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NEBELNEST

RIO/Avant-Prog • France


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NeBeLNeST picture
NeBeLNeST biography
NeBeLNeST formed in 1997, consisting of Michael Anselmi (drums), Cyril Malderez (guitar), Gregory Tejedor (bass), and Olivier Tejedor (keys). They released two albums with this lineup: their self-titled debut in 1999 and the Bob Drake-produced NoVa eXPReSS in 2002. In 2006 they released their third album, ZePTO, which photographed a transition in the band lineup, as outgoing guitarist Malderez appears on roughly half the tracks and temporary guitarist Sebastien Carmona appears on the rest. Since then, the band has settled on guitarist Matthiew Sassier and guitarist/saxophonist Julien Wack to replace Malderez. This new lineup is currently working on a new album.

NeBeLNeST's music is a high-energy mix of multiple styles of progressive rock, blending a prog-metal influenced drums and bass with psychedelic guitar and symphonic keyboards. The rhythm section is clearly in control, with intense drumming and distorted, almost zeuhl-like bass dominating most pieces. The band is clearly not fond of repeating itself, as they constantly shift and progress throughout each piece. NeBeLNeST should appeal to all fans of energetic, interesting, and innovative music.

--Rileydog22 (Jake)--

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NEBELNEST discography


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NEBELNEST top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

4.02 | 51 ratings
NeBeLNeST
1999
4.14 | 79 ratings
NoVa eXPReSS
2002
3.84 | 49 ratings
ZePTO
2006

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NEBELNEST Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 NeBeLNeST by NEBELNEST album cover Studio Album, 1999
4.02 | 51 ratings

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NeBeLNeST
NeBeLNeST RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by DangHeck

4 stars Sad to say, not super available digitally... This is the self-titled debut by this French Avant-Prog band. I mean, personally I love the quirky capitalization choices: NeBeLNeST. The potential influence of Zeuhl has been mentioned and I find that to be incredibly apparent.

On our opening track, "Improv: Pooks (I. Part One)" we have a jazzy ethereal drive. Full speed ahead! The keys are spacy and strange and dissonant, in part, but the most notable piece is the drums... "Psykial Trysm (I. Shafoo)" is our next track. Just as forward-driving, the sonic choices of the guitar are so tasty, I can't even tell you. In its midsection, much falls away. It is so spacy to a creepy degree [You'll be hearing this sentiment quite a bit here]. I can't but help to think it's utterly film-ready. This section lasts clear from the middle until the final minute. We are then back in fullness. The keyboards!!! Wow. Nice organ sound, reminiscent in the end of Soft Machine's Mike Ratledge. Then we have "Psykial Trysm (II. Nahja)"... The synth tone eerily floats downward and then begins to fluctuate back up and back down as the rest of the band enters in. Very psychedelic this'n. Around minute 2 there is a slight rhythmic shift. It really does sound like Soft Machine here to me. Then the drums pick the beat up rapidly. The lead guitar takes us into an Eastern sound modally. A different kind of dynamic than the two before.

The first of our two 9-minute mini-epics, "Etude De Shimshot" is eerie and wavering in its frontend. The hovering, piercing guitar sounds a bit like Fripp. The Avant is in fuller effect here. It just feels like a really nice mix of progressive idioms (from Jazz-Prog to Avant-Rock to Zeuhl to Space Rock). The whole of the song is a play on what appears to be a singular theme, driven throughout by the ever beefy bass. then we have "Improv: Uncertain Journey". I love whatever effect they have on the guitar here in the start. Reminds me of Tera Melos' Nick Reinhart! It takes about two minutes to really get into things. The keys morph in and out with the guitar. A lot of talent. A lot of understanding in their respective mediums. More Eastern-sounding vibes here. Up next, "Solilock" comes with drumming that reminds me of Bruford (I just saw a clip that Bill uploaded online from Rock Goes To College haha). This song features a great theme, played on the keys. They are just goin' on this one; a slight cacophony toward the end. A sure highlight!

