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PRÉLUDE À LA RUINE

Nemo

Eclectic Prog


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erik neuteboom
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars Are you fed up with just another GENESIS, DREAM THEATER or MARILLION clone? Do you think prog rock is dead or fails to generate any excitement? Well, the new and third album "Prélude A La Ruine" from French prog rock band NEMO proves that there are still prog rock bands that succeed to sound innovative. Enjoy NEMO's unique progressive blend of symphonic, metal, jazz and classic, loaded with good ideas, strong breaks, dynamic climates, strong interplay, a propulsive rhythm-section, sparkling piano and many spectacular solo's on guitar (often harder-edged) and keyboards (flashing synthesizer and bombastic organ). The more mellow moments contain piano, violin, twanging electric guitar and warm acoustic guitar but in general you will carried away by swirling, often breathtaking prog rock. In my opinion with their new CD NEMO has turned into a prog rock band equally level to SPOCK'S BEARD or The FLOWER KINGS! If you are up to music like MAHAVISHNU ORCHESTRA, LIQUID TENSION EXPERIMENT or RUSH, the new album from NEMO will be certainly please you.

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Send comments to erik neuteboom (BETA) | Report this review (#33005)
Posted Thursday, November 11, 2004 | Review Permalink
4 stars Nemo is getting better and better .... This album continues the legacy of soon-to-be legendary French Progressive Rock group. The style displayed is the same as displayed on the two previous studio albums, except that it is a little heavier on certain parts. I think that with this album NEMO steps in the arena of the greatest modern prog groups although this is a self-production, they have everything needed : songwriting, musicianship, production, artwork, freshness and so on .... You can buy this album eyes closed (almost guaranteed...) if you like groups like Yes, Dream Theater, Spock's Beard, Rush, Genesis ! just go to www.quadrifonic.com (because you won't find the NEMO albums on the brick-and-mortar stores). Greetings

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Send comments to rakam (BETA) | Report this review (#77449)
Posted Monday, May 08, 2006 | Review Permalink
infandous@exc
5 stars 4.5 stars really

Nemo outdo themselves once again! Like all good prog, this album (like all Nemo albums) took some time to absorb. This is by far their heaviest album to date (and actually more so than the next album). The first half you could almost accuse them of being Dream Theater clones. However, even though I like DT to some extent, Nemo are far more interesting. But just be prepared for some serious prog metal in the first 5 tracks. Probably I am overstating this a bit, as they are still Nemo and still retain their unique sound, and heavy guitars and drums have always been part of their sound.....but not THIS heavy. 1914 is the track that stands out the most for me, being a fantastic instrumental displaying jaw dropping skillful playing by JPL and Fontaine. I should point out that this is actually the last album for bassist Benoit Gaignon, thought the album info above mistakenly lists Lionel B. Guichard. And Gaignon puts in his usual stellar performance along with the outstanding drumming of JP Itier.

Starting with track 6, we are back in more familiar Nemo territory, with songs much more in the vein of the previous album. Showing more dynamics and the more bouncy, sometimes jazzy vibe that I have come to love about Nemo (though Cluster 84 returns somewhat to the heavyness of the first half of the album). This is not to say that there are not heavy parts as on previous albums, but just a more balanced mixture of styles than the first half. The standout here is definetly the last three tracks that make up the suite Le monde à l'envers.

Overall, another great Nemo album. I can't recommend this band enough to lovers of heavy symphonic prog, and certainly with this album prog metal enthusiasts could certainly find much to enjoy. As a final note, the vocals over all just keep improving with each album, which only makes Nemo even more enjoyable (not that they were ever particularly bad). I have rounded up from 4.5 stars just because I think this band is one of the few truely original prog bands out there right now (but this does fall a bit short of "masterpiece" status).

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Send comments to (BETA) | Report this review (#97017)
Posted Friday, November 03, 2006 | Review Permalink
4 stars Nemo? This is brilliant music- I can't really say anything about the lyrics- because they are all in French- (but the singing is fairly decent) But again- the music is pretty awesome! I have listened to prog for some time- and I am hearing fresh stuff here. Its a shame these guys aren't a bi more popular- because they deserve some amount of popularity from the prog community. Excellent music by a great band! Parts of the album sound like Liquid Tension Experiment- or even Rush. They will have singing for a bit- and them jam ever so nicely. I give this a very high recommendation! Check it out.

