Sound — 7
5 years ago, Nevermore released yet another phenomenal album, about disproving religion through science, titled "This Godless Endeavor". Today, they follow up this masterpiece with This Obsidian Conspiracy, however, listening to it begs the question of whether it was really worth the wait or not. The recording quality, as usual, was good, around the same quality as "This Godless Endeavor". However, musically, this album didn't have the same wow factor as the last 3 albums had, I wanted TGE to be followed up by a guitar masterpiece, brutal as f**k, with snarling guitar riffs and 7 string sweeps. However, I was disappointed. The guitar solos were... Dull really. Too slow, and even when they were slow, they were rarely slow in a soulful and compositionally godsmacking way like in "Sentient 6" from "This Godless Endeavor". And the lack of sweeps p***ed me off. I wanted Loomis to beat TGE for guitar parts, like he did with "Zero Order Phase". The worst solos he's recorded for a while. Still gets a 7, because there are good moments too, the title track has amazing riffage.
Lyrics — 7
The vocals are okay overall here. In songs like "Without Morals" the harmonies are amazing, whereas in the title track, they are blatantly off key. Very disappointing, especially considering these guys know their theory. Same with lyrics. "Your Poison Throne" has great lyrics, such as "What do you want from this world? What do you want from this life? What do you want from this season of sorrow that's waiting to swallow the light?", which isn't complimented with the unimaginative hookline of the title track- "The Obsidian Conspiracy is rising". Strange... The one song which is outstanding musically sucks lyrically and vocally. Still gets a 7 overall.
Overall Impression — 7
To sum up- this was a disappointment, but not a bad album by any means. Topping the others was going to be hard, but after hearing Loomis and Danes solo albums, I had high hopes for this. It came across as though they had run out of ideas, if I'm being honest. The album started amazing, with "Termination Proclamation", a song which promised so much from its aggressive, diminshed intro. However, it got pretty boring from then onwards, and didn't hit me in the way that Born managed to. "Your Poison Throne" seemed a bit repetitive musically for my taste, despite my liking of the vocals. However, it had one of the best guitar solos in the album, but in all honesty, it's not saying that much. "Moonrise" however, changed the face of the album for a brief moment, it was a very unusual and catchy song, but not catchy in a sellout way, and I really liked it for these reasons. However, "And The Maiden Spoke" was a very unusual song, in a good way. As aforementioned, the lyrics let it down, but it had some amazing sections, and was a very raw and powerful song. "Emptiness Obstructed" is a masterpiece, if it were not for the chorus being repeated 24-7. And starting with the chorus... That's teetering towards dangerous territory. However, bar the chorus which now grates on me, it is an amazing song, and was probably one of the only "wow" moments I felt during this album. "The Blue Marble And The New Soul". Not a bad song by any means. However, it was one of the many that was too soft for too long in my opinion. I hated when the song kicked in though... Major key modulation? Dear me. On a brighter note, the chorus was amazing, tons of strange chords, it sounded epically dark. "Without Morals" was amazing. The vocal harmonies were beautiful, and get me everytime I hear it. The pre-chorus and chorus are both amazing and powerful, and this is one of my favourite songs on the album, I will say that without a second's hesitation. "The Day You Built The Wall". Beware of this song. Nobody seems to like it. I love the chorus, but the verse is quite dire, and the chorus backing is too repetative. I wanted Politics era Nevermore, after I heard the chorus on YouTube. It was just a lazy sounding song, which needed more time put into it in my opinion. "She Comes In Colors". Like "This Godless Endeavor" before it, the American-English spelling made me wince XD. It was a good song, a bit soft, however, but the acoustic parts were very good, and I think that it's one of the better ones in this album. "The Obsidian Conspiracy" is the one to watch. It was worth the wait. Well, that's what I thought at first, before the off key harmonies and lazy lyrics kicked in. It is the one moment of true brutality in the album, and I don't feel like this album overall should be the final product (get it? ) of a band who in the last decade had released albums like Dead Heart, Enemies, and Godless, and whatever went wrong compositionally needs to be definitely sorted for the next release. Oh and another thing, Nevermore, don't wait another 5 f**king years before the next release, only to constantly delay the albums release. Any questions? If so, contact me. I may have sounded very critical here, but this was still a good album, so it gets a decent and respectable rating all the same. NEVERMORE FOR LIFE!