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Nemo - Barbares CD (album) cover




Eclectic Prog

4.10 | 293 ratings

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4 stars My first musical experience with Nemo was a few months after the release of their second album entitled Presages (2003), I was blown away by their dynamic and varied blend of several styles, topped with the slightly theatrical French vocals. Meanwhile I have become a huge fan (apart from Si Partie I, a bit too experimental and fragmentic in my opinion), on every album you can notice progression, new ideas and more and more an own, very unique progrock sound. Their latest album is Coma from 2015, this review is about their sixth CD entitled Barbares, the Limited Edition Digipack 2-CD version (including 71 minutes live disc).

My main conclusion is that on this album Nemo sounds very well balanced, there is a great 'flow' in the compositions and the band even sound pretty accessible for 'Nemo standards', despite the frequent shiftings moods, many breaks and huge variety

First the interplay between the guitar and keyboards, both musicians are founding members, have played together for many years and on Barbares their musical understanding is mighty close to identical twins: amazing how they follow, challenge and stimulate each other, this gives a captivating and often exciting extra dimension to the music.

Second the way JPL uses the vocals, it has become an instrument in the sound of Nemo and colours the music with a very special flavor, slightly theatrical and often with strong expressive undertones.

An third 'captain' JPL his abilities to drive the music with his powerful and varied guitarwork, from biting wah-wah drenched runs or fat guitar riffs to funky rhythm-guitar and sensitive solos (fueled by an outstanding, very flowing and adventurous rhythm-section).

My highlights.

The early Eighies Rush inspired Ldi: awesome interplay, exciting guitarwork, great dynamics and a very surprising break.

Great tension between the powerful drums/prog metal riffs and acoustic rhythm-guitar/piano, embellished with passionate vocals in 19.59.

A swinging rhythm with bombastic organ and wah-wah guitar in Faux Semolanc.

And the magnum opus Barbares (25 minutes) that presents Nemo at their best featuring spectacular synthesizer flights, exciting interplay between guitar and keyboards, lots of great changing climates and some strong musical ideas like the blend of an acoustic guitar solo, tin-whistle and sparkling piano into the music, culminating in a compelling grand finale, what a band!

The bonus disc (500 copies limited edition) is a live registration from 2007, you can enjoy their great power and dynamics with lots of awesome solo work on guitar and keyboards, strong interplay and a captivating live atmosphere, this is a perfect way to experience Nemo on stage, unfortunately I miss the song Une Question De Temps, one of the highlights of their Progfarm 2008 Festival gig I witnessed 10 years ago.

Despite the language gap, during the years Nemo has made more and more friends, they fully deserve wider attention.

TenYearsAfter | 4/5 |


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