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NeBeLNeST - NoVa eXPReSS CD (album) cover





4.14 | 81 ratings

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5 stars This French quartet can COOK! NeBeLNeST's second album, NoVa eXPReSS, just might be my favorite prog album to come out in the last ten years.

NeBeLNeST's sounds mixes a range of progressive styles. One thing that I find interesting about this band is that it seems that each member of the band was a fan of a different style of music. The keyboardist clearly was influenced by symphonic rock, and he is not afraid to let it show in his mellotron (!) parts. The guitarist seems to be largely influenced by psych/space rock, evidenced by his use of every stomp box imaginable except distortion. The drums reek of heavy metal influence, complete with (subtle and tasteful, not machine-gun) double-kick and roaring fills. The distorted and rolling bass shows a zeuhl influence. What is most remarkable, though, is the way it all blends together in one cohesive whole.

The music is dominated by the rhythm section, as the aforementioned rolling distorted bass and heavy-metal drums run you over with the melody section going nuts on top. If you are looking for beautiful, hummable, and uplifting melodies, look elsewhere, as everything EXCEPT that is represented by the band. The bass and drums just pound away in constantly shifting patterns, seemingly unable to repeat themselves more than once. Every time signature you can imagine is used on this album, but it is done so with startling ease; I had listened to this album several times before I even realized that the music was in odd time sigs.

This album actually manages to stand out with its production. Ordinarily, I don't care much about production, but the production on this album is good enough to make me notice. There are only a handful of albums that I think have a true "atmosphere" to them, and this is one of them. Despite all of the rapid twists and turns he puts into the album, Bob Drake managed to maintain remarkable consistency in the overall "feel" of the album.

This album single-handedly restored hope for me that the world was still producing good music. I cannot recommend this album highly enough to anyone who is a King Crimson fan (particularly the Red-era), an RIO fan, or simply someone looking to hear something you haven't heard before. If you are looking for a symphonic orgy of melody, this is not the place. Otherwise, you owe it to yourself to hear these guys.

rileydog22 | 5/5 |


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