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Nemrud - Ritual CD (album) cover




Psychedelic/Space Rock

4.13 | 412 ratings

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4 stars 1. In My Mind (10:22) - starts with a minute of default spacescape atmospheric noise which evokes imagery of a landing spaceship, before building into an Eloy-esque slow paced guitar driven beat. Lyrics in slightly broken English are simplistic and covers as many prog cliches as possible within 60 seconds (darkness, fear, dreams shadows). As the synth builds into a dreamy section we are treated to some of the vaguest of default nonsense lyrics: "The time has come, the music almost begun". The fractured English is of course excusable given the band's native language but there is an element of crowbarring in lyrics just so that they rhyme, particularly in the megaphone-spoken mid-section: "The gates of gream lie waiting as you see, there's not much to say just follow me". However, the melodic instrumental section, particularly from the synth organ is very well put together, before we're back to the lyrics, this time misquoting Simon and Garfunkel: "Welcome darkness my restless friend", providing another cliche: "opened my eyes but I can not see", and a final slightly clunky line "What is being done to me?" before we're back to the instrumentals, which for the final two minutes moves from something which wouldn't be out of place at the back end of Dark Side of the Moon to a heavier Steven Wilson style sound. Ignoring the lyrics themselves, the vocals are solid and instrumentally it is a good 10 minute piece.

The detail above also summarises the album as a whole - the lyrics can make you grimace at times but if you focus more on the composition as a whole it is solid. In between tracks there is quite a lot of hiss for whatever reason, which is a bit irritating.

2. Sorrow by Oneself (7:46) - First half is incredibly Eloy. See 'Point of No Return'. As above the lyrics are a little weak but overall a decent sounding first half of the track before the second half returns to a style more reminiscent of Pink Floyd's Animals. Surprisingly though before this really gets going we switch to quite an upbeat riff towards the end of the track which again finishes with a lot of hiss.

3. Light (2:18) - A short dreamy number which doesn't add much other than to build into the final epic-length title track.

4. Ritual (18:24) - The intro to the track does its name some justice, with tension-building off-key piano and percussion easily evoking imagery of a dark sacrificial rite of passage. Again, the trick here is to avoid listening to the exact lyrics and focus on the mood and melody of the track which is very very good. Essentially, pick any of the most popular prog albums of the late 70s/early 80s and you can probably pick out similarities to parts of this track. There's even a point half way through where if you're not paying attention you'll think you're listening to Dire Straits' Sultans of Swing. Against my better judgement I quite like it, even if later on the lyrical torture ends at a peak: "go to sleep and dream again... soon your hopes will rise and then... from all this gloom life can start anew... and there'll be no fear soon". After this though there's another 5 instrumental minutes so you're able to forget the lyrics as the tune appears to slow to a close, only to start back up again with a powerful and dark sounding final thrash which i'd compare to Porcupine Tree's Signify. I'd even go far as saying that this final section of darker, heavier prog is the piece de resistance of the album, and the reason why at the last minute I've bumped this up from 3* to 4*. Finally, that "spaceship" from the start departs into the white noise hiss.

bartymj | 4/5 |


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