Rating:
10
Nevermore - The Obsidian Conspiracy
28 May 2010


01. The Termination Proclamation
02. Your Poison Throne
03. Moonrise (Through Mirrors Of Death)
04. And The Maiden Spoke
05. Emptiness Unobstructed
06. The Blue Marble And The New Soul
07. Without Morals
08. The Day You Built The Wall
09. She Comes In Colors
10. The Obsidian Conspiracy
11. Crystal Ship [The Doors cover]
12. Temptation [The Tea Party cover]


How does a band top a masterpiece? For example, they change a lot. South of Heaven after Reign in Blood felt shockingly slow and heavy. Or they try to copy their best release, with mixed results: see Enslaved's Ruun or Testament's New Order. Another way to tackle the post-masterpiece syndrome is what Nevermore did - and let me tell you in advance that they did it beautifully - you take what you did best and eliminate the elements that weren't perfect. Assuming that it's done by a band as talented as Nevermore, the final product must be at least outstanding. Or even brilliant, and I'm happy to announce to you dear readers, that brilliant is what The Obsidian Conspiracy is.

If I were to try to categorise Nevermore's music, I'd be stumped. It's thrash, all right, but it's seriously progressive as well, with tons of impressive technicality to boot, and even, excuse the blasphemy, traces or infectiously catchy power metal in some choruses. Whatever the genre, Nevermore are a very mature ensemble of skilled musicians, who know how to discipline themselves in order to make songs that are at the same time epic and concise. Not a single song lasts over 6 minutes, yet their grandeur is sometimes breathtaking. Check "Moonrise (Through Mirrors Of Death)" to see what I mean. The riffs in verses build up a wall of energy, reinforced by thundering bass drums, only to be flattened and obliterated by the wonderful chorus that rests on very melodic guitars and fat, groovy drumming. If this isn't brilliant, I don't know what fucking is. Moving on to "And the Maiden Spoke" - the drumming is complex and so unconventional, that you can forget about tapping your foot to the rhythm. You'll be too busy admiring Warrel Dane's singing anyway. From high-pitched to low, almost grunted, that's Nevermore's most prized possession at his best. Dane proves again that he is among the best metal singers out there.

I won't go through every song in detail, because this review would be longer than a roll of toilet paper that you use up when you have the shits. So I'll limit myself to naming just a handful more. "The Blue Marble and the New Soul" is a very stylish ballad embellished by a very emotional solo - a perfect breather in the middle of this feast of riffing and technicality. "The Day You Built the Wall" has layered vocals and heavy, ominous atmosphere - it's almost theatrical. But the best is saved for the last. I daresay that "She Comes in Colors" and "The Obsidian Conspiracy" are Nevermore's best tracks ever. The former is slow, atmospheric and sinister, the latter is a hurricane of riffing, solos and masterful drumming. And when you start thinking that it can't possibly get better, wonderful chorus proves you wrong.

I've no idea why Nevermore needed 5 years to release this brilliant album, but I sure as hell hope they won't have me waiting another 5 for their next. This is easily a top 5 album for this year, and something tells me that it'll remain very high till the end of December. I mentioned the number five three times in this paragraph. Three times 5 is 15. Minus 5 for a long wait, and you get a 10, no more no less. Very few deserve it this year.

Performance: 10
Songwriting: 10
Originality: 10
Production: 9


Band profile: Nevermore
Album: The Obsidian Conspiracy


 


written by Daniell | 15.08.2010

Guest review by
strade

Rating:
5.2
What do a five year wait, a couple solo albums, trying to live up to a masterpiece, conflicting artistic direction, and totally mangling a sound that needed little improvement all have in common? They're all reasons why Nevermore's last release before deteriorating as a band, The Obsidian Conspiracy, underwhelms. Severely. In 2010, five years after the raw and hate-fueled masterpiece This Godless Endeavor was unleashed upon our unprepared society, Nevermore released this nonsensical escapade, and I could hardly believe I was listening to the same band; and no, as you might have already guessed, I don't mean that in a positive way.

