Neverafter is the debut solo album by Andy Gillion (lead Guitarist/ songwriter for Mors Principium Est). It features appearances from Jeff Loomis, Paul Wardingham, guest vocals from Christina Marie and drums are performed throughout by 66Samus (Samus Paulicelli). The album was co-produced, mixed and mastered by Thomas “Plec” Johansson at “The Panic Room”, Sweden (Soilwork, Scar Symmetry).
Neverafter is a predominantly instrumental concept album comprised of symphonic, progressive and melodic death metal elements. To the backdrop of an enchanting orchestral metal soundscape, the music tells the story of a young girl, Aria, and her journey through a dreamworld as she searches for resolution after the tragic loss of her mother. A music box – all that is left of her mother’s possessions – fails to sound ever since that fateful day. Its melody, all but forgotten, haunts Aria’s dreams and into a deep sleep she enters, in search of that faithful sound, so that she may remember happiness once again – and once again be free.
The album will be released on November 15th 2019.
A soft lullaby, the twinkly melody of Nocturne certainly is a sweet start interrupted by a sudden burst of guitar that has power metal written all over it. That’s just an intro though, something to get the mouth watering as Neverafter really comes to life with Becoming the Nightmare.
A chunky start, the riffs and symphonic side of thing melding well together but it’s such a developed track that it has way more to give as it goes on. The playful melody that crops up is downright gleeful.
Skyless is a fatter and more technically proficient track. Complexities layered through its 7 minute run. The energy constantly increasing then dissipating only to build again. It’s thrilling but not quite as much as Becoming the Dream is. Here we get a more ferocious guitar assault followed by dreamy melody and reflective lows.
After so many instrumentals, Aria makes a nice change of pace as Christina Marie provides haunting vocals for a short number. Before it’s back to the technical wizardry of Black Lotus and Shards of a Forgotten World. Both tracks building on that sense of wonder that Andy Gillion has perfected on Neverafter.
Jammed in between those is the short but tearful, The Lost Melody. An element that is rarely forgotten as almost all the tracks have that effect.
Look no further then the wonderfully morose Hiraeth and the exceptionally memorable lightness of Lullaby. All before this fantastic piece of work wraps up with one enormous effort in the shape and sound of the title track.
A lovely effort that is as imaginative as it is deep.
Andy Gillion – Neverafter Full Track Listing:
2. Becoming the Nightmare
3. Skyless (feat. Jeff Loomis)
4. Becoming the Dream
5. Aria (feat. Christina Marie)
6. Black Lotus
7. The Lost Melody
8. Shards of a Forgotten World
9. Hiraeth (feat. Paul Wardingham)
Andy Gillion – Neverafter (Self Released)
The Final Score - 9/10