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NUMEN

Neo-Prog • Spain


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Numen biography
Founded in Alicante, Spain in 1992 - Hiatus between 2000-2013

Spanish prog band NUMEN was born as a four piece formation in 1992, in 1998 Numen released their debut concept album about all the things that surround the man as an integrating part of Cosmos. This first album got very good reviews all over the world, but two years later Numen was dissolved as a band. Its members were engaged from that time to their personal projects.

After a long period of inactivity, the Numen members reunited, on one hand to celebrate the 15th anniversary of the release of Samsara in 2013. And on the other hand to publish a new album, this was released in 2014, named "Numenclature". At the end of 2014 guitar player Antonio VALIENTE left the group and was replaced by Marcos BEVIA.

Meanwhile Numen started a new musical project, resulting in the release of their third studio-album entitled "Cyclothymia", at the Chilean prog label Mylodon, on CD (6 tracks), and vinyl (5 tracks).

NUMEN is a band with a strong neo prog influence. Their music is essentially melodic with masterful execution of the instruments. They have a complex style based on classical music beautifully blended with electronic instruments and a solid foundation of acoustic instruments, thus creating a unique sound. "Samsara" is a must in any prog fan collection. Sometimes, they remind of their compatriots of GALADRIEL.

Bio expanded and updated by TenYearsAfter in June 2019

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NUMEN discography


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

3.57 | 35 ratings
Samsara
1998
4.02 | 34 ratings
Numenclature
2014
3.88 | 71 ratings
Cyclothymia
2019

NUMEN Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

NUMEN Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

NUMEN Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

NUMEN Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

NUMEN Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Cyclothymia by NUMEN album cover Studio Album, 2019
3.88 | 71 ratings

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Cyclothymia
Numen Neo-Prog

Review by Numaios

5 stars Today we have in our hands "Cyclothymia", the third studio album by the Spanish neo-progressive band NUMEN, which was released by the Chilean label Mylodon Records in March of last year 2019. A year ago, so this review is quite belated, but hey, the thing is that every expression here poured is genuine and honest. Before going to the album itself, let's note that this quintet based in Alicante is currently made up of César Alcaraz [voice], Manuel Mas [keyboards], Marcos Beviá [guitars], Víctor Arques [bass] and Gaspar Martínez [drums and percussion] . This is the first NUMEN album with the presence of Beviá, the successor of Antonio Valiente. The origins of the band go back to the year 1992, being so six years later they managed to publish their debut album "Samsara", but two years later, the band disintegrated. Anyway, this dissolution was not final because the band resurfaced with everything to create and publish "Numenclature" in 2014. With "Cyclothymia", the NUMEN reaffirmed the creative vitality of this new era. Focusing specifically on this item, the band exhibits an exquisite and fluidly schematic display of modern symphonism, very obedient to the inheritances received from the new wave of the British symphonic prog of the 80s, and, incidentally, also from the second generation of the so-called neo-prog from the 90s onwards (GRAY LADY DOWN, COLLAGE, QUIDAM). There is also no lack of stylistic links with the modernized facets of the sound ideas of GENESIS, CAMEL and PINK FLOYD. The material recorded for this album was mixed by Rafa Camisón in Estudio 79, to be later mastered by Kadifornia Mastering. Let's see now the details of the repertoire of this album, okay? Lasting 6 minutes, "The Man With The X-Ray Eyes" opens the repertoire, a song that begins with a patently ceremonious prologue marked by multiple cosmic layers of synthesizer, to which a soliloquy with rhetorical authority is added. Once the full instrument block was installed, we came across a striking and crystal-clear motif that refers us to both the MARILLION of the 85-89 phase and the PENDRAGON of the early 90s. After lavishing generously on a nimble swing that allows the theme center hook to settle with enchanting power, the final section ends in a slow key, Floydian-style ballad. Following is 'Some Faith', a song designed to perpetuate the relaxed, lyrical sensibility with which the opening song had concluded. Being the keyboards at the nerve center of the melodic scheme and the evocative atmosphere of the song, the idea is to give it an extra dose of drama, especially in relation to the emotional vibrations of the song and the solid interventions of the guitar in its riffs, phrasing and harmonic additions. In spite of what could be concluded from its ritualistic title, 'A Cosmic Prayer' is a subject where the extrovert and the color predominate, although it also has a serene interlude that draws attention within the general scheme because it contains one of the best synth solos on the entire album. It is one of the most resounding songs on the album, it makes good use of its space of 7 minutes. The fourth song on the album is the one that precisely gives it its title and is also the most extensive with its more than 14 ¾ minutes in length, and of course, the band exploits its most lavish edges for the occasion. For the most part, a series of enveloping atmospheres are created and expanded to organize the dramatic melodic developments, the same that are clearly delineated as a hybrid between the MARILLION of the 80s and the GENESIS of the late 70s. Around the border of the eighth minute, the group creates a vitalistic instrumental interlude on an enthusiastic and moderately muscular groove. It all ends with a return to the original drama, adding a stylized parsimony that reminds us, to a certain extent, of the PINK FLOYD of the 87-94 phase. The piano epilogue is very eloquent in its serious parsimony, very expressive that the narrative of the song ends with a halo of solemn gravity.

