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Nolan Potter's Nightmare Band - Nightmare Forever CD (album) cover

NIGHTMARE FOREVER

Nolan Potter's Nightmare Band

 

Eclectic Prog

4.64 | 5 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

scaramousche
5 stars [1. Nightmare Theme]: The album begins with a short overture which ramps up and, with its violin-led, orchestral, slightly chaotic motion, makes a statement that we're deep in a proggy, fusion-y, psychedelic territory while creating a sense of anticipation of the things to come. It segues seamlessly into

[2. Caberfae Peaks], which with its tuned percussion, whimsical melody, and occasional lyrical silliness ("what kind of man would I be if I lost all my hair") has a discernible Zappa tinge. The wandering flute lines lend a jazz rock kind of vibe to it, and the slightly festive choral delivery of the refrains adds an overall fairytale feeling.

[3. Elf Curse]: I saw a few reviews that placed Nightmare Band in the "fantasy lyrics" category of prog rock, and I feel that's not quite true. Obviously the name of this track would make you think of D&D, but it's instrumental, and takes a foreshadowing turn to a slightly more groovy space rock jam territory before we (again, seamlessly) return to the blissed-out psychedelia of

[4. Seahorse Retreat], probably the chillest song on the record. The lyrics parade a list of characters going about their slightly weird lives, and the orchestral melody at the end of the song lifts the listener up of the bliss to plunge them into the restless motion of

[5. Pity in the City], whose anguished lyrics combine with an 11/4 groove (your time signature analysis may vary, but the bars in the verse add up to 11 beats) that contributes to the feeling of the ground moving under your feet.

The album is very well suited to the LP format, because as we turn the record over the mellowness of side A gets instantly wiped away as we're plunged head first into the fuzzed out garage rock'n'roll of

[6. Dosing the President] and its angry political rant. The contrast to side A is startling, and shows that there is much more to come from this record.

[7. Donny's Trip]: Following logically from "Dosing", "Trip" is a full psychedelic space-out that builds up to a tune that brings to mind a surrealistic parade of Bosch-like proportions (have you seen the movie "Paprika"? That's what I mean.)

In [8. Singing A Single Song of Satan] we emerge on the other side of reality after the trip, having completely lost direction. We are scaling the progressive rock mountain now, with fragments of the tune reminding of VDGG and Jethro Tull in turn (as Nolan starts going heavier on the flute), without fully losing the Zappaesque sense of humour.

[9. Wizard of the Wind] is the progressive peak of the album, the only one where the lyrics really lean into high fantasy territory. Musically this track makes me thik that if Yes arranged a Syd Barrett song that what it would have sounded like. With tuned percussion on top, of course.

The album closes with the instrumental title track [10. Nightmare Forever]. It takes the orchestral theme of the intro and superimposes it over a dark monotonous groove, which solidifies the ambivalent nature of the record as the jamming band triumphantly gallops away.

All in all, the album is a wild progressive psychedelic concept journey atop a jazz fusion seahorse, and well deserving of the highest praise.

scaramousche | 5/5 |

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