The arrival of a new NEVERMORE album should always be considered a gift to the metal community and The Obsidian Conspiracy is no exception. Both great and good songs are what make NEVERMORE’s latest another success. And as we’ve come to expect, there are the invaluable, intangible characteristics of powerful emotions, fierceness, and metal spirit. “And the Maiden Spoke” is highly reminiscent of KING DIAMOND-style story telling as it deals with the ghost of a maiden. “Emptiness Unobstructed” is hands down one of the best songs that the band have ever written. The song opens up with a brilliantly emotional and compelling chorus led by vocalist Warrel Dane. “Without Morals” contains another one of the band’s best and passionate choruses. “The Obsidian Conspiracy,” scorches with urgency and the kind of tension that perfectly ends the album.
As much as the band have demonstrated just how insanely proficient and talented they are at their respective instruments, there are times on the new album when you feel as if they’ve gotten even better. Just the opening riff of the album with its lighting speed notes and precision is enough to make you shake your head. One aspect of the brilliance that lays on The Obsidian Conspiracy is the band’s ability to take a commonly used metal riffing style, tempo, etc. and give it a fresh, inventive, and invigorating stamp on it. As much as there are these young metal bands being touted for their technical prowess, few bands aside from latter era DEATH, DECAPITATED, or NILE can touch NEVERMORE’s absolutely intense, technical brilliance.
While it may or may not be obvious, Warrel Dane is one of the best (clean) vocalists in one of the heaviest bands in metal. His charisma and his ability to make all his memorable vocal lines sound absolutely natural and potent is something that should never be underappreciated. He may be one of the last of a dying breed.
If you want to know what defines “modern metal,” The Obsidian Conspiracy is exhibit 1. (Century Media Records)
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.”
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 metalâ€™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 metalâ€™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 genreâ€™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: â€œRight 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 thatâ€™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.
â€œThe 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 everyoneâ€™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.â€
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.