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Nemo - Les nouveaux mondes CD (album) cover

LES NOUVEAUX MONDES

Nemo

Eclectic Prog


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5 stars When I heard this french Prog-Rock record the first time (their name is inspired by the books of "Jules Verne"), it throws me out of my chair - from enthusiasm ! I hear rocky and agressive electric guitar and rock rhythm like the old "Deep Purple", "Rainbow" or sometimes "Dream Theatre" with wonderful melodic portions and all flavoured with "Prog-Rock" - in the sense of the word. The epic "Philèas" (20:22) makes an excursion in asian atmosphere with marimba and lots of percussion and moves onward with beautiful piano melodies and keyboard strings. The very special thing of this "NEMO-MUSIC" is the singing in french.With the fantastic voice from "Jean Pierre Louveton" (who plays also the guitars) it sounded superb and sensitiv.Give him a chance and hear this music !! The next thing I have to do, is buying their last record "Prèsage" - I am very curious.
Report this review (#26533)
Posted Sunday, March 14, 2004 | Review Permalink
4 stars NEMO - Les Nouveaux Mondes - review #001 by rakam

This is the first album from french prog-rock sensation NEMO, and already a classic album. All the musicians are first rate players and the songs are stunningly good. The group benefit from a long experience since they have been touring and recording for years under diverse monikers and genres (not only progressive rock but also pop-music, hard rock, heavy metal .) and this shows here : good compositions, good musicianship, good lyrics (although they are in French and most of you won't understand them).

Technically, this is a self-produced album (their future albums also) but everything is professionally done, the production is top-notch, the artwork is beautiful. To have an idea of the music produced here, one can think of Yes, Dream Theater, Spock's Beard but don't let these names fool you, NEMO has his own identity and a strong one indeed, and I'm not afraid to state that they belong to the best of the genre. If you want to hear samples of their music, please go to their website. My favourite songs : "Abysses", "Dr Fergusson et les Caprices du Vent vol.1 : au dessus des toits", "Dr Fergusson et les Caprices du Vent vol.2 : au dessus des pyramides" I think this album deserve 4 stars, and 4 stars is a very good rating ("excellent addition to any prog music collection") and if you are not afraid to listen to french lyrics I suggest you give them a try, there is only a little chance you will be disappointed.

Rakam

Ps : excuse my poor english

Report this review (#61904)
Posted Tuesday, December 27, 2005 | Review Permalink
4 stars 4.5 stars really!

After seeing great reviews of this band here and elsewhere, I got the feeling that they were a band I was really going to love. Since most reviews said that essentially, each album was better than the last, it seemed to me the best place to start was at the beginning. If I liked this album, I would surely love the following ones.

So, how is this album? Well, I immediately liked it on first listen. This can sometimes be a bad thing, as I have found some albums get less interesting over time, especially when I like them right away (conversly, most masterpiece albums took some time for me to really appreciate.......though there are exceptions in both cases). But this album just seems better each time I hear it. The first thing I noticed was the solid, if not overly virtuostic, guitar playing of Jean Pierre Louveton. He is quite good at coming up with interesting and melodic riffs that drive most of the songs. The keyboards here are more of a backdrop to the rest of the instruments, but in that they do a very nice job. There are a few nice keyboard solos none the less. The rhythm section is excellent. These guys are incredibly tight, with the drummer showing some impressive chops. The bassist stands out less, but it is obvious that his parts are integral to the whole. The overall sound is fairly heavy, but also has some good dynamic qualities with some songs having mellower and slower paced sections. They are certainly not prog metal, but might have some appeal for fans of that genre.

As to the songs, I can't really pick out any weak tracks. Or for that matter favorites, as they are all quite strong. I guess I'd have to say that the opening track is probably my favorite. If I had any problems with this album it would be the vocals, which I have since come to enjoy. I can't really say what seemed wrong with them at first, but I guess it is that they are not particularly exceptional. But they are not at all bad, and I've read that this is something that improves with this band in the following albums (also, it may have just been a matter of getting used to the French lyrics and pronunciation). Also, they fit the music well. The only other minor complaint is that the concluding epic really doesn't seem like an epic. Even though the final 4 tracks segue into one another, they seem like very different songs. This is, however, a very minor point.

