Album Review – Neverworld / Dreamsnatcher (2016)

Once again it’s time to enter the realm of Neverworld and surrender to the power of their solid and distinct Heavy Metal.

Rating3

CD Cover ArtWork - Dreamsnatcher (2015)Two years after opening the gates of their metallic kingdom to all of us with their debut full-length album Visions Of Another World, British metallers Neverworld return with Dreamsnatcher, once again inviting us to step into their world of dreams and nightmares through their more than exciting Melodic Heavy Metal. However, this time those guys from Bedfordshire, a county in the East of England, stepped up their game and got harder and heavier, but at the same time more melodic and refined. Put differently, this is the type of band that shows all diehard fans of classic metal music the likes of Judas Priest and Savatage that not everything is lost in our modern day society in terms of music.

You’ll need just a few seconds to get hooked on the music found in Dreamsnatcher so captivating it is. Not only the guitars got heavier, but especially the keyboards played by Mr. Daniel Potter throughout the entire album are a work-of-art, adding texture and intricacy to the music and crafting a unique atmosphere perfect for transporting the listener to the land of dreams created by Neverworld. Moreover, it doesn’t matter if a song in Dreamsnatcher has four, seven or ten minutes, they all have a reason for their duration and never get tiring, not to mention their storylines that, if properly followed, will make your time listening to the whole album even more pleasant than you could expect.

Reigniting the fire of metal from where they stopped in 2014, an acoustic intro is slowly complemented by heavy keyboards and an epic atmosphere until it becomes pure Heavy Metal in the opening track, elegantly named Into the Mouth Of Madness. And if Ben Colton, the mastermind behind the band, was already amazing in their 2014 release, now he goes above and beyond offering the listener a riveting 9-minute metal journey full of beautiful riffs and solos. And things get even better in the title-track Dreamsnatcher, where the band drinks from the fountains of Melodic and Power Metal, with highlights to the powerful bass lines by Gary Payne and the aforementioned keyboard notes by Daniel. Besides, it’s truly amazing the way Ben declaims the lyrics with so much passion and dedication, turning this tune into a must-listen for fans of the genre.

In the superb Armies Of The Night, the band embarks on heavier and darker paths with highlights to the great job done on guitars by Ben and his bandmate Jack Foster, especially with the song’s main riff, resulting in a very solid composition that perfectly represents what Neverworld are capable of delivering to fans of heavy music. Then we have Passion Killers, a heavy ballad with lots of feeling and electricity where its killer riffs match flawlessly with its atmospheric keyboards, inviting you to close your eyes and savor this metallic voyage; followed by Under The Asylum, an old school Heavy Metal anthem inspired by the music from the 80’s with an additional progressive touch, with drummer Mike Vaughan pounding his drums nonstop while Ben fires his potent vocals. Although we face a high level of aggressiveness all the time, the music is also very harmonious, and there are so many good guitar and keyboards solos it’s quite impossible not to get thrilled by this fantastic hymn.

BandFall Forever is another beautiful semi-ballad to soothe our souls, showcasing an outstanding performance by Ben, while All I Am is Progressive Metal to the second power without sounding cheesy or repetitive in its four minutes of classy passages. And in Awakening, again sounding like a classic act from the 80’s, Neverworld bring forward a nice Hard Rock vibe with Daniel leading the musicality with his first-class keyboard notes. In addition, you’ll start singing its chorus together with Ben without even noticing so catchy it is.

It’s simply incredible how every song is unique and presents a fresh sounding to the listener, and of course it couldn’t be different with the last two tracks of the album. The Grand Illusion will put you to bang your head for sure, with its fiery guitars, keyboards and drums supporting Ben’s incredible performance on vocals. Moreover, perhaps one of Ben’s biggest qualities as a vocalist is that he never exaggerates while singing, always providing exactly what the music demands. And the icing on the cake comes in the form of Face The Fear, a bold and epic 9-minute composition that properly concludes Dreamsnatcher. It’s a high-end mix of Progressive and Melodic Metal that never gets bland or uninspired, especially due to the amazing guitar solos halfway through it and its melancholic and smooth ending.

It’s time again to enter the realms of Neverworld and surrender to the power of their sophisticated Heavy Metal, and in order to experience their magical music all you have to do is visit their Facebook page, YouTube channel and SoundCloud page, and obviously purchase Dreamsnatcher at the band’s Big Cartel page. After two sensational albums in a row, I’m beyond confident we’ll start seeing a lot more from Neverworld in the world of heavy music, with the sky being the limit for those British troopers. Or maybe even further, to a world where metal dreams always come true.

Best moments of the album: Dreamsnatcher, Armies Of The Night, Under The Asylum and The Grand Illusion.