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published 16.03.2012 | Comments (23)



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Marcel Hubregtse - 10.01.2011 at 18:23  
Written by K†ulu on 10.01.2011 at 16:26

Vezzy, how would measure the quality of music?


Simple.... you can't.
vezzy - 10.01.2011 at 19:06  
Written by K†ulu on 10.01.2011 at 18:09

Written by vezzy on 10.01.2011 at 17:53

Written by K†ulu on 10.01.2011 at 16:26

Vezzy, how would measure the quality of music?


Well-executed, a guitar tone that doesn't sound average and sterile, production that doesn't sound like a distorted bass-like boom... etc., etc.

well, then I guess public opinion is a good proxy...


Unfortunately this album fails to meet the second criteria.

This album bores me, plain and simple.
Angelic Storm - 10.01.2011 at 19:14  
Written by Marcel Hubregtse on 10.01.2011 at 18:23
Simple.... you can't.


100% correct.
Fat & Sassy! - 11.01.2011 at 01:23  
Written by Angelic Storm on 10.01.2011 at 19:14

Written by Marcel Hubregtse on 10.01.2011 at 18:23
Simple.... you can't.


100% correct.


Really? I have always thought, "Hey, if it's worth appreciating, then their has to be a certain measurable level of quality to it".

Like, ambition, strong and creative sense of songwriting and instrument playing, something that doesn't sound half-assed. You know something that has "quality". For instance, I don't really like Nevermore too much, but it's obvious that they usually make high-quality stuff. Then I can at least appreciate it whether it suits me or not (and understand why others may like it).
Angelic Storm - 11.01.2011 at 01:32  
Written by Fat & Sassy! on 11.01.2011 at 01:23
Really? I have always thought, "Hey, if it's worth appreciating, then their has to be a certain measurable level of quality to it".

Like, ambition, strong and creative sense of songwriting and instrument playing, something that doesn't sound half-assed. You know something that has "quality". For instance, I don't really like Nevermore too much, but it's obvious that they usually make high-quality stuff. Then I can at least appreciate it whether it suits me or not (and understand why other may like it).


Of course, but how that quality is measured differs from person to person, which is the whole point. There's no universal measure of quality that everyone agrees on, because a lot of it is subjective, and purely down to opinion. I can also see and appreciate talent, even if the actual music isnt to my own personal taste. A lot of people cant do this though. If they dont like it, then its crap, and that's it.
Fat & Sassy! - 11.01.2011 at 01:39  
Ah, ok. I understand the point a bit better now.

Written by Angelic Storm on 11.01.2011 at 01:32

I can also see and appreciate talent, even if the actual music isnt to my own personal taste. A lot of people cant do this though. If they dont like it, then its crap, and that's it.


I do know this, and I think it's very unfortunate. I feel that that is a very lame attitude to have about music (or just art in general). It's pretty much the reason how a nice and enlightening conversation about music and such can get bogged down with stupid "your favorite band/album sucks" bullshit. -_-
Angelic Storm - 11.01.2011 at 01:49  
Written by Fat & Sassy! on 11.01.2011 at 01:39

Ah, ok. I understand the point a bit better now.

I do know this, and I think it's very unfortunate. I feel that that is a very lame attitude to have about music (or just art in general). It's pretty much the reason how a nice and enlightening conversation about music and such can get bogged down with stupid "your favorite band/album sucks" bullshit. -_-


I did get the impression that you misinterpreted what I said. hehe

Yep, I feel the exactly same way as you. Most music (note how I said "most", there are definitely numerous exceptions to that rule ) takes a semblance of talent to create. There are a few instances of bands/artists whose music isnt to my tastes, but I can still appreciate that the music took talent to make. Yeah it is annoying, and it happens very often. Too many feel like if they cant appreciate a band/album, then anyone else who appreciates is "wrong" or has "a crap taste in music". Its hard to stay out of scenarios like that, when so many seem to have that attitude. Ah well.. *shrugs*
Marcel Hubregtse - 11.01.2011 at 01:53  
Written by Angelic Storm on 11.01.2011 at 01:49

There are a few instances of bands/artists whose music isnt to my tastes, but I can still appreciate that the music took talent to make. Yeah it is annoying, and it happens very often.



