Nevermore - This Godless Endeavor review
|Album:||This Godless Endeavor|
|Release date:||July 2005|
01. Born (The Retribution Of Spiritual Sickness)
02. Final Product
03. My Acid Words
04. Bittersweet Feast
05. Sentient 6
06. Medicated Nation
07. The Holocaust Of Thought [feat. James Murphy]
08. Sell My Heart For Stones
09. The Psalm Of Lydia
10. A Future Uncertain
11. This Godless Endeavor
12. Engines Of Hate [live] [Japanese bonus]
13. Beyond Within [live] [Japanese bonus]
They did it again. I assume this album was highly expected by about everybody who likes Nevermore. Those who hated the bad production and more straightforward thrash direction of Enemies Of Reality were probably hoping for Nevermore to take a step backwards and come back to more complex and subtle songwriting (although a few tracks such as "I, Voyager" were indeed complex). Those like me who liked Enemies Of Reality in spite of all its blatant little flaws wished they would not leave this new 'brutal' identity aside. I think This Godless Endeavor has the qualities to reconcile us all: Nevermore created again a great album, using bits of everything that made so famous and in the end released maybe not their best album - this is left to the appreciation of all of you - but, for me, the album of the year.
This Godless Endeavor starts out with a very strong opener. "Born" begins with a thrash/death riff and aggressive vocals of Warrell Dane before mutating into a power thrash song with a very melodic chorus that opens a whole landscape of new, unsuspected emotions. Final Product is probably the weakest song here, I just don't understand why they chose it as the first single. Understand me, it is not a bad song but somehow it doesn't match the greatness of the rest.
Anyway, this album is mind-blowing all along. The technical level of musicianship is extremely high. We all know that Jeff Loomis is a great guitar player, but with the adjunction of Steve Smyth things become even more impressive. Just listen to their amazing performance on the closing track, the epic "This Godless Endeavor", and you'll realize the band has finally found the greatest pair of guitarists they were rightfully hoping for. This song only justifies the purchase of the album. Everything Nevermore have to share with their fans can be found there, from arpeggios to furious thrash riffing, to mid-paced breaks and crystal clear vocals.
It has to be said that Warrell Dane's work on this album is probably his best so far. It might not be his most technical performance, he doesn't really use his high-pitched voice anymore, but I've never heard him so full of emotion (e.g. on "Sentient 6", the lines 'My children you are my army' and 'And their skies cry Mary' are heartbreaking and give me gooseflesh every single time I hear them). Speaking of ballads, "Sentient 6" and "Sell My Heart For Stones" are to be ranked up there with the likes of "Believe In Nothing", "The Heart Collector" and "Dreaming Neon Black".
And when Nevermore accelerate the pace, it is only to create the neck-breaking opening riff of "The Psalm Of Lydia". Everything they've touched on this album has turned to gold, be it the infernal heaviness of "Bittersweet Feast" and "A Future Uncertain" or the more desperate tunes of "My Acid Words" and "Medicated Nation". Again, the title track is so brilliant that there are no words to express it.
Even if I've tried to wait a few months before reviewing this album in order to let my first amazed feelings fade and thus to be able to propose a comparatively fair and objective review, I still can't find any flaw in This Godless Endeavor. Everything is so brilliantly done, so catchy and complex at the same time, that I now consider Nevermore to be part of the thrash metal hall of fame. I've not heard such excellence and perfection in music very often: This Godless Endeavor is indeed my favourite album of the year, which is why I rate it 10.
Highlights: Born, Bittersweet Feast, Sentient 6, The Psalm Of Lydia, This Godless Endeavor
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