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Politics of Ecstasy
Politics of Ecstasy
Genres: Pop, Rock, Metal
  •  Track Listings (10) - Disc #1

The thrash metal act's 1996 album. Ten tracks. Century Media.


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CD Details

All Artists: Nevermore
Title: Politics of Ecstasy
Members Wishing: 2
Total Copies: 0
Label: Century Media
Original Release Date: 11/5/1996
Release Date: 11/5/1996
Genres: Pop, Rock, Metal
Styles: Progressive, Progressive Metal, Alternative Metal
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaCD Credits: 1
UPCs: 727701783222, 7277017713220


Album Description
The thrash metal act's 1996 album. Ten tracks. Century Media.

CD Reviews

A phenomenal album from possibly the worst year in music.
Church of The Flaming Sword | 02/03/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)

"1996 was an absolutely abysmal year for music. The Seattle bands that "revitalized" the scene in 1991-2 were running on fumes as far as creativity goes. Unneeded pubilicity was directed toward the Saddam Hussein of the music business, Suge Knight. Metallica put out Load, an album that headbangers thought was going to revive metal's popularity. But instead, it was a trend-following soulless exercise in self-indulgence that left their old audience feeling betrayed. Fresh off the success of his hideous remake of "Sweet Dreams" ( the worst remake since Warrant's hellishly bad "We Will Rock You" ), the astronmically overrated Marilyn Manson released Antichrist Superstar. The sickeningly derivative Oasis was constantly on the radio, even the "hard rock" stations. In the most polite words I can type: 1996 sucked. I could on and on about the musical atrocities that came out of 1996, but I'm limited to 1000 words. However, Nevermore unleashed a platter of emotionally powerful unrelenting technical metal brutality that was quite anomalous for the sub-mediocrity standards of 1996. Enter The Politics of Ecstasy.TPoE was an album that proved, if only to the small fervent underground community, metal was indeed alive and well. It came out at a time when major labels dropped metal bands like a school bully drops water balloons from a second story window. But if anyone told Nevermore that metal was dead, they didn't hear it. Or better yet they did hear, and they didn't care one iota.It all starts with the awe-inspiring "Seven Tongues of God". This song by itself contains more potent riffage in the first minute and a half than most metal bands achieve in their entire careers. "This Sacrament" and "Lost" are fast-paced (not grindcore fast, mind you, but still fast) and grooving numbers that will probably have non-metalheads tapping their toes. If you can find a song with a character whose predicament is sadder than the one in "Next in Line", then you've accomplished something. You won't know if you should cry or bang your head when listening to it. "Passenger" is a slow dirge-like piece about not taking advantage of the limited amount of time you are alive. The title track and "The Learning" are epics that defy description. The former deals with government corruption and the latter is about an artificial intelligence entity that acquires humanlike sentience. The anthemic "Tiananmen Man" is a tribute to the brave man in Tiananmen Square that stood up to the tank, and the corrupt Chinese communist government in 1989. The band borrows a page from the Early-Megadeth songwriting book on "42147". What is 42147? Is it the year the protagonist is sent to the future - 42,147 AD? Is it a numerical hallucinogenic drug code? Is it a date - April 21, 1947? No matter, it's a great song. The acoustic gypsy-flavored "Precogniton" shows a mellower, but by no means weak, side of Nevermore.What else can you expect from the band that would release Dreaming Neon Black and Dead Heart in a Dead World? You can hear Warrell Dane's parallels to Rob Halford and Geoff Tate while he retains his own individuality. Interestingly enough, he owes as much to Simon and Garfunkle and Jefferson Airplane as he does to any of his metal influences. Jeff Loomis and Pat O'Brien deliver a double-guitar attack that mirrors Priest and Maiden. Their solos and riffs have to be heard to be disbelieved. Too bad that O'Brien joined Cannibal Corpse (stupid career move). Jim Sheppard's basslines are not fat, they are morbidly obese. And finally, Van Williams' drumming is both maniacal and intricate. It's no wonder how this band earned their position in the underground metal forefront."
Heavy, amibitous, and epic
