Nevermore - The Obsidian Conspiracy review
|Album:||The Obsidian Conspiracy|
|Release date:||May 2010|
01. The Termination Proclamation
02. Your Poison Throne
03. Moonrise (Through Mirrors Of Death)
04. And The Maiden Spoke
05. Emptiness Unobstructed
06. The Blue Marble And The New Soul
07. Without Morals
08. The Day You Built The Wall
09. She Comes In Colors
10. The Obsidian Conspiracy
11. Crystal Ship [The Doors cover]
12. Temptation [The Tea Party cover]
How does a band top a masterpiece? For example, they change a lot. South of Heaven after Reign in Blood felt shockingly slow and heavy. Or they try to copy their best release, with mixed results: see Enslaved's Ruun or Testament's New Order. Another way to tackle the post-masterpiece syndrome is what Nevermore did - and let me tell you in advance that they did it beautifully - you take what you did best and eliminate the elements that weren't perfect. Assuming that it's done by a band as talented as Nevermore, the final product must be at least outstanding. Or even brilliant, and I'm happy to announce to you dear readers, that brilliant is what The Obsidian Conspiracy is.
If I were to try to categorise Nevermore's music, I'd be stumped. It's thrash, all right, but it's seriously progressive as well, with tons of impressive technicality to boot, and even, excuse the blasphemy, traces or infectiously catchy power metal in some choruses. Whatever the genre, Nevermore are a very mature ensemble of skilled musicians, who know how to discipline themselves in order to make songs that are at the same time epic and concise. Not a single song lasts over 6 minutes, yet their grandeur is sometimes breathtaking. Check "Moonrise (Through Mirrors Of Death)" to see what I mean. The riffs in verses build up a wall of energy, reinforced by thundering bass drums, only to be flattened and obliterated by the wonderful chorus that rests on very melodic guitars and fat, groovy drumming. If this isn't brilliant, I don't know what fucking is. Moving on to "And the Maiden Spoke" - the drumming is complex and so unconventional, that you can forget about tapping your foot to the rhythm. You'll be too busy admiring Warrel Dane's singing anyway. From high-pitched to low, almost grunted, that's Nevermore's most prized possession at his best. Dane proves again that he is among the best metal singers out there.
I won't go through every song in detail, because this review would be longer than a roll of toilet paper that you use up when you have the shits. So I'll limit myself to naming just a handful more. "The Blue Marble and the New Soul" is a very stylish ballad embellished by a very emotional solo - a perfect breather in the middle of this feast of riffing and technicality. "The Day You Built the Wall" has layered vocals and heavy, ominous atmosphere - it's almost theatrical. But the best is saved for the last. I daresay that "She Comes in Colors" and "The Obsidian Conspiracy" are Nevermore's best tracks ever. The former is slow, atmospheric and sinister, the latter is a hurricane of riffing, solos and masterful drumming. And when you start thinking that it can't possibly get better, wonderful chorus proves you wrong.
I've no idea why Nevermore needed 5 years to release this brilliant album, but I sure as hell hope they won't have me waiting another 5 for their next. This is easily a top 5 album for this year, and something tells me that it'll remain very high till the end of December. I mentioned the number five three times in this paragraph. Three times 5 is 15. Minus 5 for a long wait, and you get a 10, no more no less. Very few deserve it this year.
||Written on 15.08.2010 by Writes overly honest and totally subjective reviews when fancy strikes him. Which is not often. Which is probably good, all things considered.|
|What do a five year wait, a couple solo albums, trying to live up to a masterpiece, conflicting artistic direction, and totally mangling a sound that needed little improvement all have in common? They're all reasons why Nevermore's last release before deteriorating as a band, The Obsidian Conspiracy, underwhelms. Severely. In 2010, five years after the raw and hate-fueled masterpiece This Godless Endeavor was unleashed upon our unprepared society, Nevermore released this nonsensical escapade, and I could hardly believe I was listening to the same band; and no, as you might have already guessed, I don't mean that in a positive way.
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