Then we have our second sort of mini-epic, "Absinthe", a lower, slower number with rolling bass, more of those wide open organs from before. This song does call more Zeuhl to mind. Only in the best ways. The rhythm just drives the songs forward, as drums are bashed and all else is to match. All falls away to an eerie synth padding with light acoustic guitars. The instrumentation enters in full with some mellotron and more lead guitar. The Ratledge-esque organ continues then in a wild fashion to match the rapidly plucked guitar. The song's final moments sonically lower down, continuing on with a different groove. The dissonance returns. And I'm thankful for that. Next, "Crab Nebula", the actual nebula appearing on the front cover, starts queer yet cleanly played. Fitting for a band so into the spacy and ethereal. This track has an awesome beat, too. Have I mentioned how much I love all of the instrumentation. What I'm loving here, as I approach the end, is just how damn consistent this album has been. The low points are all still quite good. A ton of talent and compositional knack to be found here. Finally, we have "Improv: Pooks (II. Part Two)". This beginning is something... Very creepy in the synth department, the rhythm section slams on the... purportedly proper times. This is followed by some jazzy drumming over some absolutely wild Avant-Jazz. I love the keyboards; sounds like a little electric saxophone haha. When this song is on, it is on. "Improv" sounds right. Just feels like a jam. And with that, it's a tad less focused, but still good.

And with that... That's it! Great album!

 ZePTO by NEBELNEST album cover Studio Album, 2006
3.84 | 49 ratings

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ZePTO
NeBeLNeST RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by Progfan97402
Prog Reviewer

4 stars This was the third album by this French band, released in 2006. It's now 2017 and they became one of those "Whatever happened to them" kind of bands. It seems their website was last updated in 2008, although still running. It sounds like when they were recording Zepto, they were having trouble with keeping guitarists. They started with Cyril Malderez, who was the original guitar and played entirely on their previous releases, and then there were Sebastien Carmona and Vincent Boukera. With a four year gap between albums, there surprisingly little change, despite the guitarists. Olivier Tejedor does appear to have larger reign on his keyboards, other than that, it's the same twisted King Crimson, Magma, and Anekdoten type of RIO. Parts of this are a bit even more "out there", but much of it is the same tried and true formula. If you like what they did on previous CDs, there should be no reason to enjoy this one. On the other hand they probably realize they may end up hitting a brick wall, and probably the reason we hadn't heard from them since. Still, this is a great album if you enjoyed their other, but like RIO in general, it's not for everyone.
 NoVa eXPReSS by NEBELNEST album cover Studio Album, 2002
4.14 | 79 ratings

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NoVa eXPReSS
NeBeLNeST RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by Progfan97402
Prog Reviewer

4 stars I seriously doubt anyone who was blown away by their 1999 debut would be surprised they'd end up on Cuneiform Records. After all that label has released its share of RIO and avant prog type of releases since the beginning, around 1984, and of course France's Nebelnest (or their insistence of capitalizing all the consonants, NeBeLNeST) totally fits the bill of Cuneiform like a glove. And so was the label of their last two albums, this one, and Zepto. Nova Express (I won't bother with those capitalizations again) is their second one, some three years after their debut, and what a great followup it is! More of that weird Crimson/Anekdoten style, the more extreme in, the Magma influences I guess comes more from the heavily fuzzed bass of Gregory Tejedor in the style of Jannick Top or Bernard Paganotti. Brother Oliver Tejedor gives us synth and Mellotron (both sampled and real) and on the title track he goes so tron overboard on one section that the Planet Mellotron website called it "tron torture". This music isn't easy. Every now and then the band sounds a bit normal, this is the part, I guess, where strangely, the Ozric Tentacles comparison arise (although I fail to notice any Ozric comparisons), it's back to that chaotic approach real fast. Traditional song structure and melody are forsaken, even King Crimson would diverge with someone a bit more conventional, but not Nebelnest, but then not many of these RIO acts. Because of that, it's little wonder RIO will never be without their detractors, many will accuse these groups of testing the boundaries, being "weird for weird's sake". So obviously I won't recommend those to those who have an aversion to RIO, but I'd say the same of Henry Cow or Univers Zero. But I do get with what RIO is about and Nebelnest is certainly a great example. I've seen comparisons to Guapo, as they take to the heavier end of RIO/avant prog, although Guapo is frequently even more metal, although there is a metal influence in Nebelnest. There are fewer songs on this CD, only five, but they are longer, but to be honest, there isn't much of a difference in that three year gap. If you like this style, I can heartily recommend this.
 ZePTO by NEBELNEST album cover Studio Album, 2006
3.84 | 49 ratings

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ZePTO
NeBeLNeST RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by snobb
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

3 stars After too darkly-symphonic second album, this, band's third release, is a bit more interesting listening for me. Plenty of scratching guitars, distorted sound,some zeuhl atmosphere, but less over-arranged sound - all this changed this album for good.

No more trying to be prog rock, zeuhl and dark avant all-in-one, this album has it's own face. Obviously more avant and even jazzy (in a free jazz manner). this music if not catchy or easy accessible is at least interesting too listen.

