NEVERLAND – Schizophrenia

  • 8/10
    NEVERLAND - Schizophrenia - 8/10


Label: Escape Music Ltd.
Release Date: March 21, 2007

User Review
0/10 (0 votes)

Schizophrenia is the first full-length effort from Neverland, a Progressive Power Metal band from Switzerland. The band was formed back in 1999 by Daniel Huber (guitar) and Boris Stroll (drums) while both studied music in Zurich, Switzerland. They recruited Andreas Mislin (guitar), Roland Jost (bass), keyboard player Manuel Wagner, and vocalist Mike Zotter. In 2003, they recorded a self-titled demo, produced by Tommy Vetterli (Coroner, Kreator). The demo got some positive critiques by international press.

Before entering the studio to record Schizophrenia, the band had to deal with internal problems. This resulted in the departure of Zotter and Wagner. This set the band back for awhile, but fortunately they found vocalist Jean Marc Viller and keyboardist Oliver Benz and the show could go on.

You may compare them to Symphony X, but the way that they’ve integrated Benz’ keyboarding skills make their music reminiscent more of Dream Theater, though they are much closer to Power Metal than the latter. Where Dream Theater choose odd-tempo and weird progressions, Neverland choose speed and power. This doesn’t mean that they lack the talent or the musical genius. They prove that several times on this record with songs such as the title track/album opener “Schizophrenia.” In this song, the guitar is brilliant; sometimes fast scale-playing, other times synchronous on off-beats with the drums. Stoll’s drum play may often seem like it’s straightforward, typical Power Metal drumming, but he can suddenly catch you off your guard and play something odd that just sounds great and impressive.

Jean-Marc Viller truly has a powerful and wide-ranged voice. He has just the kind of vocal abilities you would expect from a vocalist in this genre. He can reach all notes from deep tenor to the most high-pitched tones of a soprano. He’s slightly reminiscent of James LaBrie (Dream Theater), but his voice has more rawness to it than LaBrie. Although his voice is great for this kind of music, it just doesn’t stand out much from other vocalists within the genre.

There is one dull song on this record and that is “Mysteria.” The verses are somewhat interesting from a musical perspective with some variation and potential, but the chorus sounds like a typical Power Metal song and is reminiscent of the later works of Axel Rudi Pell, which in this case is plain and simply boring. Songs like “Buy Your Dream” and “Neverland,” on the other hand, offer a lot with hard and fast riffs, eminent guitar solos, modulation and the sound of a band that provides music that is tight and well-played.

Just like on the demo, Tommy Vetterli was hired to produce Schizophrenia as well. This is not a bad choice. Vetterli has produced a fine album, where nothing is lost in the mix. That is especially difficult with Progressive Metal bands that require every note on every instrument to be heard. The record lacks keyboard/guitar solo duels, and that’s something that would have given the record the little extra to get the full score. Also, a little more standout bass playing would be highly appreciated. But, these are just minor things. All in all, Schizophrenia is a great record. For fans of Symphony X, this will be a real treat. Being the first release from Neverland, this is a great offer for Metalheadz all over the world.

• Daniel Huber – Guitar, Backing Vocals
• Andreas Mislin – Guitar, Backing Vocals
• Jean-Marc Viller – Vocals
• Roland Jost – Bass
• Boris Stoll – Drums
• Oliver Benz – Keyboards, Backing Vocals


  • Kristian Singh-Nergård

    Kristian is one of the partners at Metal Express Radio. He is Metal Express Radio's Marketing and Communications Manager, and on occasions also reviewer and photographer. Based out of Oslo, Norway, Kristian is a bass player and owner of the independent record label Pug-Nose Records. He has been a proud member of the Metal Express Radio crew since 2006.

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