After a lot of touring for Dreaming Neon Black (1999) and the departure of second guitarist Tim Calvert, Nevermore decided to continue as a four-piece. The band started to work on a new album, entitled Dead Heart In A Dead World. This album put Jeff Loomis and Co firmly on the metal map, spawning many songs which are still on the Nevermore set list to this very day.
The song material on Dead Heart In A Dead World is more compact and less about musical virtuosity compared to the two previous albums. It still has the vintage Nevermore bite, though. This is highlighted by Jeff Loomis’ prowess on the guitar, Warrel Dane’s dramatic vocal presence and the ever reliable rhythm section consisting of Van Williams (drums) and Jim Sheppard (bass).
The album starts with Narcosynthesis, We Disintegrate and Inside Four Walls. These three songs have a heavy merciless drive about them, which is typical for this album. The River Dragon Has Come and Engines Of Hate are two other great examples. Things get a bit more dramatic on The Heart Collector, which is a haunting semi-ballad, somewhat reminiscent of Dreaming Neon Black. This album also features two ballads in the form of Believe In Nothing and Insignificant. I’m not the biggest fan of ballads in general, but they fit perfectly in the general dark atmosphere of Dead Heart In A Dead World.
Andy Sneap is the man responsible for the robust and powerful production of Dead Heart In A Dead World. Certainly the more driving and aggressive compositions benefit greatly from the man’s considerable production skills.
Narcosynthesis, Inside Four Walls, The Heart Collector and The River Dragon Has Come have become fan favorites. This is a tribute to the greatness of this album. Dead Heart In A Dead World is one of the band’s finest hours.
Written by Raymond Westland