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Numen - Cyclothymia CD (album) cover

CYCLOTHYMIA

Numen

 

Neo-Prog

3.82 | 47 ratings

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TenYearsAfter
3 stars Spanish prog band Numen was born as a four piece formation in 1992, in 1998 Numen released their debut CD entitled Samsara, a concept album about all the things that surround the man as an integrating part of Cosmos. This first album got very good reviews all over the world, but two years later Numen was dissolved as a band. Its members were engaged from that time to their personal projects. After a long period of inactivity, the Numen members reunited, on one hand to celebrate the 15th anniversary of the release of Samsara in 2013. And on the other hand to publish a new album, this was released in 2014, named Numenclature. At the end of 2014 guitar player Antonio Valiente left the group and was replaced by Marcos Bevia. Meanwhile Numen started a new musical project, resulting in the release of their third studio-album entitled Cyclothymia, at the Chilean prog label Mylodon, on CD (6 tracks), and vinyl (5 tracks).

1. The Man with the X-Ray Eyes (6:48) : First dreamy with voice and soaring keyboards, then a bombastic eruption with a tight beat, it sound like pleasant Neo-Prog featuring nice work on guitar and keyboards and decent English vocals. Gradually the music turns into more mellow with a strings sound and twanging guitar, culminating in an emotional vocal outburst with howling guitar and very moving electric guitar (evoking Rothery but the fiery wah wah gives an own touch) and bombastic keyboards, a strong end.

2. Some Faith (a CD bonustrack) (5:09) : The second song starts with dreamy piano, passionate vocals, the work on the distinctive volume pedal guitar colours the emotional atmosphere wonderfully. Halfway more strong electric guitar (from sensitive to fiery) and soaring keyboards, finally tender piano runs and soaring strings in dreamy climate, like in the first part.

3. A Cosmic Prayer (7:05) : First a slow rhythm in a sumptuous climate, then Neo-Prog rules, with obvious Marillion hints: an accellaration with a tight beat, melodic guitar work and pleasant vocals. We can enjoy wonderful electric guitar runs and spacey synthesizer flights, then again a tight beat and finally a dreamy ending.

4. Cyclothymia (14:53) : This epic titletrack begins with tender piano and dreamy vocals, embellished with synthesizer flights and a mellow organ sound. Then a spacey climate with guitar and keyboards, gradually the music becomes more lush. Next a shifting mood with fat synthesizer sound, sound effects, a bit ominous climate, but very compelling. Halfway suddenly a dreamy atmosphere with piano, followed by a bombastic outburst with powerful Hammond and a propulsive rhythm-section, a captivating sound. Then a tight beat with flashy synthesizer flights and guitar riffs, the voice of girl, now the music turns into a slow rhythm with sensitive electric guitar leads and lingering vocals, very emotional. Finally first howling guitar runs and then dreamy piano, this is a wonderful epic, Numen in its full splendor!

5. Lady of the Winds (5:38) : The intro features the voice of child and sound effects, then a dreamy climate with soaring keyboards, soft synthesizer flights and warm English vocal. Halfway again that voice of a child (lalala) in a cheerful mood, followed by a wonderful colouring with keyboards, a delicate synthesizer solo and classical guitar runs. Simply beautiful, to me it sound like the Spanish answer to Dutch pride Kayak, very melodic, harmonic and tasteful.

6. Footprints (9:30) : The final song delivers an obvious Marillion atmosphere (Misplaced childhood era) with fragile electric guitar and tender piano work, and soft bass runs. Then a slow rhythm with dreamy vocals, a bit melancholical. Halfway the music turns into more bombastic and compelling featuring a howling guitar solo and emotional vocals, then propulsive guitar riffs and drums beats, very pleasant Neo-Prog. In the final part lots of moving guitar soli, along orchestral keyboards and emotional vocals, culminating in a bombastic eruption, to end this strongly build-up composition in style.

To be honest, during my first listening session I was a bit confused about Numen its new album, because of the huge contrast between the guitar sound (Rothery and Hackett inspired) and the vocals, more Spandau Ballet rooted than Fish or Gabriel inspired. I had to get used to his voice, you can hear English is not his native language, but he puts a fair amount of strong emotion in the music. Gradually I was more and more pleased with Numen its Neo-Prog sound featuring tasteful and varied arrangements, a pleasant colouring by guitar and keyboards and some nice own musical ideas. This promising Spanish formation showscases its potential on this new effort, I am looking forward to their next effort.

My rating: 3,5 stars.

TenYearsAfter | 3/5 |

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