Music / Nevermore
Nevermore are a Progressive Metal
band (with influences from every Metal sub-genre this side of Norway thrown into the mix) formed from the ashes of Power-Metallers Sanctuary in Seattle, 1991. They are noted for the blazing, technical lead guitar playing of Jeff Loomis
, as well as frontman Warrel Dane's distinctively atonal and cynical singing style. Difficult to pigeonhole, the band tends towards the darker, more instrumentally complex sides of progressive music - though chaotic and heavy enough to compete with the most aggressive of thrash bands, they retain many more progressive aspects such as acoustic segments, classically influenced guitar arrangements and Dane's vocal delivery.
Vocalist Warrel Dane and bassist Jim Sheppard founded the band. They were veterans of Sanctuary, more or less a power metal group with thrash influences. Guitarist Jeff Loomis had recently quit a death metal band because he was sick of the vocal approach
, and was accompanied by Guitarist Pat O'Brien, who would later quit to join Cannibal Corpse
(his favorite band).
The band debuted in 1991. They then became more progressive with sophomore effort The Politics of Ecstasy
, but otherwise, things remained the same.Dreaming Neon Black
took the progressive instrumentation of ''TPoE'' and toned it down a bit, but the lyrics became far more ambitious. The album is a Concept Album
, with lyrics about Dane's girlfriend, who got involved and a religious cult and is now missing.
However, the band's signature sound didn't settle until the release of Dead Heart in a Dead World
in 2001, when Loomis busted out the detuned 7-string guitars and increased the pervasiveness of the Black and Death influences in their sound. However, the album was not without it's softer moments
, and whilst these moments are generally agreed to fit on the record (and ballad "Believe In Nothing" is even a fan favorite), 2003's Enemies of Reality
, the follow-up, is usually considered their heaviest album overall.
Then, the band went for contrast. The result is 2005's This Godless Endeavor
, which has soft moments again (The first halves of "Sentient 6", "A Future Uncertain", and the Title Track
), but the heavy parts of the album (everything else) got even heavier
. This album made many Metal Magazines "Top X Albums of the Year" and "Top X Albums of the Decade" lists.
Then they toured for it. And toured for it. And toured for it
The intense workout they got from having to play all those songs night after night lead to their most recent effort, The Obsidian Conspiracy
, which, whilst still plenty Cynical
, is becoming regarded as something of a Breather Episode
It would've been interesting to see where the band went next: Softer? Heavier? More progressive? Even lower guitar tunings?
But then Loomis and drummer Van Williams quit, to the fans' dismay.
Singer Warrel Dane and bassist Jim Sheppard are the only current members of Nevermore, and both are concentrating on the reunion of Sanctuary. Loomis is even busier, juggling a solo career, the progressive metal supergroup Conquering Dystopia, and as of recent, Arch-Enemy
, while Williams has largely retired from music outside of Ashes of Ares, which tours irregularly. Dane has hinted that a Nevermore reunion is very likely, but it will probably be without Loomis and almost definitely without Williams; Attila Voros, however, will likely be one of the new inductees. As of December 2017, whatever hope remained is gone, as Warrel Dane passed away as the result of a heart attack.
- Nevermore (1995)
- The Politics of Ecstasy (1996)
- Dreaming Neon Black (1999)
- Dead Heart in a Dead World (2000)
- Enemies of Reality (2003)
- This Godless Endeavor (2005)
- The Obsidian Conspiracy (2010)
Tropes associated with Nevermore:
- Album Title Drop: All of their albums, however, the words "Neon Black" were dropped into the lyrics of their cover of Simon and Garfunkel's "The Sound of Silence".
- The Alcoholic: Dane and Sheppard became infamous for excessive drinking and it's been all but confirmed as one of the bigger reasons why Loomis and Williams left. Coupled with diabetes, it was also what ultimately led to Dane's death.
- Ballad of X: "Timothy Leary" from self-titled.
- The Band Minus the Face: If they do continue, Nevermore will not be the same without Van's drumming, or, more importantly, Jeff Loomis' guitar playing. Thus, this trope arguably comes into play, and with the death of Warrel Dane capping it off, the signs seem to indicate that Nevermore truly is gone for good.