Overall, this is an excellent album and I can only be excited about hearing this rest if what other reviewers have said about each album being better than the last is true. While I can't quite bring myself to call this a masterpiece it is very interesting and original modern prog. Recommended!

Report this review (#88852)
Posted Sunday, September 3, 2006 | Review Permalink
el böthy
PROG REVIEWER
2 stars I guess Nemo is just not for everyone. Many times have I tried to "get" into their music, and although I fully get it... I can´t seem to really like it. The musicianship is great and they are very prog... so what´s the problem? They just leave me cold, I feel like there is no... no, that´s the point, I feel nothing. I can´t seem to get anything out of them, there is no substance here. The prodcution doesn´t help either, it seems like there is no real mixing, every instrument seems to be so far apart from the rest it doesn´t feel like one thing. But it´s self produced, so I guess I can cut them some slag.

Musically speaking Nemo doesn´t introduce anything new, but they do seem to have some fresh ideas... too fresh if you ask me, still too green. But obviously this is not the general consent, as Nemo must be one of the highest ranked bands in the archives (even though they do lack of more reviews). Maybe future material might be better, could be, and I will probably try another album, but I don´t get my hopes up. Defenitly not retro prog, this is a very modern band... but it´s no where near the caliber of other modern bands.

Report this review (#141385)
Posted Monday, October 1, 2007 | Review Permalink
4 stars This, Nemo's first album, shows an enormous amount of potential, although it does not display the same degree of assurance that the later albums were to have. What is perhaps most impressive about Les Nouveaux Mondes is how band shows an ability to convincingly treat their musical subjuect with a number of styles; unlike other bands (Arena is a good example), Nemo at their peak do not sound like a band of one style that is influenced by another, instead they have effortlessly brought a number of complete styles together to form their own distinctive sound. Hence Phileas, the closing epic, opens in an extremely up-tempo manner, stating a theme in one style, before the next section develops it in a completely different manner. Nemo go from sounding like a french reply to Rush to sounding like Think-Tank era Blur. And it is completely convincing.

The musicianship on display here is already highly impressive. Melodies heard in the verses of the opener, the energetic Abysses, which must go down as one of the most accomplished songs on any debut album, return in the verses of the next song, the mellow, beautiful Au dessus des toits, harmonized very differently. This is not the sort of skill that one expects to find outside of classical. Au dessus des toits is characterised by soft synths and some lovely singing by Louveton, and forms a nice counter to the drive of most of Abysses and the following track, Danse du diable, which serves as a bridge between Au dessus and Tempête. The ability in evidence in Tempête to lead the listener gradually between sections is reminiscent of Genesis. Once again, Nemo establish a cohesiveness across the whole album by refraining material from earlier on.

Nemo are never backward looking, even here on their first album. There are no nods to bands from the past, no sense that they own a lot to any band previous to them. In terms of their structuring, their quick shifts in dynamics and mood, and the general tenor of the whole effect, Nemo sound closer to 70s ISP than anything else.

Altough I have very little negative to say about Les Neveaux Mondes, Nemo never quite hit the same highs here that they do in their later works. That said, there is more imagination and skill on show here, more of a will to actually progress than in the vast and overwhelming majority of so-called progressive rock.

Report this review (#193804)
Posted Monday, December 15, 2008 | Review Permalink
poslednijat_colobar
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars Nemo's debut is in front of me. This is Les Nouveaux Mondes and they are trying to establish their own style from the first album with some Dream Theater motifs, built in the songs. I would like to notice, that the potential is evident here, but it's not enough developed on the debut album. I thnk this is the least progressive album made by Nemo and the weakest one (if we can call it weak: I think we cannot). It is quite naive; I mean all the ideas are naives and simple, close to popular music in some moments. No problem with this album for all people who like the genre of Nemo and Nemo itself. Some other might have a problem, but little, not big one!
Report this review (#204438)
Posted Friday, February 27, 2009 | Review Permalink
4 stars After seeing great reviews of this band here and elsewhere, I got the feeling that they were a band I was really going to love. Since most reviews said that essentially, each album was better than the last, it seemed to me the best place to start was at the beginning. If I liked this album, I would surely love the following ones.

