NEVERMORE - In Memory (CENTURY MEDIA - MCD 1996)
Mini albums of big, more mainstream bands is not something what I am particularly interested in, because usually they just contain uninteresting material, some leftovers, songs which weren’t good enough to be on the full length albums or some other fillers (live songs, covers, etc). Take for the instance mini albums from Vader and Behemoth – none of them really is worth a damn crap. The same goes for Satyricon, who usually put quite miserable miniLPs (unless they slay with ultrafast and merciless slab like Sarcofago’s cover). But here we have minialbum from Nevermore and well, I must say that it contains some of the best songs, which this Seattle progressive / groove / heavy metal band has ever recorded.
“In Memory” is opened with “Optimist or Pessimist” and damn, it definitely is the most aggressive and thrashing of all Nevermore songs ever. Maybe it is because the band found a second guitar player – Pat O’Brien, excellent guitarist, who now slays and rips the guts with his axe in Cannibal Corpse – or maybe the band just wanted to throw some of their anger and frustration, but the song is really damn straight forward and relentless. But don’t expect the whole “In Memory” to be like that; and maybe that’s why Nevermore opens this MCD with such a furious way, as the rest of the songs are much calmer, more majestic, melancholic, sorrowful and sad. So, you’ll find here excellent “Matricide”, “In Memory” and a pure metal ballad “The Sorrowed Man” – each will catch your attention with beautiful melodies, harmonies, catchy and memorable parts and excellent vocals of Warrel Dane, not to mention the great performance of other Nevermore members. And really this material is just top quality, even “The Sorrowed Man”, which is a pure, sorrowful metal ballad, does sound great and very emotional, so I like it a lot, even if usually I don’t listen to such music too much. But for sure “Matricide” is a song, which stands above the rest – it is just phenomenal, but the title song is also equally memorable and intriguing. I really like the emotions, the tension and the whole feeling of Nevermore music in these two songs, when they mix the sadness with anger and how epic these two tunes are. Additionally “In Memory” contains quite interesting cover of Bauhaus, which for sure is one of their darkest and most sinister recordings. I also like the way they mixed two Bauhaus songs into one; very nice idea.
My version of “In Memory” – which is Century Media’s re-release form 2006 – contains also a bunch of bonus songs. They all are just demo versions of songs, which ended up on “Politics of Ecstasy” album and don’t get me wrong, they all are good songs, but to hear their demo versions is not something truly remarkable, especially as I prefer their normal, album versions a lot more, but anyway it is always nice to get something extra. Actually “In Memory” was recorded during the same recording session as “Politics…”, but as it got different mixing and mastering so it sounds different, what Warrel underlines in his liner notes in the booklet. All in all I must say that “In Memory” is just excellent release and I strongly recommend you getting it, even if you’re not really a fan of such music. In my opinion Nevermore stands in their own league and is a band, which can be liked also by maniacs of more extreme styles of metal. I am a proof for that.
Standout tracks: all
Final rate: 95/100