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Nine Skies


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Nine Skies 5.20 album cover
3.98 | 67 ratings | 5 reviews | 21% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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Studio Album, released in 2021

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Colourblind (6:03)
2. Wilderness (6:04)
3. Beauty of Decay (2:15)
4. Golden Drops (4:39)
5. Above the Tide (4:17)
6. Dear Mind (3:26)
7. The Old Man in the Snow (5:38)
8. Godless Land (3:32)
9. Porcelain Hill (4:01)
10. Achristas (4:52)
11. Smiling Stars (6:19)

Total Time 51:06

Line-up / Musicians

- Eric Bouillette / guitars, mandolin, violin, keyboards, arrangements
- Alexandre Lamia / guitars, keyboards, arrangements
- Anne-Claire Rallo / keyboards
- David Darnaud / guitars
- Achraf El Asraoui / vocals, guitars
- Alexis Bietti / bass
- Fabien Galia / drums & percussion
- Laurent Benhamou / saxophones

- Steve Hackett / guitar solo (2)
- Damian Wilson / vocals (9)
- John Hackett / flute (7)
- Cath Lubatti / violin, viola
- Lilian Jaumotte / cello

Releases information

Cover: Michael Cheval
Label: Anesthetize Productions (ANE029)
Format: CD, Digital
June 4, 2021

Thanks to mbzr48 for the addition
and to kev rowland for the last updates
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Buy NINE SKIES 5.20 Music

NINE SKIES 5.20 ratings distribution

(67 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(21%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(49%)
Good, but non-essential (24%)
Collectors/fans only (3%)
Poor. Only for completionists (3%)

NINE SKIES 5.20 reviews

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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by kev rowland
4 stars his is the third album from Nice-based progressive rock band Nine Skies, but somehow, they have passed me by until now, even though I can see that quite a few musical friends of mine took part in their second release (Dave Foster, Pat Sanders, Clive Nolan, just to name a few). They also have some guests on this album, with Steve and John Hackett both involved as well as Damian Wilson singing on one song. The band itself is quite a large one, with Eric Bouillette (guitars, mandolin, violin, keyboards), Alexandre Lamia (guitars, keyboards), Anne-Claire Rallo (keyboards), David Darnaud (guitars), Achraf El Asraoui (vocals, guitars), Alexis Bietti (bass), Fabien Galia (drums, percussion), and Laurent Benhamou (saxophones) along with two more guests in Cath Lubatti (violin, viola) and Lilian Jaumotte (cello).

There may be a lot of musicians, but what surprises the listener when getting into this is just how pastoral and acoustic it is. The arrangements are key here, with the different instruments wonderfully spaced and a real feeling of lightness. It is a relaxed album which feels very English indeed, with piano and acoustic guitar often at the heart. The percussion is interesting as Galia has a wide remit and is often using hand instruments as opposed to a standard drumkit and this provides a different underlying feel. Achraf El Asraoui has a lovely voice, full of emotion, and he can easily move into falsetto when he feels the need which again provides the band with a bigger palette. There is no rush here, it is all about the music and it is an album where it is very easy indeed to get lost inside and is definitely one which benefits from being played on headphones with no distractions.

I find it interesting when looking at ProgArchives that although this has picked up some reviews, none have been from the official collaborators, yet with 49 ratings and four reviews this has a very healthy 4.0 average which has it at #5 of French releases from that year. There is both a simple complexity and a complex simplicity within this album which makes it thoroughly enjoyable from start to finish, and the mellow pace and style really does make this an album to savour. I can see I am going to have to look backwards into their other releases as this really is a delight.

Latest members reviews

5 stars French progressive rock collective NINE SKIES have been weaving their rock, jazz, classical and progressive influences for several years now ? combining their acoustic instrumentation with deep and poignant, poetic lyrics. Their well-received 2017 debut Returning Home looked at a range of differ ... (read more)

Report this review (#2581385) | Posted by Squonk19 | Monday, July 26, 2021 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Review #11 - The acoustic side of prog. Today it's going acoustic, not to say "beautifully acoustic!". But more about that later. First of all, I look back and realize that "5.20" is again one of those albums that can already inspire from the outside. The wonderful cover art by Michael Cheval ... (read more)

Report this review (#2574283) | Posted by Smurfreviews | Friday, June 25, 2021 | Review Permanlink

4 stars NINE SKIES is this recent band known in a small room at the end of a road from which you never come back. NINE SKIES is the French progressive rock group inspired by rock, pop, progressive, jazz, maybe neo-prog on the MARILLION, some titles of GENESIS. Inviting some big names from the prog world ... (read more)

Report this review (#2571757) | Posted by alainPP | Friday, June 18, 2021 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Mournful, Soulful Elegy Gentle Delicacy with Waves of Emotion What I hear in this new release (release date June 4, 2021) from (mainly) French progressive outfit NINE SKIES, is a tender and nakedly vulnerable meditation on death, life, and the question of faith. With gentle acoustic guita ... (read more)

Report this review (#2542918) | Posted by Steve Conrad | Saturday, May 15, 2021 | Review Permanlink

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