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Nemo - Barbares CD (album) cover

BARBARES

Nemo

 

Eclectic Prog

4.14 | 234 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

TheGazzardian
Prog Reviewer
4 stars "Listening to French music? What are you ... French?" "No, voice in my head that thinks it's clever, I am not."

Barbares is a good album that, to me, includes two distinct parts: the epic, and the not-epic songs. It's one of those albums where it is the epic that truly carries the rest of the album, which is not to say that the non-epic tracks are weak; I just don't want to return to them as often.

"LDI" (no idea what it stands for, and can't really guess as my french is weak) is a pretty good way to start an album. It builds up into a rousing rocker over the first few minutes, with nice keyboard textures added, before the vocals come in. I love the way that they did the vocals in this track, for although they keep the the 'rock/serious' feel of the song, the way they alternate with the instrumentals feels somewhat playful to me, and makes me think of Nemo as a band who knows how to have fun writing musing.

19:59 is not an epic, nor is it a particularly long song. In fact, despite its name, it is actually the shortest song on the album. It is a bit more vocal driven than the previous track, and includes nice vocals to make it stronger. Unfortunately, I don't understand french, and I feel that knowing what the band was saying could potentially increase the experience here. Nonetheless, it is still a very nice sounding track.

"La Film De Ma Vie" (which translates to The Film of My Life) is another enjoyable track. I enjoy the way that the instruments run against the vocals in this one, for it works rather well. One of my favorite parts of this track is a section where the instruments are silenced, and the main theme is sung over supporting vocals by the rest of the band.

L'armee de Ombres (which google tells me means Army of Shadows ) starts off with a nice, rocking beat. I have to admit to liking that a lot about this band, that there is a good underpinning of rock and roll energy underneath. This song contains effective interplay between various themes and volume levels, and yet retains its energy, until it enters a nice, quiet section before the seven minute mark. The contrast is quite effective, giving the quiet feel of this part more meaning, while it builds back up into another rocking bit, backed by some very nice guitar work.

Faux Semblants (False Pretenses) is a little more held back than the other tracks at first, although it does grow in intensity as the song advances. The vocals start off appropriately reserved, making them feel more powerful when the band really gets behind them after the build-up around the 3-minute mark. Overall, another strong track.

But all of these tracks pale compared to the epic, 'Barbares' (Barbarians). It is a pretty simple track, built around a catchy, war-memorial sounding (to my ears at least) riff, which is repeated in various forms on various instruments, with various backing parts, to great effect. It is the type of song that had every potential to come off as repetitive, but I feel that Nemo pulled it off really well, to make the epic the highlight of the album. It moves easily from various moods, staying lodged in your brain long after you have stopped listening.

Overall, I find this album is full of excellent music, although I can tell that I am missing out on some of the experience by not understanding the french language. (I will, of course, be googling for English lyrics in the near future, or worst case scenario, copying the french ones into google translate). Ultimately, the epic is what has me coming back, more than any of the other songs, which are strong in their own rights. Four stars.

(For lovers of album art, the album are on the front cover looks much better in real life than on the site; the girls facial expression speaks more, and the background stands out more. I actually love the way that the tank in the background is almost muted out by the orange tones though.

The back album art is not quite as hot. It looks like a scene out of some FPS or other shooter video game to me.)

TheGazzardian | 4/5 |

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