis, and the intelligent lyrics of vocalist Warrel Dane. Dane’s lyrical topics are much more than just your typical metal lyric, exploring philosophical and theological issues, even venturing into the sad thoughts of a robot on the ballady ‘Sentient 6′. He points his finger of rage at the media in ‘Final Product’ ( “the media loves its latest tragic suicide, they exploit it, then package it, and profit from the people who died!”) and the nation of medicators he feels America has became on ‘Medicated Nation’ (“a medicated nation of blind neurotics”). It is work like this that sets Dane apart as one of the most essential lyricists of our time.
This album contains some of the heaviest riffing in progressive metal. The roaring start to ‘Born’, the more measured attack of video track ‘Final Product’ and the thunder of the title track when it finally ignites are perfect examples of Loomis’ dense riffing. In fact, the title track is probably the best thing the band have ever written, an 8 minute masterpiece discussing the debates about God and theology. It opens with pastoral guitar mingling with Dane’s vocal lines before exploding into a death/thrash riff that is just awesome. Here Loomis shows his best shredding abilities; linking together excellent sweeping riffs and a tearing solo.
I’m admittedly biased about this album, I have listened to this constantly since it was released, and have rarely ever found a track I don’t enjoy listening to. For me, it is the thought provoking lyrical content and heavy riffing that put Nevermore up above their peers. They explore obscure and philosophical topics without feeling at all pretentious or uneducated, and most of Loomis’ riffing doesn’t drop below awesome. His soloing is also incredibly fluid, winding their way round tracks and slipping in and out of the other riffs. Simply an essential album for anyone who likes metal, full stop.