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Send comments to Drew (BETA) | Report this review (#112760)
Posted Monday, February 19, 2007 | Review Permalink
5 stars My first Nemo review and it is a difficult one. This band really defies characterization. Since most reviews use other bands as reference points so the reader can in some way identify what they would hear if they obtained the album, in my view, Nemo sounds like no band I have heard. They are listed under Art Rock, alongside Rush, VDGG, Mars Volta and KC. They sound like none of those bands. They do have the heaviness of Rush and the diversity of KC. Band leader JP Louverton sings and plays guitar. His guitar sound is unlike anything I have heard. It is very unique and he gets so many different sounds out if it as to boggle the mind. He does border on metal in many places, but the music is really not metal. It is bombastic and has a great balance of keys and guitars, mostly played at once, with solos liberally sprinkled in for both. Liberal use of piano is also evident. The rhythm section is also a strength of the band.

Unlike Rush, very few guitar passages are played over and over. The music is organic at almost all times. It always seems to be moving in a new direction. Songs do not bog down with a central theme or guitar riff. Nemo also comes up with many new and unique sounds that push the music into an electronic feel from time to time. These "sounds," for lack of a better term, are almost always cool and you will only hear them once or twice.

As advertised, the lyrics are sung in French. Most of the songs do not have an abundance of singing, so if this turns you off, it is not a huge part of the package. JP's voice is not as strong as his guitar playing, but it fits the music very well and I believe is a strength of the music, not a detriment.

Prelude a la Ruin is the heaviest of the four Nemo albums I own. The first 5 songs are really a whirlwind a heavy, beautiful prog. There is a softer song after those and then it picks right back up all the way through the final 13 and ½ minute finale, which is a true prog monster and will leave you thirsting for more.

Nemo does very little touring and are produced on a little, independent French label. The word on this band has not been spread nearly as much as they deserve, so consider this review a little more word spreading for a phenomenal band that I hope you will check out. One of their albums will be all it takes to get you hooked and Ruin is a great place to start.

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Send comments to johnobvious (BETA) | Report this review (#116593)
Posted Wednesday, March 28, 2007 | Review Permalink
Prog-jester
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars Wow. I'll definetely return to this wonderful band, as soon as recieve other albums I'm expecting. Now I own "Prelude a la Ruine", and it's almost flawless! The only thing I disliked here is French. Pardon me, guys, but I really dislike the language. On the other hand, there must be a barve to sing on your native language in this English-possessed world! ;)

NEMO's manner is mixing New Symphonic Prog with some Prog Metal - neither Classical Prog Metal you get used to nor Extreme Metal. This is just that energetic and powerful hard-edged nature, bordering Metal, but never becoming a part of it. Hope you got the point. Complex yet melodic, NEMO's music can find its deserved place in EVERY PROGGER's collection - I mean it! They are great in their own way, like it usually happens with every French band I know (from PULSAR and MONA LISA to TAAL). My fave tracks are "1914", "Tous les chemins " and "Cluster 84", though 8-min long opener as well as closing 150min long epic both worth of buying this CD. Highly recommended!!!

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Send comments to Prog-jester (BETA) | Report this review (#118642)
Posted Tuesday, April 17, 2007 | Review Permalink
Mellotron Storm
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars 3.5 stars. All the writing in the liner notes is in French but they do thank ProgArchives and other prog sites which is pretty cool. This is powerful music that does border on Prog-Metal as Prog-jester mentions in his review. It is apparently a concept album about the thoughts old man who is about to die looking back at world history. Again the vocals are the weakest parts of the album but I love the heaviness.

"Les Temps Modernes" opens with crisp drums before the french vocals come in. I don't mind them but I think he has improved his singing on the next record "Si Partie I". The heaviness comes in at the 2 minute mark followed by a cool guitar solo as bass throbs. We get some piano and then organ before more amazing guitar arrives. This is great ! I like when the tempo slows down before 5 minutes yet it gets heavier. Piano and vocal melodies 6 1/2 minutes in are incredible. "1914" is an instrumental that opens with what sounds like a Vai solo followed by some heaviness including pounding drums. Excellent sound until it settles down 5 minutes in with a beautiful guitar solo. The tempo picks back up and we are treated with a killer ending.

"O.G.R.E." features more heaviness with vocals this time. A great section 3 minutes in of guitar, drums and organ. Not a lot of vocals in this one except to open and close. "Prelude A La Ruine" opens with piano and light drums. After a minute we get an almost Celtic flavour. "Les Yeux Fermis" is back to the heaviness and this sounds really good ! Some wicked guitar in this one. Vocals and bass a minute in joined by piano. Guitar and organ shine 2 1/2 minutes in. The tempo picks up with some ripping guitar. Fantastic final 2 minutes. "Eve Et Le Genie Du Mal" opens with tasteful guitar and reserved vocals as light drums and keys follow. Nice raw guitar solo 3 minutes in as the sound starts to get fuller with organ arriving. "Tous Les Chemins" has some atmosphere to it. The vocals are almost whispered. The guitar starts to crank it up and organ joins in. It gets kind of punchy sounding 3 1/2 minutes in. Passionate vocals before 6 minutes with another guitar solo a minute later. It settles down 8 minutes in. "Cluster 84" has 4 minutes of catchy, uptempo instrumental work before the vocals arrive and the sound builds.

