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Some Unorganized Thoughts on the Death of Warrel Dane

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  1. Nevermore were one of the few torch-bearers of true heavy metal in the late ’90s and early ’00s. Those were dark times for metalheads, but Nevermore carried the flag high and proud.
  2. I saw Warrel play live twice, both with Nevermore: on Gigantour in the mid ’00s and in New York City in 2010 on the Obsidian Conspiracy tour. The latter was one of the single tightest performances I have ever seen a band give. Just phenomenal. Ungodly.
  3. Warrel had a one of a kind voice. He successfully evolved from the piercing highs he was known for in Sanctuary into a more well-rounded vocalist in Nevermore. The highs, the lows, the grit, the charm… he had it all.
  4. Warrel was not well in recent years. Reports of his deteriorating condition occasionally bubbled up from various sources. Time — and his behavior — sadly caught up with him.
  5. I sincerely hope Jim Sheppard is taking good care of himself these days.
  6. It is absolutely criminal that Van Williams is not a consistently employed drummer. The guy is fucking incredible, and he’s the engine that made the band’s live show go. Next time a top-tier band needs a drummer, he should get the fucking call.
  7. Jeff Loomis is the only member of Nevermore who is still actively working in metal. What in the actual fuck.
  8. How interesting that none of Warrel’s former bandmates have said anything publicly about his death yet, other than this very brief note from Loomis.
  9. Adding insult to injury, it’s sad that Warrel died in Brazil, so far away from home. That must make it even more gut-wrenching for his family and friends.
  10. Dead Heart in a Dead World is the quintessential Nevermore album, right?
  11. “Believe in Nothing” might not be representative of Nevermore’s catalogue — it’s their big power ballad, and easily their softest and most poppy song — but my lord, Warrel’s vocals in the chorus are devastatingly haunting and gorgeous. That grit in his voice, even in the tenderest of moments… ugh, it kills me.
  12. Praises to the War Machine, Warrel’s first solo effort, was an absolute gem. Songs for days. Ex-Soilwork guitarist Peter Wichers was the perfect writing partner for Warrel, who delivered a hell of a performance.
  13. Warrel was actively recording his second solo record at the time of his death. What will become of those session files? I sure hope at least some vocals were recorded so we get to hear them eventually.
  14. I never met Warrel personally, but this one stings a lot.
  15. Rest in power, Warrel.

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