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NeBeLNeST - ZePTO CD (album) cover

ZEPTO

NeBeLNeST

 

RIO/Avant-Prog

3.73 | 39 ratings

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Cesar Inca
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
5 stars Abrasive energy, aggressive darkness and challenging inventiveness - name these three items and you will be summarizing what NeBeLNeST's recent release "ZePTO" is all about. This has to be one of the Top 5 prog albums of the year, and it's really stunning how energetic and cohesive this avant-rock album is, considering that it was conceived and recorded during a long period of crisis, during which an old guitarist stayed for a little more time and then left, another one came in to replace him, and ultimately, the band's nucleus was reduced to Tejedor brothers and drummer Anselmi. Anyway, NeBeLNeST's sound is more focused on Olivier's multiple keyboards than ever before, but it hasn't stopped the band from creating their most ballsy recording so far. Yes, the nuclear trio have managed to concentrate mainly on their most chaotic side of their music and explore it further in order to instill a renewed electrifying energy into the realms of RIO. But that doesn't come out that clear until the second track. The catchy opening track 'Pillars of Birth', built on a robust 5/4 tempo, pretty much follows the path of the previous offering "Nova Express". 'Manjuns' is definitely oriented toward radical disturbance, stating an ambience of semi-controlled anarchy that the musicians deliver with solid efficiency, while challenging each other mercilessly. 'The Old Ones' kind of recycles the spirits of the previous two numbers; it recaptures the swing of track 1, but with a more sinister vibe, which results in a tension similar to that exposed in track 2. A special mention has to go to the keyboard input, essential for the mood of 'The Old Ones'. There is also a noticeable presence of jazz-rock nuances in places, which allows the generation of contrast against the harder-edged sections: Gregory's wickedly distorted bass lines serve as main solidifiers of those aforesaid harder sections. Does the listener want some more anarchy? There is the short 'The Thing in the Walls', that appears to our ears as an endless masochistic nightmare with its random paths that concretize a massive sonic deconstruction. Free-jazz, thrash-metal, radical psychedelia and HC's "In Praise of Learning" RIO: all this and more in less than 2 minutes. Its abrupt end is segued into the more ethnic 'Fabric of Reality': percussive drifts and exotic clarinet flourishes emerge over a krautrock-inspired minimalist series of keyboard layers, until the last minute brings a defying musique concrete display. 'De Triumpho Naturae' and 'Do What Thou Wilt' are the longest tracks in the album. The former is linked to the aleatory coda of 'Fabric', and actually gets started in a similar mood, until a well-ordained crescendo appears, seasoned with a cosmic interlude. The latter has a weird, eerie 4-minute intro, like a subtle hint of scary things to come. Then. they come. The main motif shows a ballsy mixture of classic Present and "Starless and Bible Black"-era KC. The spacey synthesizer ornaments are featured in order to enhance the track's overall surreal essence. The epilogue 'Station 9' portrays the machine-driven world that we live in. The cybernetic aura created by the free flowing of mechanic- sounding keyboards and percussions is full of abstract mystery and creepy intensity. Many of NeBeLNeST connoisseurs were afraid that the band had left the scene for good: we were so wrong. the band was only recreating itself in the dark, waiting to reappear with a vengeance. And so they did: "ZePTO" is a hell of a masterpiece in the current world of RIO.
Cesar Inca | 5/5 |

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