"Le Monde A L'Envers" is the 13 minute closer that is divided into 3 parts. First "Une Derniere Valse" features piano, synths and reserved vocals in a slow paced,solemn soundscape. Gentle guitar and light drums join in at 2 minutes. "Du Mauvais Cote" is brighter and more uptempo. Some heaviness after 2 minutes with a guitar solo to follow. A fuller sound with organ 3 1/2 minutes. "Epataphe" is my favourite part of the whole album. Organ, drums, bass and guitar all are amazing in this tune. Some blistering guitar in this one. The drums really impress as well. Dark organ and spoken words 4 1/2 minutes in. Heavy guitar takes over for organ.

I prefer their next one "Si Partie I" a lot more than this one. Still this is very well done.

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Send comments to Mellotron Storm (BETA) | Report this review (#168987)
Posted Tuesday, April 29, 2008 | Review Permalink
5 stars With Prélude À La Ruine, Nemo finally hit their groove of perfection, a groove they don't look likely to leave anytime soon. Prélude shows so much invention and accomplishment that it stands up with the greatest albums of its kind ever written.

Immediately marking a departure from the style of the previous two albums, the opener, Les temps modernes, is as good a song as you will ever hear. For the most part up-tempo and powerful, it displays a far heavier, far more metallic sound than Nemo had previously utilised. Guichard, who replaces Gaignon on bass, plays a large role in this new edge. The production is also far improved over the previous albums. The next two songs, the instrumental 1914, and OGRE, which does not sound far removed from Liquid Tension Experiment, continue in much the same vein. Both songs would probably be considered absolute standouts on an ordinary album.

Not all of the album is heavy, however, as songs such as Eve et le génie du mal and Une dernière valse, the first part of Le monde à l'envers, demonstrate. The melodies here are melancholic, allowing Louveton to express more emotion than is appropriate elsewhere.

Generally speaking, though, this is a far heavier album than either of the previous two, and the songwriting is generally condensed from in the past, where favoured long compositions, and this is in no way a bad thing. There is no weak moment in Prélude, no sense that the pace ever really slackens, as even during the softer moments, there is still a real sense of intensity. It is interesting to compare this album to Banco's Darwin, which also features a heavier sound and shorter compositions, and is also none the weaker for it.

What really distinguishes Prélude À La Ruine, however, is the overwhelming extent to which all the ideas are developed and carefully thought through; all the cadences are elegantly navigated, all the tempi shifted between in a manner that never sounds forced or jars the ear. Ideas which would have been rushed in Les Noveaux Mondes are developed fully here, and because of that this album can be considered a classic.

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Send comments to La fraisne (BETA) | Report this review (#193806)
Posted Monday, December 15, 2008 | Review Permalink
b_olariu
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars Third album of this brilliant eclectic band from France entitled Prelude a la riune from 2004. As I said on previos album, Nemo is a fantastic band delivering one of the best eclectic aproach I ever heared in years, very up tempo with excellent interplay between keys and guitars, not to mention that the drumer is fantastic musician. prelude a la ruine brings nothing new in nemo's music, is the same aproach like on previos album, the instrumental passages shows how intelligent and great this band is. Very fresh band, Nemo tries to capture my attention from entire 63 minute of high class album. Their music is something between Rush and here and there Tiles, but with an original twist in their interpretation. A truly intristing band that for one reason or another don't get that so much apluses here, and is a shame, they are relly strong and fresh band. Ecllent musicianship through out entire album, great ideas with great potential. They are still a young band, even that they are together and play for almost 10 yers in prog field, capable to release an album each year and with high quality aswell on every single album. This third album desearve better that is praised today, maybe a little less enjoyble than the predecesor , but no doubt a great work by this french band. I will give 4 stars for sure to Prelude a la riune, they desearve to have a wider recognition worldwide, not only in France and Europe, they are really good and intristing band. The best piece all, I can't extract one from the whole bunch, all have same level and brings to the listner a high quality prog music. The Cd is available as the previous one at Musea Records, so don't hesitate to listen to Nemo, maybe they will change your opinion about today's prog music. Recommended

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Send comments to b_olariu (BETA) | Report this review (#200635)
Posted Monday, January 26, 2009 | Review Permalink
poslednijat_colobar
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars Nemo is very exciting band for me, because I think they haven't any weak album. And Prélude À La Ruine is not an exception from this good rule. Of course, the musical mature is at lower level here and I can't regard this album like its successors, but the good tunes are at this album, too! There aren't any weak songs here and all tracks are (traditionally for Nemo) fresh ideas with mixture between jazz fusion, prog metal, symphonic prog and heavy prog, underlined with extreme tempo shiftings.

