NEVERMORE – Nevermore [Reissue]

NEVERMORE - Nevermore [Reissue]
  • 7/10
    NEVERMORE - Nevermore [Reissue] - 7/10


Century Media
Release date: September 11, 2006

User Review
0/10 (0 votes)

When Nevermore appeared officially on the scene -– of course information about the project was available and passed on from fan to fan –- their self-titled debut album was nothing less than a masterpiece. Sanctuary, Warrel Dane’s and Jim Shepard’s former band, had built themselves quite a reputation with a good debut, but even more with the brilliant second album Into The Mirror Black (Sidenote: The latter would be a good target for a remastering as it suffers from very quiet sound production that lacks in the power department).

Back to the history: Disbanding Sanctuary after that landmark in Progressive Power Metal left their solid fan base in shock. Fortunately, it was clear shortly thereafter that several members of the band would continue, and a sigh of relief went through the Metal scene when Nevermore finally saw the light of day.

Not only were they back, but they also didn’t disappoint their fans, although the general tone was darker, moodier, and more melancholic. This was not yet the same Nevermore fans know today from Dreaming Neon Black or Dead Heart In A Dead World where they dip into nihilism lyrically and cross the line to almost self-destructive melancholy music, but the first signs indicating which road they would travel are easily unveiled in the two highlights “The Sanity Assassin” and “Garden Of Gray,” which stand next to Sanctuary-like tracks such as “C.B.F.” and “Sea Of Possibilities.” All in all, they came back with a bang. This album did never lose any of its appeal, so generally speaking, this is a “must have” for every Metal fan.

But, that was true for the original release as well. The first obvious difference in the re-release is better sound quality, although in 1995 the sound was still o.k., but one expects a little remastering when spending money on it -– again. So, the sound would not be reason enough to buy the album a second time, and the advertised liner notes turn out to be nothing else but a brief recap of incidents and background information that hardly unearth any new insights about the compositions.

Still, this re-release is worth being shelved once more, because Century Media spiced up the album with no less than five previously unreleased bonus tracks! First, there is “The System’s Failing,” which assumingly is a leftover from the recording sessions -– this is where the re-release could have offered more information, as nothing is said about this track in the booklet except that all songs are written by Nevermore — well, good to know. With only three and a half minutes, being a real shorty for Nevermore, it is a good song that would be o.k. on the album, though would not be a highlight.

The next four songs are demo recordings from 1992, which never made it to be included on any album. It’s really difficult to understand, as “The Dreaming Mind” reminds of Sanctuary’s aforementioned Into The Mirror Black, and “World Unborn” of Sanctuary’s debut album. High praise, but absolutely deserved for the two tracks from the spring ’92 demos!

From the same year, but seemingly from a later demo –- again the lack of additional information is a pity -– “Chances Three” is a ballad without Metal content that shows the variety of Nevermore and their compositions, unfortunately without leaving a lasting impression. The last bonus track, “Utopia,” is from a different caliber: A Progressive track that is anything but radio material, but will go down well with all Metal connoisseurs.

As the final touch, the video for “What Tomorrow Knows” is added to the CD, and the artwork has been, safe to say, tampered with, turning the four spotless ladies into a picture of decay. That was not really necessary, but at least one can distinguish the two versions.

So, the verdict is a positive one: This re-release makes a lot of sense and is a good purchase even if you already have the original album. Three out of the five bonus tracks are gems that everybody should enjoy, and one has to tip his hat to Century Media for making them available.


  • Frank Jaeger

    Frank was a reviewer here at Metal Express Radio, based out of Bavaria, Germany. He has worked in the games industry for more than 20 years, now on the manufacturing side, before on the publishing end. Before this, he edited and handled the layout for a city mag in northern Germany ... maybe that is why he love being part of anything published. Frank got hooked on Metal at the age of 14 when a friend introduced him to AC/DC. They were listening to The Beatles, Madness, and The Police, and he decided they should move on. Well, they did, Back in Black became Frank's first Metal album, and since Germany is reasonably close to England, they had some small New Waves Of British Heavy Metal washing up on their shores: Tygers Of Pan Tang, Samson, Gillan, Iron Maiden, Saxon, Sweet Savage, Diamond Head, etc. If he had to pick his favorite styles, Prog and Power Metal would be at the top of the list.

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