Nevermore

Nevermore

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This eponymous debut from Seattle's Nevermore had the right combination of traditional metal attitude and musicianship to garner significant attention in the European metal scene. The band was even awarded a much-coveted appearance at the Dutch Dynamo Open Air Festival -- the most prestigious event on the massive European metal festival circuit. Ex-Sanctuary members Warrel Dane (vocals), James Sheppard (bass), and Jeff Loomis (guitars) joined up with drummer Van Williams and second guitarist Pat O'Brien to form and record Nevermore without a record deal but with influential metal producer Neil Kernon, who had worked alongside legends like Judas Priest and Queensr├┐che. Nevermore shouldn't strike Sanctuary fans as unfamiliar. Dane's vocals and lyrics are dramatic, and the musicians make a forceful power metal noise. While similar, Nevermore's music has a dynamic, progressive edge to which the straight-ahead '80s European-style metal of Sanctuary never aspired. A distinct Queensr├┐che influence -- less apparent on Sanctuary discs and more pronounced on later Nevermore work -- can be heard within the clean guitar arpeggios and smooth vocal inflections on the tracks "The Sanity Assassin" and "The Hurting Words." A musical step forward for Dane and company, Nevermore launched the respectable underground metal career of its namesake via refined songcraft and excellent musicianship.

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