Wheelchair Assassin | The Great Concavity | 01/06/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Heavy metal is often dismissed by mainstreamers as a lowbrow genre, but try telling that to Nevermore. "The Politics of Ecstasy," their second album, is an ambitious, powerful and skillfully-executed hour of music that lays waste to almost everything on the radio. Along with Iron Maiden, Iced Earth, Opeth, and a few other bands, Nevermore prove that heaviness, melody, and instrumental virtuosity need not be mutually exclusive. I don't normally divide my reviews into segments to address each aspect of an album, but "The Politics of Ecstasy" practically demands such treatment, so here goes:MUSIC: Stunning, stunning, stunning. Pat O'Brien (now doing excellent work with Cannibal Corpse) and Jeff Loomis formed one of THE best guitar duos in metal history. Their riffs are punishingly heavy, but at the same time they're often complex and even melodic. As soloists, they rival legendary combos like Slayer's Hanneman and King and Iron Maiden's Dave Murray and Adrian Smith. Van Williams is an hugely-skilled drummer, and his complex beats add a much-needed technicality to the band's sound. Jim Sheppard is an excellent bassist, although as is often the case in metal, his bass occasionally gets lost in the mix. Oh well.
FINAL RATING: Five big stars.VOCALS: Warrel Dane is a strong vocalist, with a fairly unique style. His voice has a dramatic sound somewhat similar to Iced Earth's Matt Barlow or Iron Maiden's Bruce Dickinson, but Warrell's delivery is rougher around the edges and a bit less melodic. Of course, since the music is so heavy, Warrel's approach is exactly what's called for. What's most important, though, is the emotion that Warrel puts into his vocals. His performance on "The Politics of Ecstasy" is full of a passion that matches the band's lyrics (more on those later), and isn't that what's really important?
FINAL RATING: Four stars.SONGWRITING: Nevermore excel in this area as well. The songs on "The Politics of Ecstasy" aren't as long as the longest works by Iron Maiden, Dream Theater, or Opeth, but they still have a very epic and progressive feel to them. Opener "The Seven Tongues of God" is a bit of a clunker, but the album kicks into high gear with the monstrous "This Sacrament" and rarely misses a step from there on out. Most of the songs follow a pretty similar pattern: heavy riffs, intricate arrangements, and just the right amount of melody (think "Master of Puppets" updated for the mid-nineties). There are also plenty of long instrumental passages that allow Jeff and Pat to show off their guitar prowess ("42147," for instance, is five minutes long but only contains about thirty seconds of vocals). There's also a great ballad ("Passenger"), and a brief acoustic instrumental ("Precognition"). Of all the songs on the album, the closer "The Learning" deserves some special mention. At about ten minutes in length, the song encompasses everything that makes Nevermore such a great band. It starts out as a slow, acoustic ballad, but it picks up in complexity, intensity, and heaviness as it goes along. The result is a brilliant, cathartic epic, and probably the album's best song.Despite everything I've already said, what really elevates "The Politics of Ecstasy" to the metal elite is the lyrics. Nevermore's politically charged, philosophical lyrics take aim at greed, shallowness, manipulation, conformity, and oppression. The relationship of the individual to society is a frequently used theme; with songs like "Tiananmen Man" and "The Politics of Ecstasy" emphasizing the importance of fighting for and safeguarding freedom. When Warrel wails "Freedom is never free" in the title track, it's a statement that's really hard not to think about.
FINAL RATING: High four/low five.So, there you have it. With creavity, ambition, and musicianship to spare, Nevermore are part of a good-sized contingent of bands bringing metal into the new millenium. If you think heavy music can't be intelligent, you owe it to yourself to hear "The Politics of Ecstasy." I don't have Nevermore's other albums, but I'll be adding them to my collection REALLY soon."
The metal scene needs Nevermore...
Church of The Flaming Sword | 03/03/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Well, where do I start? I've been a huge fan of Nevermore ever since they released their debut album "Nevermore" (I even listened to Sanctuary in the '80s). The metal scene of the new millennium definitely needs a band like Nevermore, because they are not like everybody else. They have the extraordinary ability to blend soft and heavy music, resulting in a perfect mix of beauty, intensity and aggression. Listening to Nevermore gives you a feeling of freedom, freedom from yourself and from reality; your soul seems to just fly away and capture your own dreams. (Close your eyes and try!) Isn't that what music is all about, taking a break from everyday boredom? But there's a flipside to that coin. Taking a closer look at the lyrics makes you think about what our world is coming to, and sometimes it makes you angry and frustrated, but it opens your eyes and you start to realize that everything is not like it appears to be. (Sorry for my poor English...)"