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Nevermore: The Obsidian Conspiracy

There have been many top releases since Nevermore's early classics up to the year 2000 that many seem to favor, with two new Nevermore studio albums, and a live compilation plus solo CDs from vocalist Warrel Dane and guitarist Jeff Loomis. Now we have Nevermore's new studio release The Obsidian Conspiracy and it's another technical metal winner, but really was there any concern that Nevermore wouldn't impress once again? Given their previous accomplishments Nevermore simply doesn't release sub-par albums.

Three versions are available with the choice of standard, 2CD, and a vinyl edition. The 2CD is contained within an impressively packaged box set with the new album and two bonus tracks, "Crystal Ship" (The Doors) and "Temptation" (Tea Party cover). The second CD is unlike what you would usually expect, and will appeal to the budding guitarists out there. With this material you can discover how to or at least try to emulate what Jeff Loomis has created for this latest album, via audio tracks, video and printable guitar tabs.

Nevermore aren't an easy band to place a label on; sure there is a thrash element to their super heavy style of music plus a substantial serving of progressive metal. The Obsidian Conspiracy has plenty of variety and the production is spot on. Jeff Loomis is amazing with his explosive shredding and groove from the start of the excellent "The Termination Proclamation", but this isn't Jeff's next solo album but very much Nevermore as Warrel Dane also gets his welcome share of the spotlight, as "The Blue Marble And The New Soul" features wonderful moving vocals. Just as this album starts out Jeff really carves it up again on "The Obsidian Conspiracy" Nevermore's ballistic closing track.

The Obsidian Conspiracy is more metal magic from a band with one of the most potent line-ups in metal. If for some reason you haven't heard Nevermore as of yet, this is a great CD to kick your collection off with.

Track Listing
1. The Termination Proclamation
2. Your Poison Throne
3. Moonrise (through Mirrors Of Death)
4. And The Maiden Spoke
5. Emptiness Unobstructed
6. The Blue Marble And The New Soul
7. Without Morals
8. The Day You Built The Wall
9. She Comes In Colors
10. The Obsidian Conspiracy
Bonus Tracks
11. Crystal Ship
12. Temptation

1. Your Poison Throne Without Guitar
2. Your Poison Throne Guitar Only
3. The Obsidian Conspiracy Without Guitar
4. The Obsidian Conspiracy Guitar Only

Added: June 7th 2010
Reviewer: Scott Jessup
Related Link: Band MySpace Page
Hits: 2444
Language: english

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Nevermore: The Obsidian Conspiracy
Posted by Murat Batmaz, SoT Staff Writer on 2010-06-08 11:01:30
My Score:

Nevermore is one of those few bands who releases one solid album after another. Though their fans' favourite releases vary greatly, overall they are one of the most consistent bands of our time.

The Obsidian Conspiracy, like previous releases, sees the band altering their sound without deviating from the core. This is as far removed from This Godless Endeavor as only possible. The super tight, complex solos of This Godless Endeavor have been replaced by more riff-centred compositions. Jeff Loomis has given Warrel Dane more room to demonstrate his vocal skills and highlight the lyrics more prominently. Almost all the songs stand out for their dark lyrical scope with Joomis providing the musical backdrop with his unique riffery and masteful soloing. A great example of this feat is "Your Poison Throne," primarily driven by Dane's monolithic vocals, but it is Loomis' seething fretwork that lends it its final touch.

Production-wise, The Obsidian Conspiracy is in the same mould as Warrel Dane's solo album, Praises to the War Machine. Without doubt, this stems from the fact that both albums were produced by Peter Wichers, who also played on and composed/co-wrote the majority of the songs on Dane's solo record. Tracks like "Moonrise (Through Mirrors of Death)" and the very personal "The Blue Marble and the New Soul" actually lend themselves to similar musical territory. The former features Dane's repeated vocal shouts over machine gun-like riff precision and stomping double bass drums while the latter is right up there with "Brother" off of Praises to the War Machine. The exception is Loomis' laidback bluesy guitar exercise in the middle, but the lyrics again address family issues with the constantly rising and falling musical drive. "The Day You Built the Wall" is also very vocal driven. On this track, however, Dane utilises a very wide range of techniques: he shifts from low singing to his classic evil delivery and back to more melodic parts.

Overall, the album contains fewer ballads, compared to releases such as Dreaming Neon Black. However, that does not mean The Obsidian Conspiracy is as heavy as some of their prior work, most notably This Godless Endeavor, which could be Nevermore's heaviest release, and Dead Heart in a Dead World. Sure, the record maintains a heavy feel through and through, but the heaviness factor is more in the way the riffs and bass have been integrated into the compositions rather than laying down complex guitar work with tight drumming and grave bass lines from the onset. This album gives Dane a bigger role to express himself with the band backing him up effectively, so don't a record with a more complex nature and tighter rhythmic awareness. For such, go to their earlier recordings.

There are two bonus tracks on the CD: The Doors' "Crystal Ship" and The Tea Party's "Temptation," both of which have been interpreted in the trademark Nevermore fashion.

» Reader Comments:

Nevermore: The Obsidian Conspiracy
Posted by ??? on 2010-07-01 15:57:36
My Score:

There was much talk in the pre-release as this being in contention for metal album of the year. The wait is over and the answer is no way! Loomis dumped all his enthusiasm on his solo album and this collection just has recycled riffs and solos(some of those replete with string noise and a little sloppiness.) He said he had a bad case of writers block in preparing for this release. That is painfully obvious and so is the reliance on Peter Wichers to help arrange the songs--songs that just sound forced most of the time. Dane helps the record quite significantly with his melodies and vocals, but he went a little far in reorganizing "Brother" in the name of "The Day You Built the Wall." Those lyrics and mellow drama don't belong on a Nevermore record.
The first couple of listens to the record provide quite an uneasy listen, but once you force it a few times it gets better, just don't expect godliness. You will find that you will be done with "Obsidian" much quicker than the last release. The depth is not there. You are done discovering everything after about 10 listens. It simply just doesn't have any more to give. Story over.

I referenced the wrong song as a "Brother rewrite." It should have been "The Blue Marble And The New Soul ." Great song title; stops there.

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