Dreaming Neon Black
Review by Luka on May 20, 2001.
Mighty Nevermore outdo themselves again, this probably being their strongest album ever. Jeff Loomis’ eerie guitar notes hover over tight shredding and constant double-bass drumming while Warrel Dane wails about insanity, death, dreams and the like.
The songs start off very heavy and aggressive but the more of the album you listen, the more the songs start to turn slow, melodic, and emotional. At first I branded these lighter, more acoustic-based songs like "Deconstruction" or "The Lotus Eaters" pure filler material, and so about half of the album really annoyed me. Eventually I grew to like these songs and now sometimes look forward to them even more than the heavy ones, so the album takes time to get into. The light songs give the album so much character, had it been traditional heavy metal all the way through it wouldn’t have impressed me too much at all.
The musicianship is well... what can I say? Warrel Dane (ex-Sanctuary) has one of the most distinctive voices in metal while Jeff Loomis is a guitarist of great renown. Amazing solos, amazing lyrics, amazing vocals, drumming... Nevermore, along with Iced Earth, are the prime representatives of American metal to the world, and are distinctly more heavy and aggressive than European power metal bands, making up for cheesy melodies (that are becoming a power metal trademark) with rough, chord-based riffs. Yet the irony of them still being far more famous in Europe or Japan than in their own country is still there.
My favorites from the heavy cuts would be "The Death of Passion" and "The Fault of the Flesh", while "The Lotus Eaters" and "All Play Dead" are the finest of the melodic, emotional tracks.
Bottom Line: This album epitomizes everything about 90’s American underground heavy metal, with enough fine musicianship and magnitude to become a classic.
Rating: 9 out of 10