Review Summary: Calling all metal elites: grab this up.
1992 Nevermore was:
Warrel Dane – Vocals
Jeff Loomis - Guitars
Jim Sheppard – Bass
Mark Arrington – Drums
Legend has it that in 1987 now renowned guitarist Jeff Loomis auditioned for a spot in Megadeth at the ripe age of 16 but was turned down due to his young age; never the less, Dave Mustaine was quite impressed with this youngster and told him he would one day be a phenomenal guitarist. It goes without saying that Dave’s prediction came about with prophetic accuracy. Flash forward five years to 1992 and we listeners are getting our first formal listen to this guitar-gripping maniac; the rest of the band isn’t half bad either (in fact they’re awesome).
What makes demos so great are the flashes of brilliance and the glimpses into the future that they present us with. Pure unadulterated talent and creativity. Nevermind the murky, low-budget sound production they usually take form in; this album is no different in that regard. In fact, you’ve got to turn the volume all the way up to even hear all the audible nuances. Jeff Loomis’ solos have incredible clarity given the overall quality of the recording, and his soloing cuts through the noise like a heated dagger through flesh.
Warrel Dane’s trademark vocals are unmistakable even in the early days. In “The Hurting Words”, Dane cringes and howls sometimes I feel like drowning just to make you saaaaaaaaaaay…
. Fans of Nevermore will notice that “The Hurting Words” was later included on the group’s 1994 self-titled debut; likewise were “Garden of Gray” and “God Money.”
The complexity and artistry of this demo is incredible. Whereas most demos consist of ideas and strewn-together songs that have an amateurish feel, Nevermore’s Utopia
shows a remarkable level of thoughtfulness and maturity. There is fast; there is slow; there is heavy and there is melodic. Simply put, this level of dynamism is rare for a demo. Relatively speaking, Nevermore were light years ahead of where the average metal band is at this point in their career. Had the sound quality been better, I could’ve been fooled as to whether or not this even was a demo. It's no wonder Nevermore would go on to reach great heights in the metal universe.
Memorable Loomis solos:
Garden of Grey [URL]http://youtu.be/CG9rKYLjXd0?t=2m59s[/URL]
The Hurting Words: [URL]http://youtu.be/xoJF96mqCBk?t=3m[/URL]