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The Black Noodle Project - Ghosts & Memories CD (album) cover

GHOSTS & MEMORIES

The Black Noodle Project

Psychedelic/Space Rock


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Second Life Syndrome
COLLABORATOR
Post/Math Rock and Crossover Teams
4 stars No matter how I try, I can't get over how much I like this band's name. The Black Noodle Project hails from France, and they play a great psychedelic form of prog. Now, I've heard two other releases from them, "Play Again" and "Eleonore". Both of those albums are great. However, I will definitely say that this new album "Ghosts & Memories" is the best of those three.

If I had to be rather technical, I'd called TBNP "psychedelic post rock". Well, at least on this album. I love that about them, as they do experiment and try to progress their sound. I am very impressed with their seeming post rock style on this album, as their roaring, yet somehow delicate, guitar lines have a very long, overarching structure to them. The songs climax in glorious, epic moments that you will certainly remember after the album is finished.

As I said, TBNP uses a hauntingly rough guitar sound, but they also use great, mellow synth, gorgeous piano, some electronic elements, and a marching, well-paced drum style. I think that "They Live, We Sleep" is a great representative of the whole album, as it contains all of these and also some great high-tuned, wailing guitar work. That said, every single track on "Ghosts & Memories" is wonderfully written and performed. There is no filler, even in the tracks with longer structures, such as "The Wanderer of Lost Moments".

Emotion and ambiance rule the day here, as the seemingly sorrowful nostalgia that we experience is quite heavy at times. The vocals that appear here and there are very nice, and I really wish there would have been more, honestly. If there is one thing I can fault on this album, it would be the under-utility of the vocalist. The rest of the album, though, does make up for this for the most part, especially such amazing tracks as "The Owls (Are Not What They Seem) and "Shades of Tomorrow" (possibly my favorite). Climbing, ever climbing, guitar melodies and the persistence of spacey, haunting feelings keeps this album alluring and fascinating.

I am supremely impressed with the imprint that this album leaves on me after I hear it. It is dark, creative, and just plain interesting. Foreboding at times, warm and cozy at others; this album is quite a ride that will make you think about it for a while afterwards. The great guitar hooks, the ghostly atmospheres, and the roller-coaster ride of melody all add up to a wonderful experience that will definitely keep you coming back to this album time and again.

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Send comments to Second Life Syndrome (BETA) | Report this review (#1085852)
Posted Wednesday, December 04, 2013 | Review Permalink
4 stars I seldom write reviews, but here I make an exception. To define Ghosts & Memories in a genre would be... Psychedelic Post-Rock, in my humble opinion. This hidden gem only claims 7 ratings so far, all of which are high. I noticed the great ratings with little reviews, so credit's due to Second Life Syndrome's break- down of this album. Because of which, I listened. There's a bit of Floydian in the soundscapes, but not enough to deem The Black Noodle Project clones of any sort. Hugely influenced by Post-Rock, the guitar builds on suspicious, eerie chords progressing towards its grand conclusion--relaxing, powerful, and hypnotic. The use of repetition only lures the listener deeper into the music, adding layers of instruments (whether it be floating keyboards, screaming guitar, or rhythmic drums) every cycle. For me, this was the first Black Noodle Project album I've heard and what a great start to this amazing French band.

As Second Life Syndrome said, 'They Live, We Sleep' is "a great representative of the whole album." 'They Live, We Sleep' is posted on Youtube, with a fantastic video representing the song. Footage of vintage companies including Pepsodent, Chevrolet, etc. leading up to the mighty guitar which can only be represented by real footage of an atomic bomb ripping through test-site households. With dreamy soundscapes leading to an exploding guitar, I can't compare this album to anything out there. This style should appeal to anyone, whether you like your instrumental music calm and collected, or manic and chaotic. Some moments reach such heights, you'll never forget the riff. After the song's over, after the album's over, you'll still remember these brilliantly-crafted, cloud-reaching riffs.

The only flaw keeping this album from perfection is how each song sounds similar. Overall, Ghosts & Memories plays out like one towering song. Sitting at 49 minutes, some listeners may not be patient enough to listen through its entirety. Only on a few occasions do we sample Black Noodle's vocals. This is merely used as another instrument, never focused on singing, which creates a cohesive sound throughout. With the atmosphere already laid out, the vocals only add to it. Once in a while, you may not even realize there's someone singing!

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Send comments to Raccoon (BETA) | Report this review (#1089728)
Posted Saturday, December 14, 2013 | Review Permalink
Evolver
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Crossover & JazzRock/Fusion Teams
3 stars Through repeated listenings, the comparison of The Black Noodle Project to Pink Floyd remains at the forefront of my perception of their music. Primarily in song and chord structure, the similarities to Floyd are too strong to be ignored. More than just passing references, rhytmic and chord structures seem to be lifted from "Animals" and "Wish You Were Here" primarily, and various other PF works to a lesser extent.

What separates this from being a straight up Pink Floyd clone are the harsher tones this band uses to perform the pieces. To me, it sounds as if Karnivool, or a band like them were performing Floyd tracks. This is not altogether a bad thing. The music is quite powerful, and creates an enjoyable listening experience.

Were it not for the prevalent Pink Floyd overtones, I might give this 4 stars. But the derivative sound of the album reduces theb rating to only 3 stars.

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Send comments to Evolver (BETA) | Report this review (#1137143)
Posted Tuesday, February 25, 2014 | Review Permalink
kev rowland
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Crossover Team
4 stars So here is the latest album from French group The Black Noodle Project, one that sees them stay firmly in the realm of Pink Floyd, yet becoming more atmospheric, and at times darker and heavier, than previously. I have been in contact with these guys since the very first release, and the more I listen to them the more I enjoy what they are doing. Some may argue that when one is so heavily influenced by another group then that questions the very validity of what they are doing themselves, but there are many within the genre that have a similar approach, and as long as the band are attempting their own style within the field of influence then I don't have a major issue with it. Yes, there are passages within 'Ghosts' that could have come from 'Dark Side' and these do seem a little close to the mark, but generally this is another fine album from a band who are consistently releasing strong albums.

The vocals have taken more of a back seat with this release, with an emphasis on the atmosphere and overall feel and the vocals become part of that as opposed to being an important presence: they are just another instrument to be used. In many ways this is a hard album to judge, as if I was not aware of anything that had been released by Pink Floyd then I would be hailing this as a masterpiece, particularly with songs such as the brooding and oppressive 'A Purple Memory'. But, given that I, like many progheads, own all of Pink Floyd's releases I have to gauge this in relation to those. Conversely, I also need to factor in just how much I have enjoyed playing this as opposed to who may have been an important influence on what they are doing. Simply put, if you enjoy the style of mid-Seventies Pink Floyd and you don't worry that it isn't been performed by the boys themselves then this is essential. Nothing more or less.

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Send comments to kev rowland (BETA) | Report this review (#1152022)
Posted Friday, March 21, 2014 | Review Permalink

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