I've already spoken about the flaws of the album; and now I shall develop this thoughts better. The musicianship is not so perfect, the vocals are little unconvincing and uncertain. The ideas have been developed in a hurry. They are rushed through and this reveals inexperience all around this full of ideas album. It is still an album recommended for all of serious eclectic listeners! 3.5 stars!

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Send comments to poslednijat_colobar (BETA) | Report this review (#204335)
Posted Thursday, February 26, 2009 | Review Permalink
4 stars Nemo outdo themselves once again! Like all good prog, this album (like all Nemo albums) took some time to absorb. This is by far their heaviest album to date (and actually more so than the next album). The first half you could almost accuse them of being Dream Theater clones. However, even though I like DT to some extent, Nemo are far more interesting. But just be prepared for some serious prog metal in the first 5 tracks. Probably I am overstating this a bit, as they are still Nemo and still retain their unique sound, and heavy guitars and drums have always been part of their sound.....but not THIS heavy. 1914 is the track that stands out the most for me, being a fantastic instrumental displaying jaw dropping skillful playing by JPL and Fontaine. I should point out that this is actually the last album for bassist Benoit Gaignon, thought the album info above mistakenly lists Lionel B. Guichard. And Gaignon puts in his usual stellar performance along with the outstanding drumming of JP Itier.

Starting with track 6, we are back in more familiar Nemo territory, with songs much more in the vein of the previous album. Showing more dynamics and the more bouncy, sometimes jazzy vibe that I have come to love about Nemo (though Cluster 84 returns somewhat to the heavyness of the first half of the album). This is not to say that there are not heavy parts as on previous albums, but just a more balanced mixture of styles than the first half. The standout here is definitely the last three tracks that make up the suite Le monde à l'envers.

Overall, another great Nemo album. I can't recommend this band enough to lovers of heavy symphonic prog, and certainly with this album prog metal enthusiasts could certainly find much to enjoy. As a final note, the vocals over all just keep improving with each album, which only makes Nemo even more enjoyable (not that they were ever not). 4 stars for a band I think one of the few truly original prog bands out there right now.

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Send comments to infandous (BETA) | Report this review (#216593)
Posted Tuesday, May 19, 2009 | Review Permalink
Nightfly
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Rock Progressivo Italiano Team
4 stars After previously releasing two very good and promising albums, on Prelude A La Ruine Nemo really hit their stride and made one of the best albums of their career so far. The same musical elements are present, the blend of heavy rock/metal, symphonic prog and jazz but Prelude a La Ruine tops them by having stronger hooks and melodies.

As usual Nemo excel on some fine instrumental work where the versatile rhythm section underpins some excellent guitar and keyboard work perfectly captured on the totally instrumental 1914. Jean Pierre Louveton's searing and powerful guitar work in particular places Nemo as a prog band for today, not reliving the glory days of the seventies. Nemo manage to take the aforementioned influences and blend them in such a way as to make them one of the more original and inventive bands playing in the current prog scene. They also manage to inject a bit of funk into the proceedings on the catchy Cluster 84.

It's also worth mentioning that regarding the vocals they choose to sing in their native French and while Louverton's singing, who supplies the lead is not one of the bands greater strengths he handles them well enough.

Although it's a strong album throughout the band hit a high on closing track Le Monde à L'envers. The longest piece at fifteen minutes. It's a slow burner building from the restrained vocal led first part and moving into a frantic instrumental break before a solitary organ leads in some crashing power chords to close.

Anyone setting out on the road to discover Nemo will find this an excellent place to start. Perhaps the only better choice would be their most recent 2009 album Barbares. Highly recommended.

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Send comments to Nightfly (BETA) | Report this review (#263671)
Posted Sunday, January 31, 2010 | Review Permalink
5 stars If we admit "Si partie 1" is the absolute masterpiece of this fabulous group, "Prélude à la ruine" and "Barbares" are very close behind.

Despite its energy, this third record of Nemo is essentially symphonic. The metal influences will be much more evident in he following records, more especially "Si partie 2" & "Barbares". But Nemo really contributes to renew the symphonic rock : we are far away from the interesting but limited neo prog of IQ or Pendragon. We are closer to the big prog masters like Yes.

Nemo's members have the virtuosity and musicianship of the Flower Kings (The top prog group nowadays in my opinion) but without the (very controled) creative madness of Roine Stolt. This music is a perfect fusion of pure beauty and energy, sustended by obvious inventive abilities and exceptionnal skill.

To my mind, Nemo is, without any doubt, on the third step of the podium after the Flower Kings and Transatlantic.

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Send comments to Kjarks (BETA) | Report this review (#274555)
Posted Saturday, March 27, 2010 | Review Permalink

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