So, how is this album? Well, I immediately liked it on first listen. This can sometimes be a bad thing, as I have found some albums get less interesting over time, especially when I like them right away (conversely, most masterpiece albums took some time for me to really appreciate.......though there are exceptions in both cases). But this album just seems better each time I hear it. The first thing I noticed was the solid, if not overly virtuosic, guitar playing of Jean Pierre Louveton. He is quite good at coming up with interesting and melodic riffs that drive most of the songs. The keyboards here are more of a backdrop to the rest of the instruments, but in that they do a very nice job. There are a few nice keyboard solos none the less. The rhythm section is excellent. These guys are incredibly tight, with the drummer showing some impressive chops. The bassist stands out less, but it is obvious that his parts are integral to the whole. The overall sound is fairly heavy, but also has some good dynamic qualities with some songs having mellower and slower paced sections. They are certainly not prog metal, but might have some appeal for fans of that genre.

As to the songs, I can't really pick out any weak tracks. Or for that matter favorites, as they are all quite strong. I guess I'd have to say that the opening track is probably my favorite, with the 4 part epic at the end following closely (as well as the excellent instrumental before it). If I had any problems with this album it would be the vocals, which I have since come to enjoy. I can't really say what seemed wrong with them at first, but I guess it is that they are not particularly exceptional. But they are not at all bad, and I've read that this is something that improves with this band in the following albums (also, it may have just been a matter of getting used to the French lyrics and pronunciation). Also, they fit the music well. The only other minor complaint is that the concluding epic really doesn't seem like an epic. Even though the final 4 tracks segue into one another, they seem like very different songs. This is, however, a very minor point, and I really enjoy the individual sections of the piece.

Overall, this is an excellent album and I can only be excited about hearing the rest if what other reviewers have said about each album being better than the last is true. While I can't call this a masterpiece it is very interesting and original modern prog. Recommended!

Report this review (#216591)
Posted Tuesday, May 19, 2009 | Review Permalink
Nightfly
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Les Nouveaux Mondes was the first album from Nemo, but the last one added to my collection. Released in 2002 it shows the band were already highly accomplished musicians at this early stage as well as having a firm grasp of song writing, although they would improve on this over subsequent albums.

Musically Nemo tread the ground at the heavier end of the prog spectrum, their trump card being the excellent guitar work of Jean Pierre Louveton who's powerful riffs and fiery lead runs are an essential element of their sound. As a bonus he's a dynamic player and able to use subtle restraint where necessary. Of equal importance Keyboardist Guillaume Fontaine is certainly not in the retro area of ivory ticklers, modern synths his preferred instruments more often than not. The less dense nature of these provides a more contempory and less imposing sound which is not necessarily a good thing for prog lovers but his playing is always top notch. The fine rhythm section of Pascal Bertrand (drums) and Benoît Gaignon (bass) play with flair and dexterity, Bertrand's drum sound being particularly pleasing, favouring a highly tuned snare sound a la Bill Bruford. Incidentally a stumbling block for some may be that all the vocals are sung in their native French but don't let that put you off as Louverton whilst not likely to trouble the lists of worlds greatest singers is more than adequate. In fact like much of the RPI genre the use of their native language adds to the appeal after a few listens.

The complex compositions constantly shift through many time/tempo changes which can occasionally be their downfall as sometimes parts come and go a bit too quickly, leaving some less than memorable. In the main however, it's rarely less than interesting and often compelling with some exciting and lively instrumental workouts perfectly demonstrated in the twenty minute four part Phileas which closes the album.

Those looking for some heavier prog with a modern edge are recommended to check out Nemo but as fine a debut as Les Nouveaux Mondes is I wouldn't make it your first port of call. Instead a great starting point would be 2004's Prelude A La Ruine or the equally excellent most recent release Barbares. 3 ½ stars.

