WARREL DANE

Progressive Metal / Heavy Metal • United States
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Warrel Dane (born March 7, 1969) is the lead singer of the progressive metal band Nevermore. He is also formerly the singer of 1980s bands Sanctuary and Serpent's Knight. Dane was trained for five years as an opera singer and utilizes a very broad vocal range, spanning from low to very high notes. His use of very high notes were more prominent in his Sanctuary and Serpent's Knight days but are still utilized in Nevermore.

Warrel, along with bassist Jim Sheppard, is a certified chef and formerly owned a restaurant in Seattle. As reflected in his songwriting, Warrel is critical of religion and government and has expressed mixed feelings toward the advancement of technology.

2008 sees Warrel's solo release entitled, "Praises To The War Machine", with Soilwork guitarist Peter Wichers involved in songwriting and production.
Thanks to Stooge, UMUR, rushfan4, adg211288, tupan for the updates

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Shadow WorkShadow Work
Century Media 2018
$10.93
$7.99 (used)
Praises To The War MachinePraises To The War Machine
Century Media 2012
$69.99
$30.00 (used)
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WARREL DANE Praises to the War Machine album cover 3.08 | 2 ratings
Praises to the War Machine
Heavy Metal 2008
WARREL DANE Shadow Work album cover 4.00 | 2 ratings
Shadow Work
Progressive Metal 2018

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WARREL DANE Shadow Work

Album · 2018 · Progressive Metal
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UMUR
"Shadow Work" is the 2nd full-length studio album by US heavy metal artist Warrel Dane. The album was released through Century Media Records in October 2018. It´s the successor to "Praises to the War Machine" from 2008 and features a completely different lineup, to the set of musicians who recorded the predecessor. Dane recruited solely Brazilian session musicians to record the instrumental part of the album, and also travelled to Brazil to record the album. While recording the album Dane tragically died of a heart attack in December 2017 (aged 56), forcing the label, the Brazilian session musicians, and the producer to finish the album without Dane. Fortunately Dane had already recorded quite a few vocal parts, and while "Shadow Work" may not be exactly what Dane had envisioned, had he been alive to finish the recordings of the album, 8 tracks and 41:43 minutes of music was still recorded and deemed of a high enough quality to be released.

"Praises to the War Machine (2008)" featured a more polished and formulaic songwriting style than what many fans had probably expected from the then Nevermore (and former Sanctuary) frontman, and that was probably what Dane wanted to do in 2008, but 10 years later (and a bad band break-up of Nevermore and a reformation of Sanctuary), Dane was obviously a bit more pissed off and in a dark mood, because stylistically "Shadow Work" predominantly sounds more like the fastest and heaviest of Nevermore´s output, than the somewhat tame material on the debut solo album.

As this is a vocalist solo album, it´s not surprising that Dane´s vocals are one of the focal points of the album, but other than that it´s not obvious that this is a solo album at all, because there are also some skilled and convincing instrumental performances featured on the album, and there is left plenty of room in the songwriting for guitars, bass, and drums to shine. In fact the instrumental performances deserve a mention. Dane hired some highly professional and skilled musicians for the project and everything is executed with great power and sharp precision. At times you almost forget that this is not Nevermore playing. Both in terms of the high level musicianship but also because of the overall songwriting style (of course no one plays on the level of or reaches the heights of Jeff Loomis, but there is definitely some great playing here). Heavy thrashy riffs and blistering solos, dark atmospheres, and deep melancholy are some of the album descriptions.

"Shadow Work" opens with the short "Ethereal Blessing" which works as an atmospheric intro, before all hell is unleashed with the next trio of tracks "Madame Satan", "Disconnection System", and "As Fast as the Others". Actually most of the album are in this pretty dark and heavy mode, and the band even manage to make The Cure cover "The Hanging Garden" sound really aggressive and hard edged. There are melodic choruses and motifs during the album, but they aren´t that many until you reack track number 7, which is the power ballad type track "Rain" (which doesn´t stay in power ballad mode throughout the track), and the closing behemoth of a progressive metal track in "Mother Is the Word for God". At 9:31 minutes this track has quite a few minutes to build and develop into a monster progressive metal track. Not completely unlike the title track on Nevermore´s 2005 album "This Godless Endeavor".

Considering the unfortunate circumstances under which "Shadow Work" ended up being completed, I´d say this has turned out really well. The tracklist is maybe slightly uneven, but it´s an overall feeling I have of the listening experience, and it has little to do with the quality of the material featured on the album, because this is high quality dark power/thrash/progressive metal through and through. The sound production is also professional and well sounding so a 4 star (80%) rating is fully deserved.

...let´s take a minute and remember all the the great releases, lyrics, and vocal performances Dane has given us since the mid-eighties...this is a world class heavy metal singer signing off. Here´s my hope that more people in the future will discover how truly great he was.

WARREL DANE Praises to the War Machine

Album · 2008 · Heavy Metal
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UMUR
Praises to the War Machine is the debut full-length solo album by Nevermore frontman Warrel Dane. I´ve followed Warrel Dane´s career since I saw the video for the Sanctuary song Future Tense on Headbanger´s Ball back in 1990. Allthough it wasn´t until Sanctuary disbanded and I heard Nevermore´s self-titled debut album in 1995 that I got really hooked on Warrel Dane´s vocal style, there was something about that Future Tense song and that angry yet very melodic sounding lead singer that captured my attention back in 1990. I´ve been a dedicated fan of Nevermore ever since the release of their debut album and remain a fan today, so checking out Warrel Dane´s first solo album was a matter of course.

So what have the man with the great voice conjured up for us here on his first solo album? Well as Warrel Dane is a singer more than a composer he has teamed up with Soilwork guitarist Peter Wichers who has co-written all tracks but three on the album with Warrel Dane. The last three songs are a cover of Lucretia My Reflection by The Sisters of Mercy, a cover of Patterns by Simon & Garfunkel and the last track on the album called Equilibrium which is co-written with guitarist Matt Wicklund ( Himsa, Sol Negro, God Forbid). Both Peter Wichers and Matt Wicklund handle guitars and bass on the album. The drums are played by Dirk Verbeuren ( Aborted, Scarve, Sybreed...etc.). With musicians as accomplished as those the musicianship on the album is of course top notch.

The production by Peter Wichers is very polished and professional. Too polished if you ask me, but that´s an aquired taste.

The music on Praises to the War Machine is heavy metal/ power metal. The focus is fully on Warrel Dane´s voice and vocal lines which means that there is next to no challenging instrumental parts on the album. Personally I sure do miss the fierce Jeff Loomis riffs and solos that makes the intrumental side of Nevermore´s music so rewarding. All songs are traditionally vers/ chorus build and they are instantly memorable with strong melodic choruses and hooks. This is the kind of album that is instantly enjoyable but quickly grows stale. It didn´t take me more than 3 or 4 listens before I started to find the music trivial. it´s really too bad because with a vocal capacity like Warrel Dane I had expected much more. Instead he has made the most predictable album he could. There are absolutely no surprises on Praises to the War Machine and I find myself disappointed.

Overall Praises to the War Machine is still a quality heavy metal album with a professional production, excellent musicianship and professional ( yet trivial) songswriting, so a 3 star rating is warranted.

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