Seattle's Sinister Sages
CoC interviews Nevermore
by: Adrian Bromley
Seattle progressive metal quintet Nevermore's self-titled debut album, released in 1995 on Century Media records, won metal fans over world-wide with singer Warrel Dane's explosive vocals and the superb brilliance that circulated within each track. Whether it was the dynamic assembly of such songs as "The Sanity Assassin", "What Tomorrow Knows", or the thought provoking lyrics of "The Hurling Words", Nevermore's debut was a true testimonial that there indeed was something powerful breathing within the depths of creativity that Nevermore had inside them.

The band spawned from the ashes of Seattle power metal band Sanctuary, with Dane and bassist Jim Sheppard recruiting guitarist Jeff Loomis to form Nevermore. The band developed a demo and soon was signed to Century Media. Following a successful tour of the U.S. and Europe in 1995/96 in support of their debut, the band (rounded out by other guitarist Pat O' Brien and drummer Van Williams) came off the road to record their follow-up, _The Politics of Ecstasy_. Prior to the release of _PoE_, the band released a limited edition EP titled _In Memory_ which allowed fans of the band to be content with some newer material prior to the sophomore release.

A year later since the release of their debut, Dane and the boys of Nevermore have returned with _PoE_, a blistering and powerful assortment of mighty guitar riffs, harrowing vocals, and truly dominating progressive metal. Heaviness lurks throughout.

"The last year or so has been really good for the band in regards to creativity," begins Dane over the phone from Seattle. "We have done a lot of stuff in between recording an EP and an album. We got to do the summer's Metal Meetings Tour in Europe as well as a co-headlining tour in Europe with Iced Earth. We have been pretty fuckin' busy."

Listening to the debut album and _PoE_ back to back, they are quite similar, yet _PoE_ wins out due to its massive counter attack of emotions and visions running rampant (i.e. "Seven Tongues of God", "Next In Line", and the title track). "This album's material is an expression of what we were feeling at the time. For me I can only say lyrically where all that came from. I read a lot and am a big horror fan, but I don't think that comes out in the lyrics lots. I write from a lot of my own experiences and from watching CNN. I don't watch much TV," assures Dane, "but I have to watch CNN just to remind myself of how fucked up everything is. So... the music and ideas is an amalgamation of all that. I think all of that stuff filters into the songs. We're just really happy the way the record turned out."

And his take on describing _PoE_? "I don't think we are trying to break away from being a certain type of band or trying to be a certain type of band. I have heard people say that this record is extremely aggressive and others say something else. I am confused myself to what to call this music," he says as he laughs. When asked again to describe the album he says, "This is the musical equivalent of a full-blown acid trip!"

"Songwriting comes a lot easier nowadays," mentions Dane in referral to the early days of Sanctuary and songwriting. "Without a doubt, it is a lot easier now. Now more than ever we can work as a unit, more so than our last band. With this record, we have fallen into our stride as songwriters and I think we have matured just as much."

About the work going into _PoE_, he offers, "We began writing for this record as soon as the first one came out. A lot of songs were written from January 1995 (when debut came out) till when we went into the studio in September of 1996. And a lot of our better songs came out just before we went into record _PoE_. We looked hard to find out what we wanted to with this record and I believe we found the right songs. Also, when we made the first record, we financed it ourselves and went in and recorded it as quick as we could. The new record is a record which I consider to be our first real record, because we had the time to sit down and figure out what we wanted to do, to experiment with different ideas and the recording. I can see the difference in both records and I think we have matured and changed for the best."

The topic slowly shifts towards the state of metal in today's music. Dane is aware that metal has been pushed aside but still believes metal has life left in it. His main goal right now is to tour with the latest effort, seeing touring as an important element to any metal band in 1996. "For us it is the most important thing to do. To get out and tour. I think it is important for bands to get out, especially metal bands right now, to get out in the public eye. That'll let people know that metal is here, it hasn't gone away and that it won't go away. I know there is still an audience and people want this and it is just a matter of time before this all turns around. It has to because I am so sick of seeing short-haired geeks on MTV. I know a lot of people feel this way."

He adds, "The alternative scene has become so stagnant that the winds of change are coming. No one knows what is coming but I know that there are a shitload of metal bands waiting to be appreciated finally."

(article submitted 2/1/1997)


CHATS
7/11/2005 J Smit Nevermore: A Transcendent Endeavor
7/13/2003 J Smit Nevermore: The Greater Goal Achieved
8/12/2001 P Schwarz Nevermore: Dead Heat For the Politicians of Ecstasy
10/1/1995 A Bromley Nevermore: Thrash the Seattle Way?!?
ALBUMS
9/4/2010 A El Naby 8 Nevermore - The Obsidian Conspiracy
7/11/2005 J Smit 10 Nevermore - This Godless Endeavor
7/12/2003 J Smit 10 Nevermore - Enemies of Reality
11/20/2000 M Noll 9.5 Nevermore - Dead Heart in a Dead World
3/14/1999 A Bromley 10 Nevermore - Dreaming Neon Black
11/18/1996 A Bromley 9 Nevermore - The Politics of Ecstasy
GIGS
10/13/2003 P Schwarz Arch Enemy / Nevermore I'm Dreaming of a Neon Black Earth...
5/13/2001 M Noll Dimmu Borgir / In Flames / Nevermore Crimes in the Mourning Palace
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