No, you can't. Case in point Mortician
Angelic Storm - 11.01.2011 at 02:10  
Written by Marcel Hubregtse on 11.01.2011 at 01:53
No, you can't. Case in point Mortician


I was expecting Vezzy to come out with that one!

Mortician play the same 2 or 3 chords in EVERY song. All their songs sound the same. So to me, they are not talented at all. However, if people like them, then that's fair enough, and I certainly wouldnt talk down to them, or say that their tastes "suck" just because I happen to dislike Mortician. The Sex Pistols werent very musically talented either, but I happen to love them. There's a difference between stating a dislike for a band/album, and attacking and belittling someone for liking said band/album. The two things aren't the same at all. You can slam a band without slamming an individual for liking said band.

Besides, I stated that I can appreciate talent in MOST cases where I dont like the actual music. If you looked at my previous post, you'd see that I said there are exceptions to that, as not every song/album takes talent to make. So I wasnt wrong in what I said at all.
Marcel Hubregtse - 11.01.2011 at 02:21  
Written by Angelic Storm on 11.01.2011 at 02:10

If you looked at my previous post, you'd see that I said there are exceptions to that, as not every song/album takes talent to make. So I wasnt wrong in what I said at all.


Why do you think I left that part out when quoting you?
Angelic Storm - 11.01.2011 at 02:30  
Written by Marcel Hubregtse on 11.01.2011 at 02:21
Why do you think I left that part out when quoting you?


Ah... Now I see what you did there...
vezzy - 11.01.2011 at 17:25  
EMOTES!

*heart failure*
Kuroboshi - 09.02.2011 at 14:24  
Am I the only one here who thinks that their best album is Dreaming Neon Black? (And by quite a margin I would say )
Apothecary - 21.05.2011 at 18:17  
Written by Kuroboshi on 09.02.2011 at 14:24

Am I the only one here who thinks that their best album is Dreaming Neon Black? (And by quite a margin I would say )


Dead Heart In a Dead World is my favorite. But I feel like I'm one of the few who didn't really appreciate The Obsidian Conspiracy. It's good, but at times the tracks sound like they blend together... a lot of the album sounds the same. I don't know, maybe I just haven't fully absorbed it yet.
advent - 22.08.2011 at 01:02  
It's ok album, nothing special in it.
jhook - 05.09.2011 at 03:58  
This rating is way too high, i felt like this was a massive step down from the this godless endeavor, the obsidian conspiracy amd she comes in colors were the only songs that didnt bore me.
I felt like they made it slightly heavier but simplified it, focusing more on the vocals and less on the awesome guitar playing
Quinaitor - 27.09.2011 at 10:06  
This thing of bringing past albums to the table is really annoying me, I mean, are we going to compare every Opeth album to BWP? or every DT album to Images and Words? cmon dudes! Prog is not repeating the same thing over again. Everybody talked shit about Rhapsody Of Fire because they have made the same music all over again and now you criticize prog bands for doing what you requested?... FUCK!
strade - 11.12.2011 at 04:54  
This album is very bad. It's really no wonder that Jeff Loomis left, really.
psykometal - 11.12.2011 at 08:59  
Yea I really didn't care for this album either. It's just boring to me, I tried a few times to listen to it and get into it but I just kept going back to either Dead Heart In A Dead World (imo their best album) or This Godless Endeavor. I actually wish that Jeff and Van had left before writing this so that their last album with Nevermore would be an amazing classic rather than (imo) a complete dud.
CaptainRhodes - 18.12.2013 at 03:37  
This album still disappoints me today. Warrel had a solo project, why does he need to be the only standout presence on this too?

It's alright, I still paid money for after hearing it, but that was more out of a compulsion to have a complete discography.
deadone - 18.12.2013 at 03:45  
There's some good songs on and especially the awesome And The Maiden Spoke as well as Without Morals, but overall I think it's the poorest Nevermore album after their debut one.

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