Nevermore
The Politics of Ecstasy


5.0
classic

Review

by K. McNichols USER (16 Reviews)
June 17th, 2007 | 48 replies


Release Date: 1996 | Tracklist


Freedom's never free, the politics of ecstasy are these:

Nevermore have never been known for following in the footsteps of others. Quite the opposite, the Seattle-born outfit seems to make a deliberate point with each release that they will continue to progress on the unique path they have created. What is this path? This is Nevermore; and You are The Passenger.

The Lineup:
Warrel Dane - Vocals
Jeff Loomis - Guitars
Jim Sheppard - Bass
Van Williams - Drums
Pat O'Brien - Guitars

The Politics of Ecstasy is the second full length release by Nevermore. This would be the last album to feature rhthym guitarist Pat O'Brien, as he was recruited by Cannibal Corpse to record Gallery of Suicide. O'Brien's death metal background contributes to making this one of the heaviest albums out there. One question you might ask about this album is "What makes this so special? It can't be classic." First, this is the album that Nevermore really captured their true sound. This is thrash as it hasn't been properly done in years, mixed with a progressive element that makes this one of my favorite albums of all time. And what makes this album so heavy after all? Controlled Brutality, organized chaos if you will. The feel of this record is similar to putting Rust In Peace, Tomb of the Mutilated, and Heartwork in a blender. You've got Thrashy riffs, Death Metal delivery, and Melodic solos, respectively.

Every band has a fanboy. You probably know at least one. That guy who thinks "X band can do no wrong, X band is perfect!" Well, I won't go that far, because Nevermore does have its flaws, but let me say, they're few and far between on this record. Most people who have listened to Nevermore have one common complaint: the vocals. Warrel Dane's voice is indescribable. His clean and operatic style stole my ears from the moment I heard Nevermore, though most seem to be annoyed by his voice. Whether you approve of the vocals or not, Warrel Dane is an invaluable piece of the Nevermore puzzle, especially on this record. His lyrical contributions are superb, and like many Nevermore records, this one has an underlying theme. [This is not a concept album, however.]

The Politics of Ecstasy was named after a book by Timothy Leary. The book's first chapter is called The Seven Tongues of God. Fittingly, the album kicks off with a track of the same name. Nevermore records always start heavy, and this one is no exception. The whole song is furious, every riff is relentless, and Jeff Loomis manages (as always) to leave a fantastic solo behind in his chaotic wake. Warrel definitely has a unique vocal style, and I would say that this track would be a highlight of his ability to use that to his advantage. As a guitar player, I am usually less than concerned with the rhythm sections of most of my favorite bands, but Nevermore's Jim Sheppard and Van Williams make it clear from the onset of the album that they have no intention of fading into the mix. Sheppard's bass is mixed rather well, and The Seven Tongues of God is just one example of his prowess. Lyrically, I interpret the meaning of the songs to focus on four main themes. Perception, Mentality, Government, and Society. Warrel's powerful poetic abilities are prevalent throughout the album, especially on the title track.

Nevermore albums are usually difficult to digest upon first listen due to the fact that there is always so much going on. However, The Politics of Ecstasy features a few songs that are relatively easy to groove on, and I would say these are: The Seven Tongues of God, Next In Line, and the Tianenmen Man. Let me put it this way, if Nevermore had a best-of album, those three would probably make an appearance on it. For the remaining songs, it may take a few spins to get into the groove of the tracks, but it is an experience I highly recommend.

My personal classification for Nevermore would probably be progressive thrash. This title is most aptly fitting for tracks like Lost, 42147, and The Learning. The entire album features nonstop technicality without sacrificing brutality and heaviness. Solo after ungodly solo is laid down by the relatively unknown guitar god Jeff Loomis. His lead work throughout the album is melodic, and he is a master of fitting the leads to the work with the rest of the song. The whole album has a twisted, deranged feel to it, and his solos express this perfectly. For example, the intro riff to Lost is one fine example of what I'm talking about here. Another aspect of this album that places it head and shoulders above the rest is balance. In the midst of the chaos that is The Politics of Ecstasy, Nevermore found the perfect niche for a power ballad, The Passenger, and a brief instrumental, Precognition. The latter displays more emotion and taste within its short two-minute length than most albums.

A perfect example of Dane's awe-inspiring lyrics would most likely be The Tiananmen Man. This track is about the events that took place in 1989, when a man challenged his native Communist government in China. The theme of this song fits perfectly with the concept of the whole album, and just when the intensity climaxes, Precognition's beautiful acoustic calming melody sweeps in. Nevemore seems determined at this point to wow the listener, and they accomplish this goal quite successfully. The final two tracks are probably the most magnificent of the album, especially The Learning.

