Nevermore Dead Heart in a Dead World

It is difficult to grasp the progression that Seattle's Nevermore has made from their self-titled 1995 debut release to Dead Heart In a Dead World, their fourth full-length release. Produced by former Sabbat guitarist Andy Sneap (Stuck Mojo), this well-produced record sees the power metal band reach an almost death metal-type intensity for the first time ever. Led by the charismatic Warrel Dane, a talented front man most bands would kill to have singing for them, Dane leads the listener through a weave of tortured melodic beauty. The guitar playing of axe-man Jeff Loomis is also worth mentioning: it is so overwhelming, especially the huge guitar riff he kicks out on "Dead River Dragon," that it is puzzling to not see this guy mentioned with other so-called guitar heroes. The icing on the cake has to be for the album's off-the-wall cover of Simon and Garfunkel's "The Sounds of Silence." It simply must be heard to be believed. (Century Media)