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Nemrud - Ritual CD (album) cover




Psychedelic/Space Rock

4.13 | 412 ratings

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5 stars While Journey of The Shaman a most certainly had a flair for the dramatic, slightly melancholic aspects of music, Ritual is in many ways like it, yet fundamentally different. The bulk of the material isn't as in-your-face as I experienced the predecessor to be, perhaps due to the fact that it was my first encounter with the whole Turkish scene.

Debut album showed some clear influences, mostly in the shape of early Eloy, while still maintaining a high level of originality. Ritual, these influences are in no way as notable, and I confidently state that they firmly and successfully express their own, unique sound on this release. It's more relaxed, mature and sophisticated than the emotional, atmospheric but still slightly rougher, slightly unpolished music coming out of Journey of The Shaman, More daring in compositions, the use of many ideas that, almost magically, manages to form a single harmonious unity every single time.

As for the music, it contains even more classical overtones and is clearly more complex than Journey of The Shaman, but when for some bands that means a colder, more mathematical approach, not so with Nemrud. Because the music throughout the album is positively vibrant with warmth and richness, with often short , tranquil passages of excellent guitar and synth, intertwined with more dramatic passages and very often. The few bits of really notable electric guitar still shows some relation and admiration to Andy Latimer, but in the next second they are as far from the man as possible with the smooth, warm tone one can expect for this kind of music. That same warmth is not only limited to the instrumental side of the album, the vocals are equally soothing and patoral. The greatest difference, musically, must be that of the compositions. Here we're served a more modern, in the words relative meaning, sound. More electronic, bordering on sharp from time to time. If you for some reason find this bothering there's no need to be alarmed: Guitar-soaked melody will redeem that.

This is an album covering many moods and atmospheres along the way, but the one that lingers is above all the amazing laid-back, feel-good warmth and the fact that while staying true to this, that it still manages to be such an instrumental firework. It is, simply put and taken as a whole, a dark album. One that should be enjoyed indoors, in wintertime, with pleasant company, a glass of wine and in beautiful settings.

Mert Gocay's composer ability is simply great, showing off his well natural skills that happen to be undeniably outstanding. More than bringing you to tears, this piece will take you to unrevealing heights where you can only let go of everything and die for a fugacious moment that will bring you back to life itself. A geniality made music.

The opening In My Mind represents what Progressive Rock is, the band has divided it in several parts but I find really three clear divisions. The first part is chaotic and dramatic, the instruments seem to fight one with the other, guitar and keyboard seem to go through different paths and that's exactly where the beauty of the song relies, around the third minute the song begins to show a perfect structure that is often interrupted by another confusing and brilliant passage.

Second song Sorrow by Oneself opening with Gocay's elegant acoustic guitar, the song follows a simple progression but reaches crushingly beautiful peaks. Gocay's soothing vocal floats softly above Topel's atmospheric keyboard, creating a rich and grandiose musical atmosphere.

A very little one Light; a beautifully, melodic piece, starting with Gocay's guitar. Fairly laid back overall but this track really soars to powerful heights capable of taking the roof off and has one of those hair standing up on the back of your neck endings.

Ritual...What a song! 20 years later its release, it will sounds fresh an innovative, imagine how it must have sounded for people hearing it for the first time in 2033! For my particular taste, there have been a few other long epics that have surpassed this track as the best in that category of song. But, on one hand, this was one of the first, and it's still one of the best, and on the other, many if not all the bands that have recorded long symphonic-style epics since 70's have used this especial track as their primary point of reference and guidance. And there's no need to discuss how brilliant the music is, especially, for me, the magnificent opening of the song, which sounds like chaos organized to perfection, a superb juxtaposition of elements in the ultimate rock canvas, with so many colors and textures floating around at the same time and in such incandescent way that one can only surrender at the pure genius of it all. Aycan plays plain, clean bass, revolutionizing the instrument; Gocay is an artist with a brush full of colors; Topel plays around like the painter who tries to come up with the right formula; Alkaya acts like the timekeeper, the final judge that gives music its direction. When Gocay's voice appears it's not to annoy us with his unusual voice like in debut but to soothe us with a magnificent display of melodies and vocal harmonies, in what might be his shiniest performance ever, even if we don't have a single clue what he's singing about. All clicks in this song, from the brilliant structure that is never predictable but always coherent enough so that it never confuses us, to the alternation of dazzling technique and soft melody. One of the highest points in progressive rock's history.

As everything else in life, Ritual may not be to everyone's taste, but if you really want to understand what vintage prog is all about on these days, do yourself a favour and get it at once!

indiscipline | 5/5 |


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