Now Or Never – II
Denmark’s Now Or Never is a solid example of how melodic heavy metal and heavy rock should be played, with power and total conviction.
“II” is the quartet’s second release, and is packed with many interesting and catchy vocal harmonies, guitar riffs and hard-hitting rhythms with a solid feel to them. This is music you can definitely bang your head hard to and not feel anything but the sheer rush of the excitement hitting your brains.
The singing is certainly some of the best vocals I’ve heard within the last ten years for heavy rock/metal group, and their music has a big groove to it, like on the headbanging “King For A Day”, which is one of their more emotionally driven cuts here. “I Shall Remain” is another track with some cool grooves, more in the semi-thrash metal vein, but with a simplified approach to it, something any fan of metal can appreciate.
Now or Never’s choral arrangements are really well executed and get you into the moment of their songs, as they’re so infectious with harmonies and awesomely constructed melodies.
Frontman and singer Jo Amore (formerly of French heavy metal group Nightmare) has an excellent range and power to move Now Or Never’s songs to such high peeks. He is surely one of the stars on “II”, with his soulful yet heavy vocals, at times reminding of Warrel Dane of Sanctuary and a little of Ronnie James Dio. I am very impressed with how the vocals fit right in with the music and do not restrict the flow of the music’s sheer intensity and positive energy.
The band is rounded by founding member and guitarist Ricky Marx (former Pretty Maids), drummer Ranzo and bassist Kenn Jackson, also formerly of Pretty Maids. These along with singer Amore were cut out to jam with one another, as their chemistry can be felt throughout the album, which is highly regarded as a strong point in a band’s longevity.
Ricky’s guitar playing is excellent, especially when he jumps right into his lead runs, which throws the listener into a very tripped out tailspin, kind of like being out of control. His rhythms are heavy, groove influenced, and move the songs with power and heaviness reminiscent of early heavy metal masters as Iron Maiden and Judas Priest.
Bassist Kenn Jackson’s playing is superbly crafted and definitely gives the songs a tight bottom end keeping them interesting within the backing rhythm sections. The drumming is also great to listen to, as drummer/percussionist Ranzo does not repeat himself even once here. His creativity makes the drums explode with utter heaviness and diversity, which can be found on a virtuoso drum recording. He knows how to keep the songs together with the other instruments with his unique time signatures and constantly changing dynamics throughout each song.
My favorite song here is “Save Me”, with its passionately sung vocals and its mesmerizing guitar rhythms, which just get you thinking.
In my opinion, Now Or Never’s “II” album is the finest release in Mighty Music’s history, and surely one of the better heavy metal/heavy rock bands out today. Do not pass this one up – it’s an essential listen for ears tired of listening to the same old corporate crap littering the airwaves around the world. Now Or Never’s “II”
is a perfect 10 out of 10. Mighty Music Sarjoo Devani