Century Media – 2010 – USA
For five long years this writer has anticipated “The Obsidian Conspiracy” with the near-erotic fervor of a lover-in-waiting. Alas, no more hunger and heartache; it’s finally here. And horror of horrors, it’s not exactly the second coming of great sex.
Having lathered his ears in the ten new songs at hand, it behooves yours truly to wonder why Nevermore couldn’t have released this sooner. It would have been better since “The Obsidian Conspiracy” is Nevermore excellence in the vein of “Enemies of Reality” and the breathtaking “This Godless Endeavor.” In fact, the music here borrows heavily from its predecessors. But for those expecting an album of titanic proportions that shatters metal’s very foundations, well, nuh-uh.
But wait a minute, it’s not as if “The Obsidian Conspiracy” is disappointing. Not by a long shot. Just over-hyped. As for the music inside, it comes out swinging on the groove-laden blizzard that’s “The Termination Proclamation” where Warrel Dane, his voice macabre as ever, utters a massive, ball tingling chorus spitting venom at the world’s inequities. Grooves galore rumble throughout “Your Poison Throne” and the thrash is all guns blazing for “Moonrise.” Epic chorus, orgasmic solo by Jeff Loomis, and a rousing melody keeps the listener riveted until the chilling tale of “And The Maiden Spoke” about a girl blessed with supernatural gifts. On the upbeat “Emptiness Unobstructed” Dane utters “Within the cold brutal truth/within the cold absolute” in a baritone rumble that will send shivers down the listener’s testicles (alright, enough homoeroticism).
Nevermore pile on the drama and emotion at “The Blue Marble and the New Soul” where such cryptic verses as “Your mother will hold you in her arms/Your father will teach you his dignity and charms” paves the way for a glorious climax that might bring tears to thyne eyes. The quartet then go on a thrash binge for “Without Morals” where Jeff Loomis executes a dramatic solo oozing perfection. “The Day You Built The Wall” sees the band in a fouler mood and “She Came In Colors” drips tenderness before baring its fangs. The album wraps with the fast paced title track whose rollicking finale has Warrel uttering “These are my last words” and zip. It’s over. Wow.