Neverworld – Visions Of Another World
Dream Demon Recordings/Self Released
Running Time 57:27
Review By Rick Tilley
THIS REVIEW WAS WRITTEN AND FIRST PUBLISHED IN 2014
I am honoured to be one of the first people to listen to and review the debut album ‘Visions Of Another World’ from Progressive NWOTHM Metal band Neverworld. I know there are a lot of people who have been pulling their hair out waiting for this so I’ll not beat around the bush, are you ready everyone…Forget the bubblegum, this CD kicks ass BIG TIME!! Neverworld have delivered a rip roaring and emotional nine songs of metal magic and fantasy spread over nearly an hour and I still fail to understand why they have not been snapped up by a record label! Hopefully with this release, and the exposure it will undoubtedly bring, Neverworld will be able to hold their collective heads up high and say “We have arrived!”
Opening with the ticking of a clock and gorgeous orchestration, the instrumental ‘Tempus’ sets the scene wonderfully. This leads headlong into the title track riff and we’re off on our Neverworld journey of discovery. When vocalist and guitarist Ben Colton kicks in with his trademark thundering scream the Cheshire cat grin on my face was huge. Not only is this track heavy it has wonderful melody, a sublime chorus and immense guitar solos courtesy of Colton and fellow axe master Jack Foster. Believe me these two make an outstanding team. Couple that with the fabulous bass work of Gary Payne, drumming of Mike Vaughan and keyboard wizardry of Daniel Potter and you’ve got a super talented bunch here! Not content with this amazing opening salvo the guys then lead in, almost immediately, to arguably their best known song and anthem ‘They Live’. If you’re already a fan of the band then you’ll know what an absolutely mighty track this is. Instantly recognisable as giving Neverworld their signature sound it is one of those songs that will be remembered long after I’m gone! ‘Blood & Romance’ is up next, a near perfect 10 minutes of emotional impact that introduces us to sublime female guest vocalist Christina Gajny. Her voice compliments Ben’s superbly and she puts a lot of more well known female singers to shame! Without pause for breath the titanic riff of ‘Ghosts’ comes next and also what I think is Ben’s crowning moment vocally on the album. He absolutely nails the singing with enough power to split an atom!
I could go on telling you how good these tracks are. ‘The Wheel Of Misfortune’, ‘Eminent Reprisal’, ‘Salt Water Bandits’ (with guitar work that gives me goose bumps) and final song ‘This Fire’, which comes full circle and leads back into the ticking clock, are all utterly superb, the quality of writing, lyrics and musicianship is outstanding and you would be correct in thinking I’m just a little bit in love with this band. As far as influences go then think Dream Theater, Fates Warning, Gamma Ray, Judas Priest, Sonata Arctica, Iced Earth and Blind Guardian amongst others i.e. some of my favourites which is probably why this works so well for me!
Of course, I always try to be completely honest when reviewing and if there is one (only very slight) weak point, it’s in the production. Mike’s snare drum could definitely do with being higher in the mix, especially on the heavier numbers as it can get a bit lost, and on a couple of occasions Daniel’s keyboards come through a little too loudly, but you also have to remember that Neverworld do not have the resources to employ Mr ‘Uber’ Producer and this whole album has been produced by themselves. With that in mind, I sort of feel bad even mentioning it!
At the end of the day, for a debut album, this is nothing short of blissful to listen to and I’m utterly stoked for the guys that they’ve released something this good because they deserve nothing less. Artwork and CD booklet are also of extremely high quality, damn, I know how hard they’ve worked on this and it shows. It’s only March and I have yet another contender for my top five albums. Get ready everyone because Neverworld are here to stay!!
Neverworld photo courtesy of Sally Newhouse
02. Visions Of Another World
03. They Live
04. Blood And Romance
06. Wheel Of Misfortune
07. Eminent Reprisal
08. Salt Water Bandits
09. This Fire
Mike Vaughan – Drums
Jack Foster – Guitars
Ben Colton – Vocals, Guitars
Gary Payne – Bass
Daniel Potter – Keyboards
Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Richard Tilley and Ever Metal. It is strictly forbidden to copy any part of this review, unless you have the strict permission of both parties. Failure to do adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities
Reproduced with the kind permission of Brutiful Metal Radio