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SPHERES

Now

Neo-Prog


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Now Spheres album cover
3.36 | 19 ratings | 3 reviews | 11% 5 stars

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Studio Album, released in 1991

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. 170191
2. Children of a dying world Converging universes:
3. 1st movement: light waves
4. 2nd movement: the light of reason
5. 3rd movement: a) Trait d'union
6. b) Hymn to the light
7. c) Reprise
8. Source
9. Lost
10. Paradox

Total Time: 53:22

Lyrics

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Music tabs (tablatures)

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Line-up / Musicians

- Hervé Borbé / piano, synthesizers, backing vocals
- Véronique Duyckaerts / basses, bass pedals, backing vocals
- Vincent Fis / lead vocals, guitars
- Jean-Pierre Nelles / drums, percussion, backing vocals
+ André Gielen / backing vocals

Releases information

Cd. Musea FGBG 4040.AR

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
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NOW Spheres ratings distribution


3.36
(19 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(11%)
11%
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(37%)
37%
Good, but non-essential (42%)
42%
Collectors/fans only (5%)
5%
Poor. Only for completionists (5%)
5%

NOW Spheres reviews


Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by ZowieZiggy
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars The second album from this Belgian band is fully dominated by the epic "Converging universes". Over thirty minutes and four "movements" for this very good song.

Major influence is by no doubt "Yes". But the band is not trying to be only a pale copy, nor a tribute band à la "Druid" or "Starcastle". This composition is full of beautiful music and harmony.

Even if it is a very long number, it is not dull. I only regret that the finale is a bit flat. I was expecting some kind of a bombastic finale which will never arrive. But before this one, the "Light Waves" section is simply excellent. Probably the most "Yes" oriented of all. It lasts for over thirteen minutes and is by far the best track (or portion of a track).

Church organ to start (you know like.), followed by a complex instrumental part (very much in the style of CTTE). Vocals are very pleasant. Calm, profound: only some more conviction could have been integrated. The most interesting parts are obviously the instrumental ones. They evolve into some "Gates Of Delirium" pieces which are rather pleasant.

The second section ("The Light Of Reason") is almost as good. Clocking at over eleven minutes, it features more vocals. It is more popish, but great symphonic moments are achieved as well. Still, it falls a bit short after such a great opening part.

The very short third section (less than a minute) is an acoustic guitar piece. Peaceful. As I have mentioned, the fourth and last section lacks in grandeur. Such a long track should have deserved to get a bombastic finale. "Hymn To The Light" is just a mellow acoustic closing. What a pity to end on such an average mood.

None of the other songs are really great. Just average and shy of the epic. Both the opener (170191 - another Yes relation ?) and the AOR-ish "Children Of A Dying World" are forgetable.

"Reprise" is an all instrumental track full of synth sounds while "Source" is all subtlety and features a great piano part. The latter is definitely pleasant; almost classic. Hervé is performing nicely. But the guy is gifted.

"Lost" is a rock ballad, somewhat mellow and not really memorable and the closing number Paradox is just a filler IMO. Too bad.

As I have mentioned in my intro, this second "Now" album only performs thanks to "Converging Universe". Still, three stars for the whole.

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Send comments to ZowieZiggy (BETA) | Report this review (#162574) | Review Permalink
Posted Sunday, February 24, 2008

Review by Gerinski
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars An excellent neo-prog album were it not for the first 2 tracks and, to a lesser extent the vocals and some improvable production. The closest reference for this belgian band is Yes. Which Yes? Well, actually a mix, we will find fragments evoquing the symphonic prog of the classic line-up, and moments more reminiscent of the Trevor Rabin period (especially because the guitar is much more Rabin-like than Howe-like). This is neo-prog, but leaning more to the symphonic side than many other neo-prog bands like Jadis or Illuvatar who are more melodic-pop-oriented.

The music stands mostly on the constant interlacing between the very good keyboards of Herve Borbe and the guitar of band leader Vincent Fis, who combines standard prog rock playing in the most symphonic parts with a hard, nearly metal edge in other parts. This was 1991 and the influence of Eddie Van Halen on many guitarists of that generation was evident. The bass (by female Veronique Duyckaerts who also supports with backing vocals) and drums are good but they are penalized by the equalization and mix, mostly the bass which often sounds too high-pitched. The lead voice by guitarist Fis is not very good, but it stands the level of "acceptable". In fact the vocal phrasing is really fine, it's just that his timbre is not the most pleasant around.

The album starts disappointingly bad with 2 tracks which will screw your listening experience of all the rest, so I strongly advice you to skip them and start straight from track 3, which is what I always do. These 2 disposable tracks are the opening 170191 (presumably the date in european format in which the recording began) which is just a sonic intro of distorted guitar and keyboards which my dad would call noise, and the second track "Children of the dying world", a neo-prog-AOR song clearly inspired by Yes' "Owner of a lonely heart" but worse. Skip them both.

If we start from track 3 things get really interesting, with the 33 minute suite "Converging Universes" which forms the core of the album. The first movement starts with a great instrumental introduction with a nice time signature of 16/8 - 19/8, followed by a good melodic verse and including an organ solo alla Rick Wakeman. Fis uses frequently the figure of transposing a scale to different octaves in his soloing, something much done by Howe, but he uses also more modern and heavy-guitar techniques. A really nice symphonic 13 minutes. The second movement is more standard neo-prog with hints of Pendragon, Pallas or IQ. The third movement starts with a short acoustic guitar bridge followed by a mid-tempo part which could remind us of the first part of Yes "I've seen all good people" mixed with the Simple Minds (yes I know that sounds strange), a nice catchy melody which is revisited in instrumental fashion in the final "Reprise".

Then we have "Source" which is a beautiful piano solo piece, again with some Wakeman influences, and "Lost" which is a simple slow-mid tempo track, a bit repetitive and nothing special by itself, but in the whole scheme it fits. Not everything in a good prog album needs to be complex.

The final instrumental "Paradox" is another fine piece of neo-prog, not formally related to the suite but since it has a similar style it feels as a kind of reprise and wrap-up, closing nicely the complete set of tracks 3 to 10.

Once again, this is neo-prog and you should judge it as that, do not expect a "Gates of Delirium" here, but this is certainly better than many acclaimed neo-prog albums. Just remember to skip tracks 1 and 2.

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Send comments to Gerinski (BETA) | Report this review (#274220) | Review Permalink
Posted Thursday, March 25, 2010

Review by b_olariu
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars Now from Belgium is a forgotten and pretty unknown band to wider public, who mange to release 3 albums and then falling into oblivion. The second album released in 1991 at Musea records named Spheres is probaly their best one from all 3, the music is something between Yes and neo prog bands like Iq or Pendragon same peroid. The arrangements are melodic specilly constructed on guitar, who is btw very strong here. The album is mainly solid because of the 33 min epic Converging universes, divided in 7 parts, is a solid piece where each musician shine. The voice is also pleasent but little pale in some parts and without energy, but overall is more then ok. The keyboards in combination with guitar is very well structured and enjoyble most of the time, diffrent chops and tempo changes gives to this album a good aura and a good ride if anyone is intrested to discover this band. A fairly good towards great release, anyway nothing is groundbreaking here but is very enjoyble. 3 stars , maybe 3.5 in places.

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Send comments to b_olariu (BETA) | Report this review (#790797) | Review Permalink
Posted Thursday, July 19, 2012

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