Review Summary: What a great album. This recording mixes thrash, neoclassical, and prog metal into one decisive whole.
Most people compare this band with Iced Earth, but I'd never fully agree with this, especially since Nevermore is so much better. Nevermore has more changes, is less repetitive, and overall keeps the attention of the listener to a higher degree. This is especially aided by Jeff Loomis' guitar work, which focuses on neoclassical metal, mainly in the solos. Van Williams has got to be one of the best drummers of the genre, too, with a more progressive touch to the band. Then there's Warrel Dane, leading the band. What's quite unbelievable is that his voice can go to a range of about 6 octaves! Jim Shepherd does quite a good job of backing everything up with his bass. Overall, this makes for a solid line-up.
From the very moment that Enemies of Reality starts with the title track, you know you're in for quite a ride. The first thing that could most likely be noticed is a bit of an Arch Enemy influence. It starts out with an unforgivingly pounding opening riff. Afterwards, it goes into a slower section for the verse, yet the intensity never lets up. The lyrics generally talk about society as a whole and how it's breaking and decaying and leaving us in the dust. Somehow, while the solo wouldn't seem really memorable, it actually sticks in your head for a while and you'll find yourself humming it periodically. Ambivalent continues the progression here of intense progressive thrash, but it has a very odd, almost happy/cynical-sounding chorus, and then it goes through an extreme metal-esque riff. It is very solid, nonetheless.
Never Purify was a bit of a dissapointment to me. The song seemed to lack general direction and the chorus wasn't particularly memorable. It just seemed to pass by me a bit. However, the worries were cleared with Tomorrow Turned Into Yesterday, the first ballad out of the two. This song is actually pretty peaceful for Nevermore. Also note that Warrel Dane emphasizes his vocals a bit too much, but it builds to the emotion and is still vital, and emphasizing the vocals can remind one of such. The mood seems to totally change with Voyager 1. This song starts with a Slayer-esque riff at the beginning, but then it, again, still retains the Nevermore sound. The chorus is good and notably progressive, too.
Create the Infinite is a more extreme metal-styled track. It is also the shortest song, but a lot of heavy or fast thrash songs are generally short, just look at Reign in Blood or Megadeth's debut. Overall, there's not much else to say here, but it's definitely a good song. Who Decides is the next and last ballad, yet it starts out with a crazy death metal-esque riff. After that it slows down considerably to fit the ballad. Overall, this one is more melodic, but still not as good as the first ballad on the album. It gets pretty repetitive and the "ballad" description doesn't hold up its promise as a full ballad, more so a power ballad. Overall, though, it's still a notewothy song.
Ah, now we reach the final two tracks, Neuronemon and Seed Awakening. These two go hand in hand with each other and have a bit of a concept about the corruption of society overall. Neuronemon is a very slow, doomy song in general. The beginning verse sounds a bit like something from Promised Land by Queensryche, except a bit more experimental as a whole. Then, Seed Awakening, is a complete change. It switches from the slow experimental style to a fast-paced thrash song. However, there are still some experimtental moments, like in the middle, you hear an atmospheric part with Warrel Dane whispering "The masses love the death show", then it suddenly changes again for the chorus. Then it repeats that process again. Afterwards, there's a larger-than-life neoclassical solo. Then one more chorus pops up. Great end to the album.
Overall, Nevermore created a solid progressive thrash album without overextending itself. Actually, one thing I'd like to point out is that this album is pretty brief for a prog metal recording, only going slightly over 40 mins. and it also doesn't have a real epic, but that's still totally fine. An album as good as this can be concise, anyways.