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Nil - Nil Novo Sub Sole CD (album) cover




Eclectic Prog

4.38 | 106 ratings

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5 stars NIL's fourth studio album Nil Novo Sub Sole is ''Nothing New Under The Sun'' - that's literally the case here: As expected after it's marvelous predecessor, Nil has made again an absolutely stunning album - Nothing new under the sun - it wouldn't be a surprice for anybody who have heard the Quarante Jours Sur Le Sinai. And just like the predecessors, this albums quality reaches also the sleeve that is a beautiful work of Samuel Maurin. But unlike the predecessors overhelming atmosphere in the principle theme, gigantic and pseudo-chaotic stucture of the album, here NIL takes a quite different direction for the album consists of six songs, of which ''Le Gardien'' would be the main work with it's twenty minutes length:

1. Le Gardien

''With the apogee of a civilization, the wheels of the madness await only one occasion to engage and release humanity...''

The song is composed together from seven individual parts, telling the tale of the end of the civilization, the end of the humanity... At once the music begins with Les Faits after the Prelude, you notice the dark pressure they're at and as soon as they begin the presentation of wacky song developing, you're certain of the great complexity of NIL as ever, it's just the same - you cannot get grip on it, for it's so tricky - you're almost there, you almost get it but not just quite! The French language gives it another complex tone for it's more hard to follow a song this big if you don't get a word of the lyrics! For a while consecutive, twisted parts roll over you and you think this is a masterpiece like the mighty predecessor which it certainly is! The song remains in slow tempo representing tricks, theme changes and Roselyne's dark howl until the time of about 7 minutes when the song starts to take more sturdy form, direction, then slowly turning into a long rise and you'll getting a brilliant upward ride! Until the last part Post/prelude sums it all up, like a collage of the song themes, melodies and rhythms used.

2. Linceul

''Waked up with the caress of the winds, Its naked body does not tremble, It cries. A deaf noise thunders in wood... The heavy shower, its tears, its shroud. Its cold tears, its paleness....''

Le Linceul, a song of the dead is a vocal masterpiece of Roselyne Berthet with a minimal background of atmospheric keyboards and few piano notes. It's slow, very dark and incredibly beautiful haunting melody creating some odd harmonies that make you lay back and Feel the song, feel the stimulative vibrations in the back of your brain. Delectable! This song balances the album and it's forthcoming instrumentals like

3. Dérégénération

''The Universe will be empty, desperately empty''

Deregeneration is a stunning instrumental that smashes your brains out already at the beginning with a dark and energetic entry! Here this incredibly talented group is on their own playground amusing themselves with a multithematic, twisted prog floating from beautiful, slow moments into smashing, powerful, heavy bursts of prog I've never heard before! This song represents greatly the richness of these compositions and group - brilliant ideas are almost wasted here! For example at time 9:42 comes a stunning bass-riff-rhythm-thing, a total blow-out, lasting only 10 seconds! A lesser band would have made a whole album from that! The universe is empty because this song has sucked it up!

4. 198

''The ground will fall, the sky to tear, and the stars will be inclined...''

Another instrumental of the album, 198 arrives slowly... with a dark feeling and a hint of explosion. And the explosion comes, for this is a total killer track! NIL goes to aggressive, dark territory like never before, maintaining the incredible interplay and complexity that actually takes the lead... and NIL is more stunning than ever! I almost cry every time when listen this song! Cry for craftmanship! Cry for the emotions it delivers! How the hell can anybody create this brilliant music! After 198 it might be a good time to take a break, cos' you'll be exhausted!

5. Abandon

''Iron enters my flesh, opens to me and exposes me naked, Streaming of sweats... Crying what I have one day believed...''

Abandon takes a lead with Roselyne's dark vocals, frightening beauty, despair and hints of explosion, again... and there it goes, slowly turning from shivering dark beauty and elegance to more powerful, aggressive brilliance! This track is the same as the preceeding instrumentals, but added with an extra instrument delivering extra feelings: vocals... The beauty of Nil's music is very hard to describe, but if you see a beauty in math for example, you may know what I'm after. Or open a swiss pocket watch or some other complex apparatus for instance - you may admire the craftmanship how all the cogwheels are joined together and how all those little pieces can work together, but break it apart and you'll never could assembe it again... The ending of this song is the most brilliant ever: a sudden STOP of every instrument leaving only a note of piano behinnnnnnn....

6. Derives

''The city falls asleep, the lights waver... Each life dies out without a future. Wounded sparkles, a deathly hush...''

Derives is the closer track to show some composing skills of the group. From the very beginning a strong rhytmically thematic multilayered music takes you within and begins to change and develop taking you from layer to layer with your head spinning from confusement till you get it, and then granting some orgastic moments: The song starts with a short repetitive theme represented by bass and guitar together followed by the other instruments accepting the rhythm and theme still being somewhat tentative and hesitating. Within a minute all settles down and the theme begins to work... But suddenly keyboards announce a contradiction and there emerge some doubts; a new fretless bass joins in and guitar puts a new riff in, a rival theme and drums are lost... it's all breaking apart till near two minutes they click together, only drums are still hesitating till it all melts into perfect harmony lifting the listener to clouds! But as soon as the common theme is found a new bass rushes in and a third one and you are in heaven! But not for long! Nil does it always: As soon as you think this brilliant pleasure goes on forever, it stops. And so it does here too - all the instruments turn to silence except ethereal keybs... and suddenly the theme and rhythm comes back with high operatic soprano voice of Roselyne! It's one of the greatest moments of musical history! Then the music slowly fades away leaving only some quiet quitar pickin and keyboards for at least three Roselynes to take care of a beautiful ending of the song.


When you go to NIL You'll have to purify your mind - There's no such music or band already - Don't waste your time in searching for relatives or references - just enjoy this very complex and brilliant music performed in such a quality and manner one can only hope for. These songs are so full of tricks in compositions and in playing they'll never going to bore you. They're for example messing with things that doesn't exist: They first make you think that after something comes something else, and then it doesn't! A howling guitar solo becomes a secondary for the peculiar bass pattern... These songs are full of details to find. And Nil has this amazing ability to throw some themes into the air where they float for a moment, may change a bit, may fade away for a moment and then come back to unite into the other themes, collaborating into a perfect harmony... and the ultimate pleasure is granted! All in all, this was easier album than Quarante for it's song oriented way of intercome, but don't get me wrong, still this is one of the most difficult and complex records there is and takes some time to get it! This one only did show better the brilliance of it all that is still partly hiding in Sinai! And if the predecessor is one of the greatest moments in progressive rock ever, so is this: NIL has made another Utter Masterpiece of progressive rock!

Nil has announced in their website they're on to a new record that should be available before 2010 - almost five years is a displeasingly long time to wait for a new album! Fortunately one cannot get enough from a Nil album in 5, or even in 10 years, so I happily wait it with great expectations while playing their older albums with please.

[Reference: The Album with a help of Babel Fish and Eurotranslator]

Nilman | 5/5 |


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