“Visions of Another World” is a good example of how the
production can detract from the listening pleasure of an album. The mixing isn’t
one I was comfortable with either and I often struggled to appreciate what was
going on with the various instruments. These
sound issues and a weak rhythm guitar are the album’s main handicaps in my view.
Fortunately, beneath all that lurks quite a good album.
Neverworld are a young band from central England and “Visions...”
is their first full-length effort. Musically you have a keyboards-infused Power
Metal that’s strongly inspired by 1980s Metal. The band’s press-sheet compares
Neverworld to Savatage, Helloween and Judas Priest and I’m inclined to agree.
There’s a lot of potential in this band – particularly with regards to the
songwriting and to individual displays of brilliance. Case in point are the lead
vocals which, to my ears, seem to draw influence from Bruce Dickinson (Samson,
Iron Maiden) and Ralf Scheepers (Gamma Ray, Primal Fear).
Various elements are used to enliven the album, such as the guest female vocals
on ‘Ghosts’, acoustic guitars and narrations. Amidst all this Neverworld seem
mindful to keep the music hard and heavy.
My opinion on the
album changed drastically for the better since the first time I put it on,
possibly as a result of my tampering with different stereos and sound
equalisations. This one’s certainly worth checking out, especially if you’re a
fan of the genre.