Nevermore/Pure Sweet Hell
After “The Politics Of Ecstasy” the band parted ways with their second guitarist Pat O’Brien (now in Cannibal Corpse) and it took them almost a year until they found former Forbidden-member Tim Calvert to fill the vacant spot. With this line-up they recorded the masterly “Dreaming Neon Black” (1999) which showed the perfect balance between all the different components of the NEVERMORE sound. There were small, complex mini-dramas as well as super-tight thrashers and quiet, emotional tunes opposed to angry noise eruptions. NEVERMORE managed to create an album equipped with numerous non-metal trademarks which sound appealing to the usually very sensitively reacting true metal community. Or maybe it was still metal enough that it could not even upset the die-hard purists? Anyway, it is a matter of fact that the career of our five heroes just went straight up. Seemingly endless, but still extremely successful tours followed the release, the US was toured not less than four times, Europe was frequently visited (with LeFay - now Morgana Lefay again -, Sacred Steel, Nocturnal Rites) and they even stopped in Australia for a number of shows. After all, guitarist Tim Calvert decided to leave the band in early 2000 to focus on non-musical activities. The remaining band members decided to carry on as a four-piece and did not hesitate to start recording their fourth album “Dead Heart In A Dead World (2000)”. For the first time not Neil Kernon but Andy Sneap (Machine Head, Testament, Skinlab, Napalm Death, Stuck Mojo) worked the knobs and moved especially Loomis “skin-flaying” guitar play to the production’s forefront. Again tireless world touring followed and turned songs like “Narcosynthesis” and “Inside Four Walls” into anthemic fan favorites. German Rock Hard magazine stated fittingly: “This is the masterpiece of one of the most talented bands in present time”.
2003’s Enemies Of Reality received similar praise: “must have album of the year” said Outburn Magazine, Guitar One called NEVERMORE’s newest songs “opuses that often reach dark symphonic peaks”. With performing at Europe’s largest rock festivals including the infamous Dynamo, the prestigious Wacken Open Air and sharing stage with metal’s elite including Arch Enemy, Children Of Bodom, Dimmu Borgir, Iced Earth, King Diamond and Opeth throughout their recording career NEVERMORE could manifest the high position they deservedly occupy within the metal scene.
Now, in 2005, “This Godless Endeavor” is the title of the band’s latest work to date and was recorded at England’s Backstage Studios, once again with Andy Sneap (who not only produced “Dead Heart In A Dead World” but also just recently re-worked “Enemies Of Reality”). “This Godless Endeavor” captures “the most ripping guitar work we’ve recorded”, says vocalist Warrel Dane. Marking his NEVERMORE recording debut, guitarist Steve Smyth (ex-Testament/Dragonlord) joins core members Dane, Jeff Loomis, Jim Sheppard and Van Williams. Hugh Syme (Rush, Megadeth) provided stark album artwork, which according to Dane, “incorporates our ongoing theme of everyone wearing a mask.” Appearing on the mainstage of Megadeth’s Gigantour throughout the summer as well as moving over to Europe for a string of summer festivals and a full club-tour by September, NEVERMORE ask you to venture out, to experience the unfathomable, to join them on This Godless Endeavor. An album determined to become a future classic of the metal movement…
Between Nevermore downtime, Van works with Multi-instrumentalist Cryyst Eichhorn in a band project called PURE SWEET HELL. Releasing an album "The Voyuers of Utter Destruction as Beauty" released on Crash Records 2004.