My problem with this album is same as with both previous: under external sound experiments, improvs and energetic noisy well-organized chaos I can't find music's soul. Not tunes or melodies, we are speaking about quite noisy free-form avant compositions, but something under the skin I such enjoy in Naked City's much more noisy and brutal releases.

My rating is 3+.

 NoVa eXPReSS by NEBELNEST album cover Studio Album, 2002
4.14 | 79 ratings

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NoVa eXPReSS
NeBeLNeST RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by snobb
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

3 stars Second NEBELNEST album, possibly, most representative for their sound. Dark, almost with Magma-influenced rhythms and cold totalitarian atmosphere, at the same time this album contains plenty of different elements, as metal guitars, symphonic keyboards and even jazzy drumming.

Very professional, well balanced, but as often with French bands with over-arranged and too polished sound, music which I can accept by mind, but it doesn't stick with me. Not real zeuhl, avant-jazz or chamber music, there is all in one for everyone's taste.

Still sounds too empty for me, more external sound constructions, but without filling. Very competent album, just not my cup of tea.

 ZePTO by NEBELNEST album cover Studio Album, 2006
3.84 | 49 ratings

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ZePTO
NeBeLNeST RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by Bonnek
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

3 stars After two fascinating albums of modern Crimson Zeuhl-rock, Nebelnest explored their avant-garde side more thoroughly on Zepto. It's something that leads to mixed results, as the experimentation doesn't seem to represent their strongest side.

The album starts very similar to the debut. The first three track offer sinister droning rock music that matches Magma in Kobaian atmospheres and King Crimson in its ability to be heavy without needing heavily distorted guitars. None of the tracks equals the level of Nova Express though.

Then things get out of hand on The Thing In The Walls and the urge to experiment seems to carry them away from what they do best: playing upbeat dark rock. Also Fabric of Reality doesn't fabricate much listenable music. Of course, everybody's standard for listenable are different, but I doubt whether these two pieces will reveal much to seasoned avant-garde listeners.

With De Triumpho Naturae the album returns to Nebelnest prime business. It's one of the harder rocking tracks here but again it can't bring the captivating atmospheres from the previous albums back. After the challenging Do What Thou Wilt the album ends with the droning noise of Station 9.

I admire Nebelnest's willingness to move forward and explore new areas, but so far I have the impression they overstretched their abilities somehow. I wouldn't recommend it really, unless you own the preceding albums and everything by Guapo already.

 NoVa eXPReSS by NEBELNEST album cover Studio Album, 2002
4.14 | 79 ratings

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NoVa eXPReSS
NeBeLNeST RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by Bonnek
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

5 stars I have to join the ranks of praise for this space-zeuhl-drone-rock masterpiece. Nebelnest is the product of a collision between King Crimson and Magma that took place in the deepest outskirts of space back in 1974. At least that's what this sounds like, so forceful are their rhythms and heavily pulsating bass, so chilling are their chromatic guitar riffing and eerie keyboard sounds.

Nebelnest continues in the vein of the darker sound of Anekdoten's 90's albums. Especially the instrumentals on the excellent Live In Japan come to mind. Also the avant-garde of Univers Zero is a welcome influence in their nebula, but Nebelnest sure rocks a whole lot harder. Closest of all is of course the blasting avant-rock of Guapo.

Nebelnest don't write your average pleasant rock song. If you look for melodic splendour and tunes you can hum along with, you won't find them here. Their long instrumental suites are driven by the rhythmic energy and muscular bass guitar. Layers of dissonant keyboards, mellotron and guitar flippertronics complete the anxiety attack. The production is perfect for their music, very organic, rocking and harsh. Despite the battery of keyboards the sound remains solid and raw, the atmosphere is dark and alien.

Nova-Express is a perfect modern prog trip, it's intense, bleak and nihilistic, but at the same time it's energizing, inspiring and full of vibrating creativity. Not for everyone obviously, but highly recommended if the above description and bands doesn't frighten you away.

 NeBeLNeST by NEBELNEST album cover Studio Album, 1999
4.02 | 51 ratings

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NeBeLNeST
NeBeLNeST RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by Bonnek
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars Nebelnest's debut is a King Crimson dream come true. Even the song titles seem to have run away from King Crimson albums.

Nebelnest is a French modern prog bands that takes the dense darkness of Magma and adds towering Crimsonite riffs and dissonant harmonisation. They operate in the RIO section of PA but next to the notable avant-garde elements, they sure rock as wild and gripping as Crimson does.

