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Nektar - Evolution CD (album) cover

EVOLUTION

Nektar

 

Psychedelic/Space Rock

3.42 | 109 ratings

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ZowieZiggy
Prog Reviewer
4 stars Like lots of classic bands, they good lots of consideration for some of their earlier releases and then the interest dropped down considerably in the course of their career. Only five reviews with a comment before this one is truely not enough. But let's listen why.

"Nektar" did their come back three years before this release with "The Prodigal Son". IMO, it was not really successful. So, what about "Evolution" ?

I have to admit that when I listened to "Camouflage to White" I was impressed. A short and spacey intro, followed by a very hard but melodic part. A very good and powerful rock song. Great rhythm and nice melody. Must have been ages that I hadn't heard such good material form the band. It is of course on the harder edge but wow !

And the pleasure goes on with another beautiful composition. More on the softer edge, almost spacey. "Old Mother Earth" is such a nice piece of music. Some Spanish style acoustic guitar, great background keys, tranquil music for most of it. The closing part, on the other hand is again rocking alright and features good vocal harmonies.

I can't say that these compositions sound very modern. It is almost as if we get some early "Nektar" material refreshed with a new sound. Very pleasant.

Serenity is what you will feel while listening to "Child Of Mine". A wonderful and soft ballad; but far from being boring. Mellowish ? Yes, probably. But so delicate (especially the piano). A bit too long maybe. Even if the content of this album is rather different if compared with their early work, in terms of quality it surely holds the comparison.

Just listen to the wonderful "Phazed By The Storm". Almost hard-rock attack to start, great guitar and then such a nice melody. Strong but sweet (?) vocals backed up with a very powerful band. It also features some specific prog-metal riffs (but on the "soft" side whatever this might mean). Roye will also deliver a wonderful guitar moment. I like this track very much even if at time it will even sound disco-ish (but not too much, don't worry).

When I listened to the first notes of "Always", I was really charmed. Another fabulous and melodic moment. Fully symphonic keyboards, smooth vocals, nice acoustic guitar during the first part of the song. But boy ! What a superb electric guitar work later on. Reminds some "Mostly Autumn" great ones (thus, Floyd of course).

So far, this album is a very good surprise. It confirms that it is at time valuable to listen to the whole band discography (even if it timight be painful as well) to discover a hidden gem in the later days of a band's carreer (Ange, Camel and Kansas to name of few). Not the whole album will be great of couse. "Dancin' Into The VOid" for example is the weakest track of the album (but I guess that one weak song is not too bad).

The longest song (almost ten minutes) is a sort of a mini-"opera". Holding several themes, pop-rocking quite well. Almost an epic. The long closing guitar solo deserves some attention. Another very good track IMO. Like the very much symphonic and melodic again "After The Fall" which closes the album in such a beautiful manner.

This album is rather a good surprise. I have never been a "Nektar" minded fan. I considered their first two albums as their best ones (four stars), but this album is a definite winner as well. Lots of variety, great melodies, with a harder edge. I can only recommend you to listen to this good album. Should you be an old "Nektar" fan or someone who desires to discover a good prog album.

I just hope that "Nektar" will solve the problems related to the release of their next album "Book Of Days". If that one would only be of the caliber of "Evolution" ! It is worth a good seven out of ten. What a great "true" come back. I'll even upgrade it to the four star level. Emotionally.

ZowieZiggy | 4/5 |

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