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Nevermore Nevermore, In Memory, The Politics of Ecstasy

By Charlie Steffens aka Gnarly Charlie, Writer/Photographer
Thursday, October 26, 2006 @ 1:53 PM


CD Reissues on Century Media

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“…tell me what thy lordly name is on the Night's Plutonian shore!' Quoth the raven, `Nevermore.'” ~ Edgar Allan Poe

According to guitarist Jeff Loomis, Nevermore got its name by initially having no name. After Sanctuary split up in 1991, three of its members-- vocalist Warrel Dane, bassist Jim Sheppard and Loomis (who had only been in the group two months before it disbanded) printed a statement on their flyers: ”Sanctuary is nevermore.”

Since Nevermore music is ever so dark and heavy with hardly any levity in its lyrics, some may think the band’s name was derived from a poet who was weak and weary upon a midnight dreary. Maybe nobody gives a raven’s fuck. Before I digress…

Nevermore and Century Media Records have released the band’s first three albums with additional content, such as previously unreleased demo tracks, videos of “What Tomorrow Knows” and “Next In Line”, and a grimly funny bonus cover of Judas Priest’s “Love Bites.”

The raw intensity and wide-open power of nearly all the demos on the Nevermore and In Memory reissues will make a Sanctuary or Nevermore fan happy. For a new squid just getting acquainted with the band, or for those who liked 2005’s This Godless Endeavor, give these first two albums a hearing. They are packed with brutally powerful, pure fucking metal. And since we’re now in the days of high gloss, overproduced, ProTools, synthetic shit—to hear something this magical and unadulterated, back when Nevermore was in its formative years is really exciting.

Nevermore has existed both as a quartet and a quintet. On their 1995 self-titled release they were a four-piece band with Warrel Dane, Jeff Loomis, Jim Sheppard, and Van Williams. The next year the In Memory EP was released and introduced guitarist Pat O’Brien (now in Cannibal Corpse), who along with guitarist extraordinaire Jeff Loomis, formed one of the deadliest duos on the scene at that time.

The Politics Of Ecstasy is the standout of all these albums, but the demos of some of its best tracks will be found on the In Memory reissue. “The Tiananmen Man” in its demo form is a thrashed-out masterpiece as is the instrumental “42147.”

Don’t buy one of these albums. Get all three. If you’ve already got all of them without the bonus content, you owe it to yourself and others to get the reissues of Nevermore and In Memory to hear the demos.

* * * ½


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