Thu. Nov 26th, 2020

(2000) Nevermore – Dead Heart in a Dead World: Anniversary Special

With their roots in Seattle, the city of grunge, NEVERMORE was founded when the thrash/power metal act SANCTUARY was pressured by its record label to change its musical style to grunge, which was “in” at the time, especially active in Seattle. Not obeying to the pressure of belonging to the mainstream, vocalist Warrel Dane and bassist Jim Sheppard started NEVERMORE and the rest is history. For years, NEVERMORE surprised the music scene with their creative blend of music until 2011, when the band went into a hiatus. For years, there was speculation of a reunion, until vocalist Warrel Dane, unexpectedly passed away in 2017.

On 17 October 2000, NEVERMORE released their iconic “Dead Heart in a Dead World.” Due to the use of seven-string guitars, the album – which focuses on topics such as criticism of drug possession penalties to rejection of religion – sounds darker than ever. If this is your first time hearing about NEVERMORE, it’s almost impossible to categorize them into a subgenre, due to the various style the band used, ranging from progressive and power metal to heavy and thrash metal.

From the start of the album, NEVERMORE makes clear that this album is an exciting piece of music, with grande compositions. Opener “Narcosynthesis” is proof of that, with its instant dark riffs, the track pulls you into the unique universe of NEVERMORE. As the album progresses and songs fly by, each composition possibly more impressive than the previous, NEVERMORE surprises the listener continuously, using different patterns for each song. “The River Dragon Has Come” lingers on for a while, so it seems that a melodic ballad like “The Heart Collector” is a well-thought-out piece with which to follow. There is not much time for lingering though, since the heavy and fast-paced “Engines of Hate” creates a lot of intensity once again. One of the many highlights of this album is the peculiar “Sound of Silence” cover, originally by SIMON & GARFUNKEL. Aside from the intro and the lyrics, both of these renditions don’t have a lot in common and it becomes increasingly difficult to recognize the original track in NEVERMORE‘s version. The title track and closer “Dead Heart in a Dead World” provides suiting ending to an album that impresses and surprises the listener almost every second that goes by.

Altogether, “Dead Heart in a Dead World” is a timeless piece of music, that ages beautifully like a bottle of red wine. Never have such grim topics sounded so beautiful and cathartic. All of these songs hit close to home and are out of this world.

Tracklist

1. Narcosynthesis
2. We Disintegrate
3. Inside Four Walls
4. Evolution 169
5. The River Dragon Has Come
6. The Heart Collector
7. Engines Of Hate
8. The Sound Of Silence
9. Insignificant
10. Believe In Nothing
11. Dead Heart In A Dead World

Lineup

Warrel Dane – vocals

Jeff Loomis – guitars

Jim Sheppard – bass

Van Williams – drums

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