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NeBeLNeST - NoVa eXPReSS  CD (album) cover





4.13 | 63 ratings

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Sean Trane
Special Collaborator
Prog Folk
3 stars 3.5 stars really!!!

Nebelnest's second album, while the logical continuity of their musical quest of the debut album, the surprise is gone and the group fails to explore new avenues as if their universe has shrunk to their neighbourhood. The same two themes (space and mythology) are again explored, but as the outside-gatefold artwork clearly indicates the space looks artificial (the fake electric effect supposed to represent a sun in full eruption) and the very real pictures of Mayan divinities screaming for vengeance and reeking violence are evident. As if roaming in the pre-determined perimeter meant finding the grunge/gunk of the gutter and the underworld of the sewer system.

Don't get me wrong, this album is not a carbon copy, but you are undoubtedly in the same vein, even if some tracks are harder edged (in this regard, a kinship with Guapo is obvious), but where the real difference occurs in the production. Rawer recordings, crisper sound, un-produced and aggressive drumming (this is close to Don Caballero's second album, but without the magic of that album), this nihilistic "prog" is close to an industrial unfinished state. The veer sheer heaviness and violence of the music makes this album very much of a "all or nothing" trip, either finding your deep-buried angst and has your roving along, or you find yourself completely repulsed by it of even crushed under the racket/chaos.

However, differentiating itself from the debut is the "songwriting" (if you can call it that), where it was mostly absent in the debut album, here there are sketches of songs (shall we say composed parts?), but the total lack of melody (not that their debut had much more of that) is certainly not making it easily accessible. Only the title track gats grace to my eyes, but it's little surprise as it is really the one that comes closest to their debut album

A good comparison would be Anekdoten's first two albums: if the debut (Vemod) was filled with moody but energetic power (a very charming and universe-defining album), the second (Nucleus) is struggling to go beyond the outer perimeter and builds up in anger and inevitably it evolves in violence. Well, the same comparison is valid for Nebelnest's first two albums so far. I wouldn't really call Nova Express essential, and certainly would not refer you to that one. A much more difficult album, but I'm not sure it will ever be more rewarding than the debut.

Sean Trane | 3/5 |


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