Worst moments of the album: None.

Released in 2016 Dream Demon Recordings

Track listing
1. Into the Mouth Of Madness 8:44
2. Dreamsnatcher 4:38
3. Armies Of The Night 4:56
4. Passion Killers 5:51
5. Under The Asylum 4:54
6. Fall Forever 6:09
7. All I Am 4:04
8. Awakening 5:30
9. The Grand Illusion 6:56
10. Face The Fear 9:15

Band members
Ben Colton – vocals, guitar
Jack Foster – guitar
Gary Payne – bass
Daniel Potter – keyboards
Mike Vaughan – drums

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Album Review – Neverworld / Visions Of Another World (2014)

An exciting music journey to a “different world” created by this talented Heavy Metal band from the UK.

Rating4

Front CoverFormed in 2009 from the ashes of several local bands in Bedfordshire, UK, comes a Heavy/Power Metal band that offers fans of the genre a very professional and entertaining music feast, with all the traditional and melodic elements found in the music by giants such as Judas Priest, Deep Purple, Helloween, Gamma Ray and Savatage. After the release of an EP entitled Welcome To…, in 2010, British band Neverworld is back with their first full-length album, the interesting and solid Visions Of Another World.

According to the band members themselves, “Neverworld is a place of dreams, a world we all visit in our sleep and the band explore this magical realm in their lyrics and artwork.” They also say it’s a place where metal dreams come true, inspiring all of us to use our imagination while listening to their music, and let me tell you this is the best thing you can do while taking a listen at Visions Of Another World: not only this is a very technical album, but it’s just a matter of closing your eyes and following the story told in each and every song for a unique experience that will stimulate all your senses.

In order to properly kick off the “journey” proposed above we have Tempus, an intro that blends the sound of a clock ticking together with some smooth piano and keyboard notes, as if the band wanted to musically hypnotize and transport the listener to another world, before the title-track, the amazing Visions Of Another World, fills our ears and souls with that Symphonic Power Metal vibe, speed and energy the likes of Helloween and Judas Priest, with highlights to its guitar solos blended with some background keyboard notes. Simply raise your fists and sing the chorus along with vocalist Ben Colton, you’re going to love it.

band picThey Live focuses on more old school heavy music, like a mix of Deep Purple and Gamma Ray, with its ending showcasing a very harmonious and progressive side, creating an intense and fun atmosphere for the listener, while Blood And Romance, invigorated by the stunning vocals by guest musician Christina Gajny, is so delightful I would like to see more of that Ben/Christina duo in their future releases. It’s such a beautiful Power Metal ballad, with almost 10 minutes of powerful melodies and atmospheric passages transpiring pure emotion, it’s hard not to listen to it several times before moving on to the next song, Ghosts, with its “angrier” and more rhythmic musicality. Even the vocal lines by Ben are more aggressive here, providing a good balance with all its nice breaks and variations before culminating in a 100% Power Metal ending.

The band “spins the wheel” in the next track, The Wheel Of Misfortune, which has in its powerful keyboards and the amazing guitar solo “battle” during its last part its greatest strengths, followed by the more serious and introspective Eminent Reprisal, where Neverworld slow down things a bit and let the guitar lines guide the music. Each of the band members’ skills are truly noticeable here, with so many good solos and riffs it’s difficult to pick just one or two. Finally, we have Salt Water Bandits, which starts in a very mighty way, enhanced by an atmospheric break halfway through it and all the great sounding the band has to offer us, including many creative riffs, soulful solos, accelerated beats, high-pitched vocals and so on; and the very progressive This Fire, which sounds like a hybrid of Dream Theater and Gamma Ray with the band’s own touch, ending with the same clock from the intro to wrap things up in a very consistent way.

Visions Of Another World is available on CD Baby, iTunes, Amazon and other locations, and it’s a more than welcome addition to your list of metal albums. Let the energy and atmosphere generated by those British guys invade your mind and soul, and you’ll be more than happy to follow them to this new world of heavy music.

Best moments of the album: Visions Of Another World, Blood And Romance and Eminent Reprisal.

Worst moments of the album: This Fire.

Released in 2014 Dreamdemon Recordings

Track listing
1. Tempus 2:27
2. Visions Of Another World 5:53
3. They Live 4:44
4. Blood And Romance 9:13
5. Ghosts 6:40
6. The Wheel Of Misfortune 5:37
7. Eminent Reprisal 7:24
8. Salt Water Bandits 8:16
9. This Fire 8:33

Band members
Ben Colton – guitar, bass, keyboards, vocals
Jack Foster – guitar
Gary Payne – bass
Daniel Potter – keyboards
Mike Vaughan – drums

Guest musician
Christina Gajny – female vocals on “Blood and Romance”