Report this review (#263144)
Posted Thursday, January 28, 2010 | Review Permalink
5 stars Of course, I would not pretend these "nouveaux mondes" reach the same heights as the following works of this impressive group. But I still remember the big shock that this album provoked in me the first time I heard it, in a library of Paris near les Halles. I was with a norwegian friend and The guy of the library was proud to make us know such a could emerge in the country of acordeon and sure he could !

The compositions are very consistant, developing and melting elaborated themes without any downtime. The guitar takes off and runs through cosmos like a spiral, the rythm section is powerful and solid, keyboards elaborates complex melodic lines along. Even the french voice fits perfectly with this energic musical constructions.

I would not say this album totally deserves 5 stars. But, on this site, 5 stars are generally given to very good records. That's the reason why the 4,5 stars I would like to give it (if we could) can be easily rounded in 5.

Report this review (#274551)
Posted Saturday, March 27, 2010 | Review Permalink
siLLy puPPy
COLLABORATOR
PSIKE, JR/F/Canterbury & Eclectic Teams
4 stars "Finding NEMO" may be many's favorite animated film about a cute little clownfish in the Great Barrier Reef of Australia but not so easy when looking for a particular band with this rather common moniker. For example there was a Belgian band named NEMO, an Italian one, one from the UK, two from the US, one from Finland and two bands from France that are both classified as electric progressive rock. Hard to find in a search indeed but this NEMO is the second one from France and the one that has emerged in the 21st century with a strong modern take on progressive rock with a stream of innovative albums. This NEMO emerged from the Auvergne region of France in Ceyssac.

This NEMO which seems to have outlasted all the others is the one that has attempted to ride the perpetual waves of the very Captain NEMO of the 19th century novels "Twenty Thousand Legions Under The Sea" and "Mysterious Island." The band was formed in 1999 by Pascal Bertrand (drums and percussion), Jean-Pierre Louveton (guitar and vocals) and Guillaume Fontaine (keyboards), the latter of the two having remained the only members to be involved with every album up to the present. The original lineup on this debut album LES NOUVEUX MONDES (The New Worlds) also included bassist Benoît Gaignon who replaced the original bassist Hervé Esquis.

Right from the start NEMO created a lush and dense tapestry of progressive rock styles and melded them into a rich and complex mishmash of elements that would take heavily fortified compositions and infuse them with a ceaseless parade of dynamics, tempo changes, mood enhancing atmospheres and time signatures run amok. Eschewing the policy of English only as was the norm of classic prog (save the Italian scene), NEMO, while primarily focusing on lengthy instrumental runs also includes lyrics delivered in their native French. The main focus of the instrumentation revolves around the strong and creative guitar chops of Louveton in conjunct with the deliberate and fanciful keyboard antics of Fontaine.

The music is extraordinarily dense and characterized by a plethora of melodic developments that meander and morph unexpectedly as time signatures punctate the flow, tempos gestate from calm bucolic verses to more aggressive rock. The tracks are lengthy with the four part suite "Philéas" ending the album with a 20 minute epic prog journey. The band takes influences from all across the prog spectrum with Genesis-like symphonic prog, heavy prog influences from The Mars Volta and Dream Theater, modern symphonic leanings from Spock's Beard and The Flower Kings as well as the virtuosic grace of bands like Anglagard and atmospheric sophistication in the vein of Porcupine Tree. NEMO nailed this eclectic mix from the getgo and although they have produced better albums than LES NOUVEUX MONDES, this debut is nothing less than an excellent slice of sophisticated prog yumminess.

In many ways, NEMO was even more diverse on this debut than on the later albums. While some may claim this to be unfocused, others like myself deem it as exciting. While i have nothing against more focused albums that aren't as scattered, i find all the elements on board here that defy predictability to be quite refreshing and stimulating even. For my money i actually prefer albums that have all the proper prog boxes checked and then add layers of mysterious deviations and LES NOUVEAUX MONDES delivers the best aspects of both the predictable as well as that which is not. For my money, this debut is as good as any of the albums that follow and not one to be missed by any NEMO aficionado who has come to this band late in their game.

Report this review (#2077910)
Posted Friday, November 23, 2018 | Review Permalink

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