Album Review: Nevermore ‘The Obsidian Conspiracy’

Five years ago, an album came out that took over my CD player for the better half of the summer: ‘This Godless Endeavor’ by Seattle, Washington metal band Nevermore. To this day, it is considered to be one of the bands finest albums and I still blast it on the college campus, scaring the students (hey, it gives me a sick thrill, okay?). So, to say that I was excited for a new Nevermore album after a five-year wait is somewhat of an understatement. So, my thoughts on the album, you ask? Well, head on past the jump to find out!


The album starts out with ‘Termination Proclamation’, which opens up with a chaotic whirlwind of guitar riffing and drums that sound all over the place. It’s 25 seconds of pure, unadulterated fury. Suddenly, at the 26-second mark, all the music comes together with frightening clarity and precision to create what is sure to become a mosh pit event at all future Nevermore concerts. Warrel Dane’s soaring, theatrical vocals are just as powerful and commanding. The only way to describe how Warrel sings is to explain that it is like listening to Morgan Freeman or Christopher Lee tell a story: Either one could be talking about the most mundane subject and you would still be rapt with attention. It is one hell of a track that is a perfect way to start off ‘The Obsidian Conspiracy’: Nevermore is definitely back. 
The production on the album is nigh well impeccable. Andy Sneap (Opeth, Megadeth, Killswitch Engage) reprised his mixing and mastering skills on this album just as he did with ‘Dead Heart in a Dead World’, ‘This Godless Endeavor’ and the reissue of ‘Enemies of Reality’. The 7-string guitars sound thick and enormous, the bass is present as a wall of low end that never muddies up the sound and still leaves room for the boom and thud of the drum toms and bass drum to come through with sharp clarity. Warrel’s vocals are beautifully tracked and the harmonies are mixed so well that it’s hard to hear them as separate entities. The album is also mixed very spaciously so, if you have good headphones, ease back and enjoy. 
So, with all of these glowing comments, is there anything wrong with the album? Well, as fun and intense as these songs are, I feel that they don’t have the same ‘grab you by the throat’ feeling that ‘This Godless Endeavor’ gave me. It’s apparent that these guys know how to rock and anyone who says they can’t play is obviously completely unaware of how instruments work and the theory behind the music. But after five years, I was expecting something just a bit more ferocious. Perhaps I hyped myself up too much: I’m perfectly okay with believing that this is a possibility. 
Overall, this album is a necessity for metal heads. It’s a great album to blast as you’re driving but be careful of the first 30 seconds of the title track: If it doesn’t get your blood boiling and the hair on the back of your neck to stand on end, you are quite obviously dead. 
4.5 out of 5