NEVERMORE Complete Songwriting Process For The Obsidian Conspiracy; Set for the Studio in Late Summer

Seattle’s NEVERMORE have recently completed the songwriting process for the follow up to 2005’s This Godless Endeavor entitled The Obsidian Conspiracy.

The band will commence recording in August with producer/SOILWORK guitarist Peter Wichers (who previously worked with NEVERMORE vocalist Warrel Dane on his solo debut Praises to the War Machine). Longtime friend and collaborator Andy Sneap will once again be handling mixing duties. The album is currently set for an early 2010 release. Fans can also follow Dane on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/warrel_dane for updates as to the progress of the new album.

Dane comments: “These songs are full of newfound rage, lyrically and musically. Jeff Loomis has come up with some amazing new riffs that will no doubt please old and new fans alike. Also, I think the combination of Peter and Andy will result in something very, very special.”

JEFF LOOMIS – Zero Order Phase

If you’ve been listening to underground metal for the past 10 years or so, you’ve probably had the pleasure to hear NEVERMORE‘s unsung lead guitarist Jeff Loomis. To call Loomis‘ progressive, heavy, and technically superior guitar playing “modern” would be a great place to start. Zero Order Phase represents his first entry into the instrumental guitar album genre. It clearly shows dimensions of Loomis‘ playing and songwriting which have never been displayed before. While opening song, “Shouting Fire at a Funeral,” may sound like it could’ve been a NEVERMORE song, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that. In place of where one would expect Warrel Dane‘s vocals to come in, Loomis plays beautiful melodic leads that possess the perfect tone. “Opulent Maelstrom” is a great mix of dissonance, jazz fusion, and soaring leads. Actually, Zero Order Phase is all about tasteful and soaring leads. The songs themselves are compelling and solid enough to stand alone as legit songs as opposed to being a mere platform for Loomis to just play solos. Zero Order Phase also features a good amount of variety in the songs such as the mellow yet strong “Azure Haze” and the weird juxtapositions of ominous parts and light Indian-like jams of “Cashmere Shiv.” “Sacristy” is the only track that actually sounds more in line with what a typical guitar instrumental album would sound like with its progressive feel and solo style. “Devil Theory” and “Miles of Machines” showcase Loomis‘ mindblowing speed, technique, and feel as he tears up the fretboard in awesome fashion. The album’s final track, “Departure,” is a haunting and beautiful acoustic track that picks up where the acoustic intro to OZZY‘s “Diary of a Madman” left off. Even if guitar instrumental albums are not your thing, Zero Order Phase stands out for being more song-oriented, unremorsefully metal, and just plain more compelling. If you’re looking for a true guitar hero, Jeff Loomis is your man. (Century Media Records)

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NEVERMORE Guitarist Announces Solo Project; Enters The Studio

One of metal’s most talented shredders, Jeff Loomis, of NEVERMORE fame will further prove his undeniable skills with his first solo project, which is set for a fall release. The ambitious offering is an all instrumental effort and is destined to shed some much deserved spotlight on the genre’s most notable, yet unsung, guitar player.

Loomis states: “Hi everyone. I just wanted to give you all an update on the solo project. I entered Robert Lang studios on March 22nd with producer Neil Kernon (NEVERMORE) and drummer Mark Arrington. Mark completed the drums for 10 tracks in about three and a half days. He did some incredible drum work that I know will bring this record to a higher level than I expected. Mark and I worked before back in 1993-94 when he played half the songs on our debut CD. Being able to do this entire recording with Neil is really amazing as well. We’ve done some great work in the past, but being able to focus on an entire instrumental record is going to be great. Rhythm guitars will be tracked next. I’ll keep everyone informed on the progress as we track for the next month.”

NEVERMORE Vocalist Announces Solo Album Details

After much anticipation, the stunning, inaugural solo effort from NEVERMORE vocalist Warrel Dane will finally see a North American release on May 13th. With this effort one of metal’s most defining and revolutionary vocalists further hones his craft to perfection.

Dane, who first shattered the boundaries of conventionality with the legendary SANCTUARY and NEVERMORE, proves that he is one of metal’s most diverse frontmen with this solo effort as he unleashes a barrage of introspective and personal lyrics that are heartfelt and extremely powerful. All of this emotion backed with his soaring angelic and dynamic vocals provides all of the necessary elements for a savagely captivating, melodic assault that quickly hooks you in. This exhilarating new offering begins a new chapter for Dane and will soon further solidify his spot as one of the genre’s most influential artists.

Before beginning this new venture Dane went out and surrounded himself with some of the best musicians that he could find. This search ultimately resulted in landing the renowned Peter Wichers (ex-SOILWORK) on guitars and bass, Dirk Verbeuren (SOILWORK) on drums and Matt Wicklund (ex-HIMSA) on guitars. The effort was also recorded and mixed by Wichers (co-producer SOILWORK).

Dane further comments as to how this solo effort came about: “Right around the time NEVERMORE was recording This Godless Endeavour I started talking to Peter Wichers about maybe doing something together. I think we both wanted to do something different and that’s ultimately what got the ball rolling. I had always wanted to work with a songwriter that had a more song based approach rather than focusing on technical skills and Peter was exactly that. We collaborated on almost everything and I wrote all the lyrics and melodies. Peter had great ideas at times for harmonies, that’s what a good producer does, and I think he’s really come into his own as a producer with this record.

“The purpose of doing this project was to step out of the confines of NEVERMORE and focus on coming up with memorable songs instead of constructing songs that showcased everyone’s skills. The material is more straightforward than NEVERMORE, but I don’t know what to call it. I think my influences have really played a part of the sound. I love old school goth and I love thrash metal, and every other kind of metal, there’s a little bit of all of that in the record.”

SCARVE: Thrashing Young Lads

France generally isn’t the first, second, third, or fourth European country you think of when you think of “metal,” but France’s SCARVE is putting their stamp on the metal world one album at a time. 2004’s impressive Irradiant piqued ears and garnered comparisons to MESHUGGAH and STRAPPING YOUNG LAD. That year also saw drummer, Dirk Verbeuren, join Sweden’s SOILWORK. Despite seemingly unending singer woes, SCARVE dropped their latest, The Undercurrent, to an unsuspecting public. The Undercurrent is a dynamic album of gobsmacking technical metallic goodness. APESHIT pinned down the ever-busy Dirk to tell us more about France’s latest stars on the up and up.

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