Nevermore - _The Obsidian Conspiracy_
(Century Media, 2010)
by: Aly Hassab El Naby (
I remember reading an interview with Mastodon's drummer Brann Dailor where he said that making music is like baking a cake. First you have to make sure you have the correct ingredients, then you leave it in the oven to bake, and then you apply the topping. I find myself remembering that wise bit from Mr. Dailor after listening to Nevermore's much awaited 2010 album _The Obsidian Conspiracy_. Nevermore's last studio album was 2005's masterpiece _This Godless Endeavor_; an album that had me banging my head in a fit of metallic joy from the moment I heard that chorus riff in the opening track. Now after five years, they're back with another spot hitter that will raise dizzying lines of horns at any concert._The Obsidian Conspiracy_ boasts ten tracks that are laden with Warrel Dane's trade mark voice and Jeff Loomis' top-notch riffing. The structuring of the tracks is actually quite simple and predictable, but their content is what keeps you hooked. A ballad like "Emptiness Unobstructed" will definitely stick with you, thanks to Dane's melodic singing and intelligent lyrics. "The Blue Marble and the New Soul" is another track that comes close in terms of catchiness and lyrical content, but it has a much gloomier feel to it. Of course Jeff Loomis wouldn't let tracks like these pass by without stamping his name on them with marvelous guitar solos that send waves of goose bumps through your body.But if heavy riffing, fast tempo and relentless drumming is what you came for, then rest assured that your demands are duly met. Tracks like "The Termination Proclamation" and "Moonrise (Through Mirrors of Death)" are two very good examples of how well these guys can stir a raging mosh-pit, but they probably won't get the crowd as ecstatic as "The Obsidian Conspiracy" would. The title track on this effort is the best manifestation of ending on a high note. It's an approach that I welcome, because I rarely find good albums that don't have either the longest track or a two minute outro as the last track. This finisher is outstanding and has Nevermore written all over it; authentic Warrel Dane vocals, astounding Loomis / Williams coordination, and an overall aura of excitement that will hit you right in the kisser.The charming city of Seattle may be famous because of Frasier and the grunge movement, but it certainly should be proud of this group. Their metal keeps its originality and doesn't conform to the standards of American metal that are being so sadly affected by the growing population of mediocre metalcore and deathcore bands. Nevermore was never an easy band to categorize, and that's why you'll find lots of online genre wars, but that makes the experience of a Nevermore album all the more enticing as they continuously succeed in keeping you at the edge of your seat from start to finish. Raised them horns yet?
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