The journey brings us now to one of the most unique songs in the Nevermore catalog:42147 (See my username). This one is a perfect example of Nevermore's uncanny ability to save the best for last, and it features a balance of extremely heavy guitar parts over fantastic and progressive "transitioning" sections. Overall, the song is indescribable. Unfortunately, Nevermore's magnum opus had to come to an end somewhere, yet The Learning proves to be the perfect spot to terminate this wild experience. This is definitely my favorite Nevemore song. The lyrics are similar to that of Sentient 6. An acoustic intro is followed by some of the most brutal riffs Nevemore have ever forged. Throughout the song, Jeff Loomis once again finds the perfect niche for two awe-inspiringly tasteful solos. All too soon, The Politics of Ecstasy comes to a close.

When men and machine become one,
Innocence is lost, a new age begun
Machines are still learning to feel
When I have awakened the world will never be the same
My time is soon at hand


The Experiment... Is Over.....



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Comments:Add a Comment 
rattlehead42147
June 17th 2007


1345 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

its 2 A.M. now so i'll make all the spell corrections in the morning, as well as the rest of the bolding/editing etc. I know its somewhat long winded but this is one of my favorite albums.This Message Edited On 06.17.07

kalkal50
June 17th 2007


2386 Comments


Sweet review, I actually like Nevermore now.. so Ill check this out, and your review conspicuously shows your passion for this band, good outcome m8ey

Confessed2005
June 17th 2007


3314 Comments


Nevermore are a fantastic band and I definitely need to get this - it's the only one I haven't heard any material from yet.

Cravinov13
June 17th 2007


3854 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

This is easily Nevermore's worst album. Nothing on here stands out from anything else they ever did.

Mikesn
Emeritus
June 17th 2007


3709 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

I was never into this album even when I was a fan of Nevermore, so meh. Pretty good review though.

Cravinov13
June 17th 2007


3854 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

I love Nevermore and I think this album blows with averageness. This Message Edited On 06.17.07

Shattered_Future
June 17th 2007


1541 Comments


Not a classic album but I think it's one of their better ones. Dane's voice is much better on here than the others.

rattlehead42147
June 17th 2007


1345 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

their worst album in my book is the first one. This one is outstanding in just about every respect.

Cravinov13
June 17th 2007


3854 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

I just think the songwriting is bad. At least the first album had What Tommorow Knows, otherwise it's just as bad.

meep17
June 17th 2007


136 Comments


I think Nevermore and this album are alright, but Warrel Dane would be a far better
singer if he didn't use variations on this one note pattern. I would sing it, but... uh...
no. I can't. Perhaps I'm wrong about him, but every song I've listened to starts out with
him singing a variation of this certain melody... argh. Oh, good review by the way.This Message Edited On 06.17.07

rattlehead42147
June 18th 2007


1345 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

i have no idea what you are talking about but if you point out a specific song or melody in a song then i might understand
it's a shame so many people don't know this band or if they do they don't give them the credit they deserveThis Message Edited On 06.19.07

Cravinov13
June 18th 2007


3854 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

many people do know this band though. and a lot of them only hate the vocals for the most part.

as for me, every song is a boring, toneless amount of space on this album. it's like a dumbed down Enemies Of Reality to me.

Wizard
June 18th 2007


19613 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Fuck, what a great review. I simply love reading your Nevermore reviews because your fanboyism makes your writing and description of this band sound exciting. I definitely agree with your statement that this is Nevermore's first album where they captured their true sound. But I would say that they got better with each preceeding album after this one.

Digging: Hans Zimmer - Interstellar

Cravinov13
June 18th 2007


3854 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

they got much... much better

rattlehead42147
June 19th 2007


1345 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

@the wizard
thanks dude, it's great to hear that but no vote?
@cravinov
gotta give these guys credit at least for the leadwork on this album

Cravinov13
June 19th 2007


3854 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

why do you think i's as high as a 2.5? If Jeff Loomis wasn't so awesome this album would get a 1.5 from me.

Wizard
June 19th 2007


19613 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Sorry rattlehead, you have my vote now!

rattlehead42147
June 19th 2007


1345 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

thanks :p

FR33L0RD
July 6th 2007


1464 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

The more i listen to Nevermore, the more i like them
vocals are ok with me know

and good review..you have my vote

rattlehead42147
July 6th 2007


1345 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

great! thanks a lot dude, i love this band.



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