Nevermore - _This Godless Endeavor_
(Century Media, 2005)
by: Jackie Smit (
They've left me in something of a quandary this time, have Nevermore. Because as much as I am in awe of _This Godless Endeavor_, it's no easy task having to review a record that leaves its predecessor in the dust in every possible respect, when the latter effort was awarded a perfect score. And incidentally, that was by no means a lapse of judgment on my part. Even two years on, _Enemies of Reality_ ranks as a mainstay in my regular rotation.Still, in a broader sense there are some who would argue that if anything that record's potential was impaired by Kelly Gray's muddy production job, and if you subscribe to that school of thought, you will no doubt be thrilled by Andy Sneap's work on Nevermore's sixth effort. As slick and polished as anything he has ever done -- and let's face it, his list of accomplishments are ample -- Sneap very clearly possesses a much more comprehensive understanding of the disparate elements that form the nucleus of Nevermore's intricate sonic journeys.His contribution, however impressive, is greatly overshadowed by the band's performance though -- who have matured and improved both as musicians and as songwriters. Songs like "Final Product" and "Sentient" may not be miles away from the band's previous work (_Dreaming Neon Black_ being a particular reference point, if only for the epic feel of many of the album's songs), but throughout the record's sixty minute running time not the slightest whiff of a recycled idea rears its tired head.This is Nevermore doing what they've always done, in ways we have never heard before, and at a technical level that substantially raises the bar for themselves and anyone who would care to attempt a mile in their footsteps.
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