Nevermore
The Politics of Ecstasy


4.5
superb

Review

by Jeremy Wolfers USER (66 Reviews)
July 20th, 2014 | 19 replies


Release Date: 1996 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Probably the one Nevermore album that deserves the position of being the pinnacle of their discography.

Nevemore's quick ascent from a fairly mediocre, albeit talented progressive thrash metal outfit, as heard on their debut, to one of the metal genre's titans ultimately left two albums in a transitional phase from their quicker, more riff oriented original style to the 7 string dominated sound of Dead Heart In A Dead World and later albums. Dreaming Neon Black, the latter, whilst definitely one of the band's strongest achievements, lacks the overall focus of The Politics Of Ecstasy, which possesses songwriting so consistently strong that it deserves the position at the pinnacle of their discography.

Probably the standout feature of The Politics Of Ecstasy are its riffs, which are easily the best in the whole Nevermore discography; brutal power chord riffs, thrash styled runs and the band's signature dissonant arpeggios are present in full force and in a much more cohesive and natural fashion than on their followings works. The drums also add significantly to the heaviness of the release, much like any Nevermore work, as a large number of synchronized bass drum and tremolo picking patterns are present throughout. Meanwhile, Jeff Loomis and Pat O'Brien put in a schizophrenic, maddened style of soloing throughout that demonstrates their technicality to the utmost, fitting the less melodic style of the songs.

Dane's vocals are also at their strongest on this release. On albums like Enemies Of Reality, Dead Heart In A Dead World and This Godless Endeavor, he audibly struggles to hit some of his higher notes reliably and overall doesn't really put in an emotive performance to his full ability outside of a few songs. Here, he sounds much more menacing and powerful, utilizing his full range and reliably staying in tune far better. Whilst not decisively critical in putting it ahead of their other albums, the vocal performance only furthers the strengths of The Politics Of Ecstasy.

The songwriting is also at by far its most consistent stylistically. Whilst there aren't nearly as many ballads or more melodic tracks like The Heart Collector or Sentient 6 here, the result is an extremely coherent and flowing album that resides firmly within their strongest suit overall. The Seven Tongues Of God serves as the indicator for the rest of the tracks to come, and uses some of the best riffs in their discography to be probably the best song on the album, whilst Next In Line, Lost and The Tiananmen Man all dish up some extremely brutal riffs that cement them as some of the most extreme tracks the band have ever done. Additionally, the more ambitious and melodic Passenger, 42147 and The Learning all work effectively in adding variety and a generally epic feel to the proceedings.

The overall cohesion of this album is probably its strongest asset. With a very flowing feel and a consistency of songwriting quality not matched by many other metal albums, The Politics Of Ecstasy outclasses the rest of the Nevermore discography (barely) and serves as one of the best thrash metal albums of the 90s.

Recommended Tracks:
The Seven Tongues Of God
Lost
This Sacrament
Passenger
Next In Line



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Comments:Add a Comment 
KjSwantko
July 20th 2014


9449 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

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

Madbutcher3
July 20th 2014


1174 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Thanks bro

Xenorazr
July 20th 2014


458 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | 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


16187 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.

Digging: Moonspell - Extinct

Voivod
Staff Reviewer
July 20th 2014


6515 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: Trial (SWE) - Vessel

Hyperion1001
Staff Reviewer
July 20th 2014


19377 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.

Digging: The Caretaker - An Empty Bliss Beyond This World

sputnik1
July 20th 2014


200 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Just listened to this. Strong songs

Digging: Tool - Aenima

Madbutcher3
July 20th 2014


1174 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


19377 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


222 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Underrated album. Pos for you.

johnnydeking29
July 21st 2014


9838 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Awesome album

Digging: Ulver - Perdition City

Willie
Moderator
July 21st 2014


16187 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


16187 Comments

Album Rating: 4.8

Definitely their most consistent album.

johnnydeking29
July 21st 2014


9838 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

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

MO
July 21st 2014


19323 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


6515 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


19323 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


6515 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


1174 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



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