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3.77 | 20 ratings | 3 reviews
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Album · 2000

Filed under Thrash Metal


1. Narcosynthesis (5:31)
2. We Disintegrate (5:11)
3. Inside Four Walls (4:39)
4. Evolution 169 (5:51)
5. The River Dragon Has Come (5:05)
6. The Heart Collector (5:55)
7. Engines of Hate (4:42)
8. The Sound of Silence (5:13)
9. Insignificant (4:56)
10. Believe in Nothing (4:21)
11. Dead Heart in a Dead World (5:06)

Total Time: 56:37

Limited edition boxset bonus tracks:

12. Love Bites (Judas Priest cover) (05:22)
13. All the Cowards Hide (05:55)
14. Chances Three (03:02)


- Warrel Dane / Vocals
- Jeff Loomis / Guitars
- Jim Sheppard / Bass
- Van Williams / Drums

About this release

Released on Century Media Records, September 13th, 2000.

Thanks to The Angry Scotsman, adg211288 for the updates


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The Angry Scotsman
Nevermore's second best album

"Dead Heart in a Dead World" is another great output by the Seattle prog metal band. A tad overlooked/underrated by Nevermore fans I was never sure why until many listens, when I realized while absolutely Nevermore style, it is a bit different from most of their work. It has all we want from them but is overall a bit less intense, more progressive, and melodic than a lot of their discog. Their progressive songs do have the heavy tremolo riffing, shred solos and thrashiness Nevermore fans crave, but not to much. This is in stark contrast to their upcoming album which is a flat out face melting speed fest.

The album starts out with "Narcosynthesis" which is a fairly standard but pretty decent Nevermore song. "We Disintegrate" is a slower, heavy song with some wonderful harmonies. "Inside Four Walls" is a high point of the album.

A mid tempo, thrashy song about the US government and injustice of the prison system, specifically drug law. About "a friend" who was "taken away" the song has some of my favorite lyrics by the band with lines such as: "Can anyone tell me why violent crime means far less time?" the chorus "Inside four walls my friend, they took away your freedom, and the pigs still preach their lies" and an interlude bluntly stating that drug offenders in the US serve more time than rapists, child molesters and murderers, asking is this American way? Ends on a powerful note, with Dane yelling out "they took away your freedom, but they'll never take your mind!"

"Evolution 169" is a very slow, melodic song and a nice change of pace. "The River Dragon has Come" is perhaps my favorite on the album, a progressive song with some awesome writing, it's packed with great riffs, powerful solos, lots of variation and a great structure. Another powerful ending, going with the highest wails I've heard Dane reach! Awesome song.

"The Heart Collecter" is another slow, heavy song that is packed with emotion, very moving song. Followed by the speed laden "Engines of Hate" and an intriguing cover of Simon & Garfunkel's "The Sound of Silence" which is the most intense song on the album. "Insignificant" is another slower song which leads to the powerful "Believe in Nothing" featuring some normal singing, soaring vocals and a scathing critique of religion, but done in that tasteful Nevermore way, with great lyrics that elude so many metal bands.

The album ends with the title song, a haunting yet beautiful guitar melody, static and chilling lyrics burst into an awesome and crazy song. Not much more can be said, this is perhaps the bands most balanced album. Featuring some of it all: epic riffing, mind blowing guitar solos and power metal movement but also lots of slower stuff and some of the most powerful and emotional music the band has written. There's no bad song though "We Disintegrate" is probably the weakest, while "The River Dragon has Come", "The Sound of Silence" and "Believe in Nothing" are the standouts.

Great Album Four and a Half Stars

Nevermore made quite a buzz with this album in the 2000 metal scene. The music was described as a combination of power metal and Thrash metal, and given Power Metal was very much a hit and miss with me in those years, I approached the album with some skepticism. Unnecessary, this was love at first sight.

One of the qualities that won me over is how varied the album is. Despite my love for metal, I'm often put off with how repetitive and one-dimensional most metal albums are. Not this one. Kicking off with the thrashy "Narcosynthesis", the song soon breaks open for the magnetic melodic chorus. Power metal indeed, but staying way out of the spinal tap traits of the genre. More power thrash follows on "We Disintegrate" and "Inside Four Walls". The latter also gave me a slightly Gothic impression due to the spooky wailing guitars in the chorus. Later I would learn the band are fans of Bauhaus. Cool!

With "Evolution 169" the band goes for a gloomier sound, slightly melodic doom-ish. "The River Dragon Has Come" sits close to Progressive Metal in my ears and sounds like a track that could have been from their preceding album. Next on is the ballad "The Heart Collector", mellow, cheesy, brilliant. Quite a contrast with the tech-thrashing of "Engines of Hate" and the thrashed Simon and Gartfunkel cover "Sound of Silence". Really love that one. "Insignificant" is another strong ballad, always reminded me of Psychotic Waltz. By contrast, "Believe in Nothing" is a cliched radio-airplay ready-made power ballad. Not bad probably but never liked it much. Luckily they kept the best track for the end. "Dead Heart in a Dead World" is devastating.

A metal essential but not my favorite Nevermore so 4.5 it is.
It's a funny coincidence that the word "four" if translated into Chinese can also mean "dead" and the title of Nevermore's fourth album is "Dead Heart In A Dead World". Produced and mixed by Andy Sneap, the result is very satisfying. Some said that Nevermore's style is comparable to their fellow Seattle band, Queensryche, but they're far heavier because of the power/thrash factor, that's an opinion I won't deny. Nevermore implemented a down-tuned distorted guitar which is common in modern metal but then it created an unacceptable problem for my ears that's used to normal tuning in classic 80s metal style. Warrel Dane's vocal delivery here is mostly sounded painful and tortured, often he's wandering aimlessly in the mid range, not a horrible one but definitely not good either.

I will raise my hat to Jeff Loomis' monstrous riffs and thunderous shreds, but underlining the fact that I dislike a down-tuned tone, others might found it more appealing. Off to the great tracks of the album first : "We Disintegrate" displayed a dynamic riffs and tempo, and Dane's best singing style can be found here, you can see how he switch between a demonic scream and low register crawl at ease. The next one, "Inside Four Walls" has a swelling groove, an angry and furious track embalmed with a technical texture. "The Heart Collector", an easy-listening Nevermore-style power ballad is quite good but the single, "Believe In Nothing" is superior compared to the former. Dane's soulful vocal and the normal tuning guitar made this a compelling semi-ballad song.

"Narcosynthesis" and "Engines of Hate" burst with an unmerciful rhythm and brutal riffs, a potential tracks that could've done better. "Evolution 169", "The River Dragon Has Come", and "Insignificant" are disposable, but the rendition of Simon and Garfunkel's "The Sounds of Silence" ruined the classic and the whole album. I'm confused on why should they pick this song and turned it into a modern thrash version as you hardly can identify any melody of the original song at all, definitely a catastrophic moment for me.

It's interesting to see a lot of people dig this album and even cited this as one of their best, because if this thing is their best, then I won't bother to hear any other of their albums. To sum up, "Dead Heart In A Dead World" is pretty dead to me and based on the four songs that I like, two stars is the most I can give. Avoidable for fans of classic thrash/power metal but Nevermore hardcore or fans of modern metal might found this highly enjoyable.

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