The Politics Of Ecstasy (1996) is Nevermore’s second full length album. It’s named after a book by Timothy Leary. It’s not the easiest album by the band to get into, but it’s vital to understand their evolution and growth. Let’s take a closer look.
The album starts with the impressive Seven Tongues Of God, which is full of complex guitar riffs, impressive guitar leads by Jeff Loomis and Pat O’Brien and the cynical and dramatic vocal performance of Warrel Dane. This song sets the stage for the rest of the material. This Sacrament, the title track, Lost and The Tiananmen Man follow the same dark progressive path.
The two standout tracks for me are Next In Line and The Passenger. The first song has the hooks for which the latter day Nevermore material is known for. The Passenger has this very slow, almost doom metal like quality to it and together with The Seven Tongues Of God it’s one of my personal favorite tracks on Politics Of Ecstasy.
The technical and progressive prowess of The Politics Of Ecstasy is also its Achilles’ Heel. There’s at least three albums worth of ideas compressed into one single album. This makes it a very exhausting listening experience. In that respect it can be compared to The Sound Of Perseverance by Death.
Neal Kernon (Cannibal Corpse, Nile, Red Harvest) is responsible for the very bass heavy production. The somewhat compressed guitar sound may not be everyone’s cup of tea, bit it does give this record its distinctive sound.
The Politics Of Ecstasy is a very strong effort by Jeff Loomis and Co. It’s adventurous, technical and progressive, but perhaps a tad too complex for its own good. Besides that minor inconvenience the material has aged very well and it’s still a vital release by any standard.
Written By Raymond Westland