NOW OR NEVER - II
(Target/Mighty Music Records)
Review by Sloof
August 2012: I attend a live gig in Zottegem (Belgium) where the French band Nightmare is going to promote their newly released album ‘The Burden Of God’. After this outstanding gig, I got in touch with the members and the nice and friendly vocalist Jo Amore was in very good shape that evening. After a chat and a few beers, we parted ways, and it took until 2015 when I got informed that Jo left the band due to unclear circumstances. I still remember his friendly smile and awesome throat, and it felt bad to hear that Nightmare was going to exist without Jo. Shortly after, good news arrived, as Jo became the new vocalist of Now Or Never, a band that is formed with members from Denmark, Switzerland and of course France! Their eponymous debut album was great, but still had a few details to work on.
Now, it’s time for the second album, and this one is simply called ‘II’, and I’m sure that a lot of fans of Heavy Power and Modern Metal will be pleased when they will hear the songs on this second release. The passion is present from the very first second, and the members are all top notch as they succeeded in creating songs that are: 1.simple as they haven’t got any gaudy aspects, 2.straight forward with a head and tail, and 3.you will agree that the material comes straight from the heart! Now Or Never surpassed their debut album on every level, they managed to work on the smallest details to lift the songs to unknown heights and understood very well that a song needs passion, dedication and an honest approach.
‘The Voice Inside’ is a very dark song about inner conflicts and a psychotic topic, so the vibe fits perfect to the lyrics. I must confess that I have played this album for many, many times now, and if I compare this composition with the rest of the album, it’s the least approachable song. There is not really a chorus line, or recognizable frame in the track, so it’s little unclear if I truly discovered it yet. Anyway, when ‘Sonic Ecstasy’ starts, you get a total diverse and different sound. The vocals of Jo have a lot of echo and that works really well. I also want to congratulate Pat Liotard who succeeded in a terrific result in sound. Every instrument is on its place, and although we have to deal with a quartet, we get a ‘full sound’ where the bass of Kenn Jackson is really awesome. Check out the Pretty Maids biography and you will notice that Kenn joined the band from 1991 till 2010 and recorded numerous albums.
Every musician has its own layer, and all together they sound like a very powerful attack! The track ‘King For A Day’ opens modest and cinematic but that’s only for the first minute. We switch into a very heavy and pompous riff where the vocals add a huge dose of quality (again). The guitars of Ricky Marx are present all the time with short shredding intermezzos! Those that are familiar with, again, Pretty Maids from Denmark will know this shredder, as he recorded a few albums with them, but he also worked with Nightmare in 2005 while they were recording ‘The Dominion Gate’.
Drummer Ranzo (full name Fabian Ranzoni) is the drummer of Now Or Never and was born in Switzerland, while he played in the band Sultan before. He’s adding his own personal value to the songs, and believe me, he’s pounding the skins with full power! Now Or Never is an awesome quartet with a golden future in hands. They only need the right people behind them to give them full support and exposure, and signing with Target/Mighty Music is a very good step to reach the next level in their career. One of the best tracks is next as ‘I Shall Remain’ has a very good heavy base but with an awesome chorus line. I’m sure that you will sing along when listening to this track, and that counts for several songs on this second album of the band. Even the easy listening track ‘I’ll Be Waiting’ has the same magical quality, and once more I have to mention the outstanding throat of Jo Amore. He’s a little hoarse, a mix of Jorn and Dio, and that works really well! The pace increases with ‘The Anwser’ where the drums have a prominent part in the arrangement. How heavy can things get? Something really different is ‘The Revolution’, which is speeding up and contains some unexpected twists and breaks.
When ‘Save Me’ starts, goosebumps take command of my skin and a cold shiver runs my backbone. Wonderful guitar parts by Ricky, a voice that will take full command of the song and there is magic in the air! Slow, determinate, solid, that’s what describes this song! All hell breaks loose on the song ‘Feel Alive’, and we still have one more magical moment to enjoy with the last track on the album: ‘’till The End Of Time’. Probably one of the best songs on this album, although it’s totally diverse. It starts like a ballad, with an orchestral support, but halfway, the whole thing is bursting out. Hard to describe how wonderful Jo Amore is bringing his lines. He’s totally ‘into the song’ and brings it with so much dedication and passion that a moment of silence is appreciated. This is so gentle, so full of emotion, so exquisite and surpassing that I need to mention this track as one of the best songs in months. It’s not representative for the whole album, but it’s one of the 10 gems that you will find on this second album of Now Or Never.
Do we have already an album for our personal Top 20 of 2016, I guess so! The album still grows in quality, and that’s a rarity! Now Or Never Official Homepage: http://www.onlynowornever.com/ Order at: http://www.targetshop.dk/uk/370639/Now_Or_Never/II/ New digital single for 'I'll Be Waiting' available at: https://targetgroup.lnk.to/Illbewaiting
My rating: 92 / 100
95+ : Outstanding, high valued albums & Classic Ones… a direct purchase is advisable !
Between 90 and 95: Surpasses the style of music, must be heard/ordered by every Metal fan
Between 80 and 89: Good in its own genre, recommended for those hooked on it
Between 70 and 79: Decent but best previewing
Between 60 and 69: Rather moderate
Between 50 and 59: Bad, substandard
50- : Rubbish