Earlier this morning, a promoter friend had posted a reflective word of “thanks” to former Nevermore current Sanctuary singer Warrel Dane and after some initial shock the news hit his online community of friends and associates like a steel rod to the jar. Warrel Dane had indeed passed away only a few hours earlier. The singer suffered a heart attack while in Sao Paolo, Brazil. He was 56 years of age.
The first time that I ever heard Warrel sing was when he was in the band Sanctuary, and was the song “Future Tense” that I found being a part of a compilation cassette that a friend had given me. It was some sort of record label promotional thing and while I was hooked on the track, I never got around to finding the album nor seeing the band. The above and below photos hail from a Sanctuary appearance in 2012 when they were a reunited group. They sounded terrific for sure and it brought a lot of people back in time. It was the first of three times that I would get to see the band performing.
Artist: Nevermore Title: “In Memory” (remaster) Label: Century Media Records Release Date: 9/5/2006 Genre: Heavy Metal Rating: 4/5
In celebration of their 15th Anniversary, Century Media Records has released several remastered editions of their best artists which have also been expanded to include unreleased and demo tracks along with enhanced artwork.
According to lead singer Warrel Dane, the material on the “In Memory” EP was a bit rushed in terms of its production as it was a record label request that the band have something new available for the masses while their next album, the prolific “Politics Of Ecstasy” was being worked on. The EP would be able to be purchased by the fans that would be in attendance at one of the festivals the band would be playing in Europe. As you listen to the music on this EP, you will totally find a strong representation of the bands former life as Sanctuary. The way that Warrel sings on “The Sorrowed Man”, which he cites was actually a Sanctuary tune but the album that it was to go on never was able to be recorded, released and hence the band was nevermore if I can slide a pun in there since it fits so well. “Matricide” is another complex number that delivers while the odd choice of the Bauhaus medley of “Silent Hedges/Double Dare” really works when given a Metal sheen to its original brooding Gothic version. Continue reading “In Memory” (remaster) by Nevermore→
Artist: Nevermore Title: “The Politics Of Ecstasy” (remaster) Label: Century Media Records Release Date: 9/5/2006 Genre: Heavy Metal Rating: 4/5
In celebration of their 15th Anniversary, Century Media Records has re-issued several remastered editions of their best artists. These releases find enhanced artwork and liner notes as well as bonus and unreleased tracks. One of these releases would be Nevermore’s “The Politics Of Ecstasy”. This second full Nevermore album would firmly show why this band was not to remain in the underground any longer and instead needed to be standing tall with the Heavy Metal superpowers of the day. Yet the music industry of 1996 (the albums original release year) was quite a chaotic one with attention still being paid to the “Seattle Sound” bands and groups like Marilyn Manson and Metallica holding strong onto the necks of the music buying public. Metallica would release “Load” the same year and I do not think I need to say more on this one, but suffice it to say it was stuff like this that kept groups like Nevermore from reaching more people based on all the attention being heaped on them. PoE is heavy in its Metal content as well as armed with a sharp-tongued political commentary on some tracks (“Seven Tongues Of God” and “Tiananmen Man”). There are also a couple of songs which have as fresh a sound today as when they were first released such as “Next In Line” and “The Sacrament” – Nevermore also proves they were able to tone it down with the effective “Passenger” (a crunching but slower-paced number that had a tremendous level of mood to it). The booklet provided includes expanded liner notes by Metal’s master scribe Martin Popoff who together with singer Warrel Dane give some insight to this album on the whole. Continue reading “The Politics Of Ecstasy” (remaster) by Nevermore→
Artist: Various Artists Title: “Gigantour” Label: Image Entertainment Release Date: 9/5/2006 Genre: Heavy Metal Rating: 2/5
When “Gigantour” was announced as an event to see some of the greatest Metal acts of today in one place and find it headlined by both Dream Theater and Megadeth you knew this was a winning situation for Metal heads of all ages. Those that attended the tour during its first go round in 2005 really had a great time as they really got to see some juggernauts on the same stage and for a very reasonable price. The show was also a great alternative to the Ozzfest and the ever-confusing musical content of Warped Tour. If you wanted pure Metal and a literal shred-fest, then Gigantour was the place you would want to find yourself at. As the shows blasted through the East Coast I attended one of them with fellow media folks and it was truly a good time although we had found some issues with set times and line up arrangements. Certain bands seemed a mismatch to some fans and others seemed more deserving of a later spot on the event as well as a longer set time (during the shows bands like Nevermore and Fear Factory only played 25-30 minute sets and each was supporting a new album). This DVD captures a little bit of the excitement of the tour and also gives you a glimpse into the stuff that went on backstage. Continue reading “Gigantour” (DVD) by Various Artists→
Artist: Various Artists Title: “Gigantour Live” Label: Image Entertainment Release Date: 8/22/2006 Genre: Heavy Metal Rating: 2.5/5
“Gigantour” was the brainchild of Megadeth’s Dave Mustaine and the tour would be a welcome competitor to the ever-popular Ozzfest. To many Metal fans Ozzfest has been rapidly losing steam by becoming far too diverse with the range of bands and its over all commercialism. Gigantour would instead become a literal shredfest and 2005 would be the first year that this idea was attempted. Serving as “co-headliners”, both Dream Theater and Megadeth would close out the all day affair with lengthy sets that truly made the ticket price more than worth it after all bands were counted up. This two CD set serves as a teaser of the event and the fact that it is a mere teaser is the reasoning behind my minimal rating of the release. For starters I felt the song selection on the release was a little weak, and having seen one of the shows I know exactly what was played and what could have been included on the CD. The songs by Megadeth are no where near the bands most popular numbers while the Anthrax contributions are the songs that you ALWAYS find as their provided live track on releases such as this. The songs by both Fear Factory and Nevermore are great and should provide a little added interest in these two killer groups. At the time of Gigantour, each of them was in support of a recently released new album so this should have worked very well to that advantage. Absent from the release is any music by the Dillinger Escape Plan who were on the show that I saw. Dream Theater did not complete the tour itself and was filled in by Anthrax for the closing dates. It’s their inclusion that makes me feel why there is no Dillinger present for the listener. Overall I felt that Dream Theater sounded the best, followed by Nevermore and Megadeth as far as the CD sound and presentation went. Continue reading “Gigantour” by Various Artists→