Nevermore
The Politics of Ecstasy


4.5
superb

Review

by Jeremy Wolfers USER (71 Reviews)
July 20th, 2014 | 20 replies


Release Date: 1996 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Download, Process, Analyze

Time has been somewhat unkind to The Politics Of Ecstasy, not through any fault of the album itself but due to trends in the music scene that coincided with it and are now derided. Groove metal is seen as a blight on the reputation of the metal genre throughout the 90s, and with fair reason, given the poor state of bands such as Demolition Hammer and Sepultura once they transitioned to that path. Due to some honestly rather superficial similarities with the genre, Nevermore’s second album is occasionally slammed as lacking the finesse or intelligence of their later work, despite it probably being their best for one simple reason.

The riffs on The Politics Of Ecstasy are modern, chuggy and mechanical, but they are undoubtedly the best in the Nevermore discography. There’s no shortage of great ones, but album highlights include the verse riff of The Tiananmen Man, with its catchy slides between phrases, Lost’s verse riff with its great switches from thrash metal chugging to intricate single note runs, and the Mekong Delta-ish mid-section riff of the title track, among various others. Every track has at least a few killer riffs, and despite them occasionally being labelled as being too Groove-metallish, it’s not a fair labeling at all; the riffs are still intricate in spite of the extremely bass heavy production that gives them a modern feel. Combined with the excellent drums and the somewhat inaudible but definitely tangible bass, the rhythm guitars form a powerful wall that drive the songs perfectly for Warrel Dane’s pained falsetto to cling to and for O’Brien and Loomis’s solos to accentuate.

The songwriting on The Politics Of Ecstasy is largely extremely good simply because it’s not overdone. Songs like The Learning and The Seven Tongues Of God are longer than your average metal track, but the ingredients for them are not inappropriate for their length. There are clean breaks and melodic passages littered throughout the album but they’re not excessive or particularly intrusive, and fall in line with the songs far better than on the later Nevermore albums. One could accuse albums like This Godless Endeavor of sapping their momentum away from the heavy moments of their album with frequent clean sections and slow starts to the songs, but not so here. The slowest tracks, The Learning, Passenger and Next In Line don’t make the mistake of starting slow and somehow slowing down more, instead finding a solid pace or introducing excellent melodic passages, in particular in Passenger where the song’s slow-ish pace is offset by its good melodic progressions and shorter length. The only song which seems to suffer notably is the title track, which is somewhat sluggish and doesn’t inject enough catchiness or melody to help drive its 7:56 running time. However, the overall running time for the album is lower than their later works and the more energetic feel of the album gives it a boost in overall listenability over Dreaming Neon Black and This Godless Endeavor despite their relatively accessible songs.

All these factors are quite subtle and quite simple as driving mechanics for the album, but they contribute to The Politics Of Ecstasy being Nevermore’s best work and its position amongst the best thrash albums of the 90s. Despite all the progressions made in their later material, the fundamentals – riffs, grooves, instrumentation, songwriting - are at their strongest here, even if they’re not at their most ambitious.

Recommended tracks:

The Learning
The Seven Tongues of God
This Sacrament
Lost
42147



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Comments:Add a Comment 
KjSwantko
July 20th 2014


9469 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Threw ya a pos. And yeah album (and band) rules.

Madbutcher3
July 20th 2014


1613 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Thanks bro

Xenorazr
July 20th 2014


568 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

It's a tough call between this and Dreaming Neon Black for their best album. DNB has more emotion behind it thanks to the concept, but this one has a raw feel, like it's charging your head up.

Willie
Moderator
July 20th 2014


17038 Comments

Album Rating: 4.8

This is the first album that I heard from these guys. I like the thrashier feel of this album. They lost a bit of that after this one. Good review, too.

Voivod
Staff Reviewer
July 20th 2014


7275 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

I remember listening to this album 24/7 when it was released.



I've almost got sick of it haha.

Digging: Doomsquad - Total Time

Hyperion1001
Staff Reviewer
July 20th 2014


19975 Comments


dreaming neon black is their best, this is close however.

back in middle school/high school this was my favorite band. i bought my seven string guitar because of jeff loomis.

sweet review.

sputnik1
July 20th 2014


296 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Just listened to this. Strong songs

Madbutcher3
July 20th 2014


1613 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Yeah this and Dreaming Neon Black are fairly similar, if you prefer its more melodic content then that would pip this but if you like riffs you'd prefer this.

Hyperion1001
Staff Reviewer
July 20th 2014


19975 Comments


dreaming neon black is much more influenced by the moody, dark kind of tech thrash of anacrusis or coroner (something i didnt really know until years after i stopped listening to them regularly because i didnt know who those bands were until relatively recently)

this is more just heavy groove/thrash metal, but i can see the comparison.

PsychicChris
July 20th 2014


246 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Underrated album. Pos for you.

johnnydeking29
July 21st 2014


11091 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Awesome album

Willie
Moderator
July 21st 2014


17038 Comments

Album Rating: 4.8

dreaming neon black is much more influenced by the moody, dark kind of tech thrash of anacrusis or coroner (something i didnt really know until years after i stopped listening to them regularly because i didnt know who those bands were until relatively recently)
Better late than never ;)

Willie
Moderator
July 21st 2014


17038 Comments

Album Rating: 4.8

Definitely their most consistent album.

johnnydeking29
July 21st 2014


11091 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Dreaming Neon Black and Godless are slightly better imo, but this is a sweet jam

MO
July 21st 2014


21176 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

great album and band. this, dreaming neon and this godless endeavour are just fantastic

Voivod
Staff Reviewer
July 21st 2014


7275 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

^^^Next to that album triad, I would add Enemies Of Reality (the first edition with the muddy production), there's so much anger, filth and dismay in there.



The In Memory EP is superb, too.

MO
July 21st 2014


21176 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

yea dude. damn forgot dead heart as well. whole discog is very damn good minus obsidian really

Voivod
Staff Reviewer
July 21st 2014


7275 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

The simplified/more melodic approach of Dead Heart In A Dead World didn't do so much for me. It's a great album, but some steps below the releases I previously mentioned.



I was so mad when I listened to Obsidian Conspiracy, I just couldn't realize that the music of this band could sound mediocre and forced.

Madbutcher3
July 24th 2014


1613 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

The only good track on OC was the title track which was actually pretty legit.



I would put this ahead of any of their DHIADW stuff simply because those albums tend to slip a bit on the riffs and often lose focus with a lot of acoustic sections that kill some of the pacing of them. I actually probably like Enemies Of Reality the most of any of them since it still has some cool riffs throughout (as opposed to TGE which starts to run out after Born, Final Product and My Acid Words) and keeps it pace the best.



As a quick Nevermore ranking:

1. This

2. Dreaming Neon Black

3. Dead Heart In A Dead World

4. Enemies of Reality

5. This Godless Endeavor

6. Nevemore

7. The Obsidian Conspiracy

but 1-5 is pretty tight, 3, 4 and 5 are all very close in quality

Madbutcher3
March 14th 2016


1613 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Re-wrote this review, for whatever reason.



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