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Album Reviews : Nevermore – The Year of The Voyager

By on December 10, 2008

Well, as we all know the live DVD of Nevermore entitled, “The Year of the Voyager” has been in the making for quite sometime with afew hickups on the way. You could say the title of the DVD is somewhat a comparison to the trails and tribulations that band had to go through before its release. The DVD was originally going to be released in the midst of 2006, but due to major illness’s and personal problems with certain band members the project had to be scrapped til a later date.

Warrel Dane had to be excused for having a severe throat infection which pushed the recording and release date back even further, while rhythm guitarist at the time Steve Smyth was diagnosed with severe kidney problems and was replaced with Chris Broderick, whom now resides in Megadeth. Luckily though the band pushed through these obstacles and finally released the DVD through Century Media Records in November of this year.

The package consists of 2DVDs an 2CDs which comprise of an entire live show in Zeche Bochum, which was recorded in Germany on October 11th, 2006. The live set consists of songs from the bands entire career leading up to their 2006 release, “This Godless Endeavor”. The quality of the show is quite impressive with multiple camera angles, unique lighting and a great atmosphere which is reminiscent of when I saw Nevermore tour Australia back in 2007, this could be somewhat due to the venue looking awfully alot like the Esplanade Hotel in which the band played while in Melbourne, Australia.

The show starts off with a mellow introduction of “Precognition”, the song is a instrumental track from the bands third release “The Politics of Ecstasy” which introduces the band members to the stage. Once on stage the show explodes with the audience being hurdled into Nevermore’s somewhat latest single “Final Product”, which to me sounds more tight and well conducted then the album version, and that can be pretty much said for the entire setlist of the Zeche Bochum show.

I’ve always thought that no matter how good Nevermore play in the studio, they always play on par or even better live. Even if most bands nowadays have the greatest setup in the world they still never seem to get along, yet Nevermore seem to have a common bond with each and the final result is the great music which is delivered to us in this live show. The whole show flows quite nicely and each song is delivered with excellent musicianship on all fronts, there is a minor technical stuff up here and there but aside from that the whole show is well received by the entire audience.

The bands stage presences is quite unique with the charismatic and somewhat obsessed masquerade mask wearing Warrell Dane (If your a fan of Nevermore or Warrel Dane I’m sure you’ll understand what I’m talking about), who has the Midas touch when it comes to reveling up a crowd. Jeff Loomis with his talented guitar skills looms in the same position throughout the entire show, but blows both our minds and faces off with his amazing guitar shredding skills. Chris Broderick adds to the marvel with his own unique playing, and as a team, both Loomis and Broderick are just amazing to watch on stage. The band as a whole just sound amazing, full stop.

I was alittle skeptical at first how well their sound would be received, as in the past even at major festivals and live shows they haven’t been offered the credit they deserve due to poor mixing of sound or late sound checks, yet everything is on par with the mixing and sound thanks to the valiant effort of master producer Andy Sneap, and it just sounds amazing pumping through my 5.1 stereo system.

The venue at which they play at is quite small, but no matter where Nevermore play they always seem to produce a great chunky sound which propels their political driven music to all corners of the room, and is shown quite clearly in the faces of the fans while they raise their metal horns in the air and headbang to the formidable sounds of Nevermore.

The show does cover the bands entire career with famous tracks like “Enemies of Reality”, “Next in Line”, “Matricide” and the epic saga and continuation of “The Learning” and “Sentient”. I was however hoping they’d at least play one Sanctuary song for old time sake, as many fans of Nevermore including myself are hoping one day yet they’ll include one in their repertoire  of great prog metal epics, either live or re-recorded.

For those who are unfamiliar with the work of Sanctuary, it was a project which Jim Sheppard and Warrel Dane created in the late 1980’s. Their first album, “Refuge Denied” which was produced by Dave Mustaine (Megadeth) had a typical thrash sound which got them in the lime light at the time, but it wasn’t til the early 1990’s with their second release “Into the Mirror Black” which both evolved their music and playing and in the end started the revolution of Nevermore.

All in all the Zeche Bochum show is both amazing to watch and listen too. If your just recently getting into Nevermore I strongly advise you pick up this release up as it also includes a look back at the bands past live shows including their famous 2006 Wacken show in which almost 60,000 people were moshing and crowd surfing to the destructive sound of “Born”.

If you’ve been a longtime fan of Nevermore Im sure you’ll pick it up regardless, but I gotta say this package is amazing. For the small fortune its worth you get over 4 hours of live music, including  2001’s Live at the Roxy, which Nevermore play along side Strapping Young Lad, Skinlab, Scar Culture and Shadows Fall in Los Angles for Century Media’s 10 year anniversary.

Also included is their live performance at the 2005 Gignatour, which is a perfect example of them not getting the right mix, great show but the mixing is just awful, but still valid enough to listen too. Other extras include the bands entire entourage of promotional music videos, various trailers and a interview with Warrell Dane who explains the process of creating the new live DVD, and gives us alittle insight into the bands future works.

This live DVD is a great retrospective of Nevermore‘s work so far, and offers many hours of listening enjoyment. It maybe abit pricey for some, but its worth every cent. 8.5/10

Band: Nevermore
Album: The Year of the Voyager
Year: 2008
Genre: Progressive Metal, Traditional Heavy Metal
Label: Century Media
Origin: Seattle/Washington, USA
www.nevermore.tv

Tracklisting:

Zeche Bochum, Germany:
October 11th, 2006

1. Intro/Final Product
2. My Acid Words
3. What Tomorrow Knows/ Garden of Grey
4. Next In Line
5. Enemies of Reality
6. I. Voyager
7. The Politics of Ecstasy
8. The River Dragon Has Come
9. I Am The Dog
10. Dreaming Neon Black
11. Matricide
12. Dead Heart In A Dead World
13. Inside Four Walls
14. The Learning/Sentient
15. Narcosynthesis
16. The Heart Collector
17. Born
18. This Godless Endeavor

Gigantour:
September 2nd, 2005

1. Born
2. Enemies of Reality

Metal Mania:
March 4, 2006

1. Final Product
2. Heart Collector
3. Enemies of Reality
4. The Seven Tongues of God

Wacken Open Air:
August 4, 2006

1. Final Product
2. Narcosysnthesis
3. Engines of Hate
4. Born

Promotional Videos:

1. What Tomorrow Knows
2. Next In Line
3. Believe In Nothing
4. I, Voyager
5. Final Product
6. Born
7. Narcosysthesis

About

Anwar is the editor-in-chief of Metal Obsession.net. When Anwar isn't busy promoting tours, interviewing bands and reviewing awesome music, he loves to collect metal vinyl and play video games. Follow Metal Obsession on Twitter and Facebook