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Nimal - Nimal CD (album) cover





3.34 | 10 ratings

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Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Swiss Avant-Rio misadventures

Nimal are described in our Bio as something of a Rio supergroup whose member's various groups were influenced by older bands like Samla Mammas, Univers Zero, and Henry Cow. They were together only about five years but managed to tour and release three acclaimed albums. This debut, which was apparently not released on CD, is said to be not quite as fully realized as the latter two. If true, it blows my mind, because this is some intensely creative music.

"Nimal" is like walking into a snowstorm. At first jarring as the freezing wind blown snow hits your face. But later as you acclimate to it, walking in the winter becomes serene, a little bit of contemplative despite the chaos.

The cacophony of standard rock instruments and exotic ones are seemingly being crashed randomly by children, but as with other good avant releases, a little patience and a few more plays will pay off. The most ambitious track is the 10-minute opener entitled "La semaine des quatre jeudis" which is all over the map, sometimes it feels like an insane wedding soundtrack, very cinematic. The odd feel is courtesy of the hurdy-gurdy and the bouzouki employed by Rossel. Equal measures menacing, exhilarating, confusing, and dramatic, the piece feels like a great drunk one moment and the hangover the next.

I also enjoyed "Animal Triste" where there are wordless choral vocals sampled over the intense noise. It's like a life boat. The same with the cello on the closer "Maligne" which is quite the departure. Its calming strokes and deliberate pace nicely bring one in from the snowstorm and allow you to sink in front of the fireplace.

While not my favorite album by any means, "Nimal" is the kind of discovery I still enjoy. It's wonderful something so rare can now be heard online by the next generation. Avant and Rio fans will love this group.

Finnforest | 3/5 |


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