- Concept Album: Dreaming Neon Black is this: it's about the supposedly true tale of Dane's ex-girlfriend, who got caught up in a Relgious Cult and was never heard from again.
- Cover Version: "The Sound of Silence" subverts this- the lyrics are the same, but the music is all original. (See In the Style of... below)
- Early Installment Weirdness: This happens to everything from Dreaming Neon Black backwards if someone listens to anything from ''Dead Heart in a Dead World'' onward first. The first three albums are best described as Progressive-Post-Thrash. Everything after is that, but cranked Up to Eleven. This can also apply to a few tracks on Nevermore, which just sound like really heavy Grunge.
- Epic Rocking: They have a few long songs - The Politics of Ecstasy and This Godless Endeavor both have notably extensive title tracks.
- Genre-Busting: A weird case in that while their sound isn't exactly oblique, they still don't really fit into any one genre. Thrash metal, progressive metal, power metal, djent, and death metal all blur together into something that is fairly accessible, but still very, very difficult to pigeonhole. Most people refer to them as progressive metal and leave it at that.
- Harsh Vocals: Considering the Extreme metal influences on everything in the post-Dead World-era, this is surprisingly averted. Played straight on "Born" from This Godless Endeavor.
- Iconic Item: Loomis' signature red Schecter C7 FR (he also owns and occasionally uses a C7 Hellraiser and a C7 Blackjack, but the signature model is what he usually uses for live appearances as of now).
- In the Style of...: "The Sound of Silence" In the Style of Nevermore! What.
- Jerkass: Sheppard and Dane both apparently had their moments of this, thanks to a combination of excessive drinking and highly unpleasant personality shifts while drunk.
- Large Ham: Warrel.
- Matricide: The title of one of the songs on the In Memory EP. It is actually a song about how humanity is killing Mother Earth, rather than actually about someone killing their actual mother.
- Metal Scream: Dane's been known to pull off a few of the high wails, though they were more common in his Sanctuary days. Recent Nevermore material occasionally showcases more harsh, aggressive vocalization bordering on the kind displayed in extreme metal.
- Mohs Scale of Rock and Metal Hardness: Generally around a 7 or 8, with some material as low as 2 and some sections (particularly on the more recent material) pushing towards 9/10 with brutal 7-string riffs and snarled vocals.
- New Sound Album: Dead Heart in a Dead World. The next album, Enemies of Reality, goes Up to Eleven. This Godless Endeavor does the exact same thing to Enemies of Reality.
- Power Metal: They have been associated with the genre, but it's debatable if they are, and if they are at all, they are far more popular among fans of extreme metal than most power metal bands as well as far heavier.
- Protest Song: A lot of their stuff.
- Sliding Scale of Idealism vs. Cynicism: Warrel's lyrics are almost anviliciously cynical, which fits the band's generally dark tone.
- Self-Backing Vocalist: Who ELSE can back Warrel Dane? They use samples live for him to harmonize to.
- Self-Titled Album: Their debut album.
- Take That!: Their Protest Songs are usually framed as this towards government, religion, and the advance of technology.
- Talk to the Fist: Dane was on the receiving end of this from Billy Milano (Stormtroopers of Death, M.O.D.). The actual reason is still up in the air; some accounts allege that Dane was drunk, depressed, and generally having a bad night and that Milano told him to stop whining before punching him, while others allege that Dane was piss drunk and acting like an asshole, and that Milano had been the target of significant amounts of verbal abuse and finally decided to do something about it. Some facts are consistent, however: Dane was drunk, Milano punched him, the police were called, and Milano was hauled off.
- Uncommon Time: Inevitable for a prog metal act. While not as extreme as some, they've pulled off some tricky examples, such as the main riff to "Psalm of Lydia".
- Wham Episode: Jeff and Van quitting.
- Word Salad Title: "Dreaming Neon Black" amongst many, many others.
- Word Salad Lyrics: Warrel Dane's attempts to put together cryptic but meaningful lyrics fails sometimes.