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Nemo - Si, Partie 1 CD (album) cover




Eclectic Prog

4.20 | 231 ratings

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5 stars This album has taken some time, like all the Nemo albums have, to really get into. But I think this one has taken even longer for me for some reason.

They start out the album, strengthening my Dream Theater comparisons on the last album, with the electronic blip sounds that ended the previous album. The comparisons pretty much end there though, as this band is much more interesting than DT and certainly can't be confined to the label "prog metal".

I think what threw me off with this album is it is somewhat less complex than previous albums, and a bit more "arty". Perhaps a better way to say it is this is the most symphonic they have gotten on an album yet. Still, the Nemo sound is intact and there is no denying this is the same band. The new bassist, while good, seems a bit more talented than the previous one, though certainly the previous bassist was no slouch.

First track, Douce Mort is a fairly dark and dynamic track that contains elements of their typical style mixed with some new elements. The main thing that is new, and perhaps is what threw me off on first hearing, is the darker, slower, more symphonic elements. The piano on this song is quite good and is featured in a few slower sections to great effect. Some of the heaviness of the previous album is found on this track, but over all this album seems to have left much of the Dream Theater prog metal behind. But, as always, Nemo leans towards the heavier end of the prog spectrum. Basically, this is great track that took some time for me to adjust to. But again, that is nothing new for Nemo and is often the sign of truly excellent prog rock.

Ici, Maintenant is another fine track, featuring a softer beginning and moving into more upbeat territory later on. Much more what I consider a "typical" Nemo type track (if there is such a thing).

Miroirs. For this track, we find ourselves back in the more prog metal territory of the previous album with JPL and Fontaine showing off their instrumental prowess to great effect. This is really the only song that compares to the previous album in terms of heaviness. A very good song.

The title track is classic Nemo. Starting off with quiet vibes (there seems to be at least one song on all their albums that starts off with and features them), this song features wonderful vocal melodies and becomes much heavier as it progresses. In fact, there is no doubt that this album features the best vocals by JPL on any of their albums so far. Good song.

The final epic, Apprentis Sorciers, features everything I love about Nemo and is by far their best epic. With one problem. I don't understand why the fade out at the end is so abrupt and happens just as what sounds like a fantastic guitar solo is hitting its stride. Having heard the following album, it does indeed start with this fading back in, but it still bothers me and feels like the song has been cut short (and the following album is just not as good as this one). But with that gripe aside, this really is a great song.

So I struggled with this final rating, since this album did take some time to absorb and because this is still a fairly recent and "new" band. The musicianship is superb, the writing well done, and the production first rate (especially for an independent release). Due to the fact that I think this band deserves more attention than it gets, I am going with the full five stars. Though keep in mind I think this falls short of a masterpiece, but easily gets a solid 4.5 stars if not more. The only thing that probably keeps this band from having a larger appeal is the French vocals. But don't let that put you off. The singing, particularly on this release, is outstanding. And if you let non-English vocals put you off of prog albums, then you are missing a LOT of great music. Anyway, I highly recommend this album and band to anyone who enjoys somewhat heavier symphonic prog with some jazzy elements thrown in. Great stuff.

infandous | 5/5 |


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