Nevermore - Dead Heart in a Dead World Century Media - 2000 By Rodrigo /images/covers/Nevermore_deadheart.jpg Nevermore is back and they are better than ever! They have followed up the success of Dreaming Neon Black and have come out with an album that is even stronger. They are once again a 4-piece band due to the departure of Tim Calvert prior to the recording of this album. The guitarist, Jeff Loomis, has proved himself to be one of the best in his genre due to his amazing performance on this album. Warrel Danes vocals are excellent as usual, Van Williams precision tight drumming is perfect and Jim Sheppards attack on the bass is unrelenting. For Dead Heart in a Dead World, Jeff Loomis uses a down-tuned 7-string guitar and shows what can be accomplished with this perfected sound unlike the trendy "metal" bands of today that play this way. His playing is crushing but beautiful at the same time. The perfect example is found in the song "The River Dragon Has Come". It starts with a slow guitar melody intro and then picks up its crushing power without a warning. I totally did not expect that change of pace the first time I heard the song. The solo in this song is pure genius as well. "Evolution 169" and "The Heart Collector" are two other mid-tempo songs where the combination of emotion and power produce two excellent songs. "Inside Four Walls" takes off immediately with a very cool opening riff perfect for some intense head banging. The lyrics of this song are very interesting. It is about a person who is in jail for taking drugs but is in jail longer than murderers or rapists. It is a very scathing view of the justice system. Fans of Sanctuary will appreciate Warrel Danes singing in "We Disintegrate". He is able to shriek out some intense high vocal melodies reminiscent of the way he sang in Sanctuary. The most surprising moment of the album has to be the song "The Sound of Silence". It is a cover of a Paul Simon song. I have no idea how the original song sounds but I doubt it has so much aggressiveness and ingenuity as this version has. Another excellent intro gets this song off the ground; more crushing riffs and some excellent double bass drumming drives the beginning. The last song of the album, the title track, ends the album perfectly. It begins with a very slow haunting bass and vocal intro and then POW!! The drums and guitars kick in and once again we are taken into a ride that only Nevermore can deliver. With Dead Heart in a Dead World, Nevermore has positioned themselves as one of the best bands in metal today. This album is absolutely mind blowing and just gets better with every listen. When I first got it I could not listen to anything else and to this point I still play it daily. This is metal the way it should be played with nothing being held back. If you do not own this album yet, run immediately to the nearest record store and get it!!