The band keeps things entirely instrumental, laying down a heavy rhythm section with drilling bass guitar and the type of jazz-rock influenced drumming that brings back the energy and dynamism of Bill Bruford. Organs, mellotrons and guitars provide for the melodic leads, often using dissonance and weird tonalities. Not one track is less then stellar. The band is sure inspired on each of these improvisations, going fluently from uncanny spacey atmospheres to furious intensity and everything inbetween.

Kudos to Sinkadotentree for recommending this band to me and particularly for introducing me to this album. A golden tip! Highly recommended for fans of '74 King Crimson, early Anekdoten, Guapo and Magma's instrumental side.

 NeBeLNeST by NEBELNEST album cover Studio Album, 1999
4.02 | 51 ratings

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NeBeLNeST
NeBeLNeST RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer

4 stars 4.5 stars. I've been a big fan of this French band ever since I heard "Nova Express".They play a dark, heavy and at times experimental brand of music that recalls KING CRIMSON. And with the abundance of mellotron added to the formula I can't help but think of ANEKDOTEN and GUAPO. I still think "Nova Express" is their best followed by this their debut then "Zepto".

"Improv : Pooks Part 1" opens with faint sounds that build. We get some angular guitar and experimental sounds but check out the bass after 2 minutes. "Shafoo" opens with mellotron then a beat comes in followed by angular guitar and a full sound. The bass is huge and like the drumming. It turns spacey around 3 minutes. It's dark and intense. The bass returns with drums and guitar around 5 1/2 minutes. Great section. "Najha" opens with mellotron before drums, bass and guitar join in. Some organ later. It's pretty intense around 4 1/2 minutes as the drums pound. It picks up a minute later and the guitar starts to rip it up. "Etude De Shimshot" is fairly quiet to open as mellotron and other sounds bubble under the surface. Angular guitar comes into this haunting setting. We get a change after 2 1/2 minutes as the drums come in. A full sound follows. Nice bass here. It settles 5 1/2 minutes in then builds. It's a powerful soundscape 8 1/2 minutes in before settling late.

"Improv : Uncertain Journey" opens with experimetal sounds and cymbals. Eventually drums and bass join in followed by the guitar making some noise. "Solilock" is a favourite of mine. It just sounds so incredible, and I guess I feel that way because this really reminds me of ANEKDOTEN with the mellotron and heaviness. It does settle some later as the guitar starts to solo. Nice. "Absinthe" is laid back early but it's dark with some bottom end. Mellotron joins in and the tempo picks up. The guitar follows. A calm 4 minutes in before it kicks back in with fat bass lines and mellotron. The guitar comes in on fire. A calm 7 minutes in with piano before the guitar and drums return. Amazing tune. "Crab Nebula" opens with piano, bass and drums. Angular guitar before a minute then mellotron. A great sounding track. The tempo picks up 5 1/2 minutes in. "Improv : Pooks Part 2" is spacey to open as outbursts of power come and go. Drums before 2 minutes as the guitar makes some noise. Mellotron 3 1/2 minutes in. Still no melody here. An experimental piece.

Man this is so close to 5 stars for me. Just love this style of music.

 NoVa eXPReSS by NEBELNEST album cover Studio Album, 2002
4.14 | 79 ratings

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NoVa eXPReSS
NeBeLNeST RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by Rune2000
Special Collaborator Prog Metal Team

3 stars I had high hopes for this album due to the great reviews that I've read about this particular release. I must have played this album at least 5-6 times before acknowledging that this just wasn't the type of music that I am capable of appreciating to its fullest.

Although the compositions have a great deal of ideas and skilled playing I tend to feel that this band is missing that little extra that would take them from the realm of an average Prog/Avant-garde band to become one of the best original acts out there. One possible reason for this is that I tend to prefer bands that put much greater effort in writing great compositions and are not necessarily the most skilled musicians out there i.e. Genesis, Pink Floyd, The Residents etc. I mean, there is just so much you can do with the instrumental work before the listener becomes tired of the same jam work shamelessly recycled on one track after the other.

Although I have no real objection to NEBELNEST's current direction non of these compositions are memorable enough to even make me remotely interested in exploring their future output which is really a pity. I'm sure that there are enough supporters of this type of music out there that can fill in the void left by my absence from the band's fan base.

**** star songs: BLaCKMaiL (9:35) ReDRuM (11:03) CiNeMa 1920 (5:00) NoVa eXPReSS (15:32)

*** star songs: STiMPy BaR (5:12)

Thanks to ProgLucky for the artist addition.

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