Review by Sonny for Nevermore - This Godless Endeavor (2005) Review by Sonny for Nevermore - This Godless Endeavor (2005)

Sonny Sonny / June 13, 2020 / 1

I am always suspicious of bands that are the darlings of the metal press, as Nevermore certainly were at one time. Mags like Kerrang!, Metal Hammer and Terrrorizer always seemed to be the bitches of the record labels and would schmooze whatever crap the labels were pushing at the time. This is why I spend so much of my time mooching in the metal underground listening to obscure shit no one else cares about I suppose. I have no objection to popular bands, I just like to discover them my own way, not have them pushed into my face by some music press hack at the behest of a record label marketing exec. Furthermore I had somehow garnered the impression that Nevermore were some kind of Dream Theater clone (which certainly didn't help endear them to me).
Anyway, encouraged by positive reviews on this very site, I took the plunge and so, This Godless Endeavor is my first experience of the band. While it is undoubtedly true that they are more Dream Theater than Dream Death, luckily they eschew the endless technical wankery I associate with that bunch of insufferable prog metallers. At first listen I wasn't all that impressed I must confess. Having approached the album from the perspective of a member of The Pit, I was expecting a lot more on the thrash front, but the album seems to contain very little true thrash. I would say it's more akin to the thrash-derived power metal of early Iced Earth. So I then came at it from a different perspective, with more of an open mind to the prog elements. Now my current yardstick for progressive metal are albums like Blood Incantation's Hidden History... and Venenum's Trance of Death, both of which exhibit a degree of visceral aggression which contrasts the intellectual progressiveness and gives a more complete experience in my opinion. This Godless Endeavor does exhibit a little of this primal aggression, but it feels stilted and constrained compared to the more cerebral aspects of the album, which are still the main focus. However, even I must agree, it is done very well, there are some quite memorable, well-written songs and the performance is excellent. I can certainly hear why many people are fans, but it doesn't quite hit the intangibles for me. Sure, I'll nod my head in appreciation at a riff, a solo or a vocal melody but at no point did it make make me want to shout "FUCK YEAH!!" and I think the very best metal should do just that.

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