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Nevermore – Year of the Voyager

Label: Century Media
Format: DVD / CD Set
Released: 2008
Reviewed By: Rich Catino
Nevermore. Clearly one of the most prolific and regarded heavy metal artists to come out of the 90s and one of my favorites. How can’t you like these guys? Excellent playing, great arrangements, strong melodic vocals with dark yet memorable chorus’, and lyrics that should be published in a book of poetry.

After making music for over ten years it was time Nevermore released a DVD including all their promo videos, behind the scenes stuff, footage from the European festivals, and a concert professionally shot.
 
At this point in the band’s career, the lineup remains in tact with original members Warrel Dane on vocals, Jeff Loomis on guitar, bassist Jim Sheppard, Van Williams on the drums, and Chris Broderick donating his talents on the guitar for the Bochum and Wacken shows. Prior to the DVD’s release, Chris has since left Nevermore to join Megadeth and you can see in the interview segment Warrel talk about this great loss and jokes how one can apply for the job. I wonder if Dave Mustaine knows how lucky he is?

For the main show taped in Germany, Nevermore present the audience with a cross section of bone crushing to dynamic thrashy/doom songs spanning their entire career which started in 1995 with the release of the self titled debut. Taken from that said album are two really strong and heavy ones, “What Tomorrow Knows” and “Garden of Grey”, with balladesque “Matricide” from the E.p. “In Memory” from the following year.

Possibly my favorite album (with “Dead Heart”), “The Politics of Ecstasy”, is represented by the title track which devastates in a live setting with its agitating riffs, insane soloing and progressive movement, “Next in Line” (would rather hear “This Sacrament”), and adventurous “The Learning” (“Sentient 6” follows and is part of the tale) are included in the main show. The crushing gem “The Seven Tongues of God” (with Steve Smyth on guitar) performed at the Metal Mania Festival is found on the second DVD. I’d like note the songs included from the Metal Mania Festival were nicely shot complimented by the lighting and the size of the stage serving as an excellent canvas for a recording.

The title track to the epic album “Dreaming Neon Black” shows its beauty in dynamics and darkness as does “I Am The Dog” with its hard as nails rhythmic dissonance… Awesome! But where is the brilliant “Poison God Machine”?? Maybe next time, guys? Love the harmonizing for the solo in “The River Dragon Has Come” (Jeff and Chris are a force to be reckoned with) and the sing along quality “The Heart Collector” has. WARNING: watch out for “Narcosynthesis”, “Engines of Hate” (from the Wacken fest), and “Inside Four Walls” as there is no stopping these freight trains.

“Enemies of Reality” is represented by the heavier title track and “I Voyager”, “Born” and “Final Product” taken from their latest artistic statement “This Godless Endeavor”.

Sometimes the editing is a bit fast and intentional given the song’s tempo which I understand. It doesn’t happen all the time but for some of the faster songs the camera is on a member for like half a second. After a while it’s a little annoying and takes away from the actual performance. On the other hand, the split screens, camera angles, switching between color and black and white film really is done well. The resolution at the Wacken festival is the sharpest and cleanest (it helps taping during the day) with the Bochum show alternating from a slightly cloudy yet clean picture to grainy shots adding value.

The audio is excellent as anything Andy Sneap touches turns to heavy metal gold.

All around this is an excellent snapshot of the band and 100% fulfilling for this long time fan. Honestly, I must have viewed the live clips a dozen times. It’s like watching some out of control army weapon of destruction barrel through a small town leveling everything, and anything, in its way.

Details: “The Year Of The Voyager”, released as a Ltd. Edition 2DVD plus 2CD, Standard 2DVD, Standard 2CD and Ltd. 3LP (the latter two containing the audio from the main show in Bochum only).

DVD1 - Main Show – Live at the Zeche Bochum, Germany, October 11th, 2006: 'Intro', 'Final Product', 'My Acid Words', 'What Tomorrow Knows/Garden Of Grey', 'Next In Line', 'Enemies Of Reality', 'I, Voyager', 'The Politics Of Ecstasy', 'The River Dragon Has Come', 'I Am The Dog', 'Dreaming Neon Black', 'Matricide', 'Dead Heart In A Dead World', 'Noumenon (from tape)', 'Inside Four Walls', 'The Learning', 'Sentient', 'Narcosynthesis', 'The Heart Collector', 'Born', 'This Godless Endeavor'.

DVD2 - Gigantour – Live at the Bell Centre, Montreal, Canada, September 2nd, 2005: 'Born', 'Enemies Of Reality'. Metal Mania Festival – Live at the Spodek, Katowice, Poland, March 4th, 2006: 'Final Product', 'The Heart Collector', 'Enemies Of Reality', 'The Seven Tongues Of God'. Wacken – Live at the Wacken Open Air, Germany, August 4th, 2006: 'Final Product', 'Narcosynthesis', 'Engines Of Hate', 'Born'.

Bonus Material: Century Media USA 10th Anniversary Party - Live at The Roxy, LA, September 28th, 2001: 'Engines Of Hate', 'Beyond Within'. Promo videos: 'What Tomorrow Knows', 'Next In Line', 'Believe In Nothing', 'I, Voyager', 'Enemies Of Reality', 'Final Product', 'Born', 'Narcosynthesis' (live promo video).

Interview with Warrel Dane.

Trailer - Nevermore - "The Year Of The Voyager”.
 
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