Nevermore - The Obsidian Conspiracy review


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Band: Nevermore
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.

Rating breakdown
Performance: 10
Songwriting: 10
Originality: 10
Production: 9


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.

Guest review by
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.

published 16.03.2012 | Comments (23)

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Comments: 70   Visited by: 477 users
11.01.2011 - 02:30
Angelic Storm
Written by Marcel Hubregtse on 11.01.2011 at 02:21
Why do you think I left that part out when quoting you?

Ah... Now I see what you did there...
11.01.2011 - 17:25

*heart failure*
Licensed under the GPLv3.
Relinquish proprietary software for a greater GNU/America.
09.02.2011 - 14:24
Am I the only one here who thinks that their best album is Dreaming Neon Black? (And by quite a margin I would say )
21.05.2011 - 18:17
Written by Kuroboshi on 09.02.2011 at 14:24

Am I the only one here who thinks that their best album is Dreaming Neon Black? (And by quite a margin I would say )

Dead Heart In a Dead World is my favorite. But I feel like I'm one of the few who didn't really appreciate The Obsidian Conspiracy. It's good, but at times the tracks sound like they blend together... a lot of the album sounds the same. I don't know, maybe I just haven't fully absorbed it yet.
Check out Apothecary's Favorite Bands Playlist, brotendo. One track per band.
22.08.2011 - 01:02
It's ok album, nothing special in it.
05.09.2011 - 03:58
This rating is way too high, i felt like this was a massive step down from the this godless endeavor, the obsidian conspiracy amd she comes in colors were the only songs that didnt bore me.
I felt like they made it slightly heavier but simplified it, focusing more on the vocals and less on the awesome guitar playing
27.09.2011 - 10:06
This thing of bringing past albums to the table is really annoying me, I mean, are we going to compare every Opeth album to BWP? or every DT album to Images and Words? cmon dudes! Prog is not repeating the same thing over again. Everybody talked shit about Rhapsody Of Fire because they have made the same music all over again and now you criticize prog bands for doing what you requested?... FUCK!
Metal is flowing through my veins...
11.12.2011 - 04:54
This album is very bad. It's really no wonder that Jeff Loomis left, really.
My lo-fi synth project:
11.12.2011 - 08:59
A staff guy...
Yea I really didn't care for this album either. It's just boring to me, I tried a few times to listen to it and get into it but I just kept going back to either Dead Heart In A Dead World (imo their best album) or This Godless Endeavor. I actually wish that Jeff and Van had left before writing this so that their last album with Nevermore would be an amazing classic rather than (imo) a complete dud.
~Zep, Database and Forum Moderation~

18.12.2013 - 03:37
This album still disappoints me today. Warrel had a solo project, why does he need to be the only standout presence on this too?

It's alright, I still paid money for after hearing it, but that was more out of a compulsion to have a complete discography.

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