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Nemo - Coma CD (album) cover




Eclectic Prog

4.13 | 306 ratings

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Special Collaborator
Rock Progressivo Italiano Team
5 stars 2015 brings the ninth and very possibly final album `Coma' from eclectic French prog group Nemo. Back at the start of the year, the band announced they were taking an indefinite hiatus, citing a mix of the difficulties of working in the current music climate, exhaustion and simply the need for a break. However, were it to be the end of the road for the group, they were still determined to release a fitting final album, and fans of the group should find `Coma' a more than satisfying finale. Not as dense or overlong as many of their previous works, the six pieces that make up the 56 minute album are frequently more instantly approachable than on many of their other albums, but there's still plenty of Nemo's signature mix of heavy guitars, delicate piano and Jean-Pierre Louveton's darkly crooning vocals.

Opener `Le Coma des Mortels' bursts with blasts of ragged guitars and dirty Black Sabbath-like riffing without ever becoming heavy metal, breaking away in the middle for a deeply personal and soulful wounded vocal from Jean-Pierre above sparkling piano, warm acoustic guitar and gorgeous murmuring bass. Epic electric guitar and keyboard duelling opens `Train Fant'me' , gives way to slinking bass and a thoughtful melodic tune before muscular riffs batter gutsy Hammond organ blaring. Despite heavier bursts, the shorter `Coma'ne' has several folky themes with a sweeter vocal, and it makes a nice break from the longer brooding moments of the disc.

Seventies David Gilmour-style bluesy wailing, sprinklings of nimble-fingered jazzy electric piano, hard driving drumming and relentless bass powers through the infectious `St Guy', one of the best instrumental tracks to appear on a progressive album in 2015. The sad beauty of `Tu n'es Pas Seul' holds a carefully pleading and insistent chorus, with reflective chiming guitars and fluid bass all building in urgency with restraint. The twelve minute album closer title track `Coma' hits with epic power, built around lengthy instrumental builds of everything from thrashing metallic riffing runs, jazzy interludes, blitzkrieg keyboards and a soaring vocal. The piece is melancholic but not without hope, and frequently lifts to become victorious and life-affirming. If this is to turn out to be Nemo's final track, then the band went out on the perfect curtain call.

It may not be quite as aggressive or involved as some parts of their previous albums, and there are just little traces of a band starting to coast a little with a subtle melancholic weariness in a few spots, but this really holds everything fans of the group would want to hear. The harmonies and melodies are more instantly obvious here, and the album is perhaps even a little more accessible than previous works that would actually make it ideal for newcomers to the group, despite the fact that they'll likely only have a back catalogue to explore if they are impressed with by what they find here. But if this is the end of the road for Nemo, the band can be exceptionally proud of a consistently strong run of albums over their career that have held up well to constant repeated listens, a true achievement. `Coma' not only proves that the band was a winner right until the end, but they just might have delivered the best album of their career, and possibly even one of the best progressive rock releases of 2015.

Four and a half stars - Don't go, Nemo!

Aussie-Byrd-Brother | 5/5 |


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