'Lady Of The Winds' begins with blizzard effects and a song of childish elves, which opens the door to the expansion of a graceful and poetic atmosphere. The pastoral airs of the acoustic guitar and the floating character of the harmonies and ornaments of the keyboards fill the friendly atmosphere that rests solidly on a striking swing armed by the rhythmic pair. The song carries a serene and ethereal beauty that reminds us of a hybrid of the ASGARDs of the first album with the COLLAGES of the first three; We also noticed a retro look to the GENESIS with some hints of the folk facet of YES. The last 9 ½ minutes of the album are occupied by 'Footprints', a song that begins to flow soberly under the prog-symphonic ballad model in the style of MARILLION and PENDRAGON. After crossing the border in the third minute, the initial markedly introspective mood turns towards a more properly epic area; It is here that the keyboard layers and orchestrations become a little denser. Things do not take long to speed up to the point that the guitar finds fields of action for its leading expansions in the middle of Alcaraz's singing, and meanwhile, the rhythmic duo develops a more graceful swing. This being the case, the melodic scheme becomes dazzling: the introspective has already been left behind to speak of an extrovert and effectively attractive musicality. The real impetus for the song and repertoire to end with a lavish aureole and an unstoppable melodic hook comes to fruition. "Cyclothymia" is, after all, a solid album in its musical developments and very lively through the various melodic ideas that are exhibited from start to finish. The people of NUMEN have shown off their best on this album.

 Cyclothymia by NUMEN album cover Studio Album, 2019
3.88 | 71 ratings

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Cyclothymia
Numen Neo-Prog

Review by Milotxa

5 stars The Spanish formation Numen is by no means a newcomer, after all the band has existed for over 25 years. The first output was in 1998 with the album "Samsara", followed by "Numenclature" in 2014 after a long break. Now her third work "Cyclothymia" has been released on the Chilean label Mylodon Records. Six titles with duration between five and 15 minutes were recorded by the following line-up:

César Alcaraz - vocals Marcos Beviá - lead guitar / rhythm guitar Víctor Arques - bass Gaspar Martínez - drums / percussion Manuel Mas - keyboards / vocals / additional arrangements.

The Spaniards present melodic Neo-Prog, which seems to be influenced by British Neo-Prog from the 90s. Both keys and guitars set fine accents, especially their long track is convincing, the title song 'Cyclothymia'. The English-speaking vocals show that English is not the mother tongue of the front man, and it seems a bit shaky in some places, but overall fits in well with the concept. The melodies know how to please, Manuel Mas puts special accents on the keys. It is certainly not a bad idea for Neo Prog fans to deal with this quintet from Alicante. The album could have been called F34.0, because that is the ICD-10 code for the mood disorder cyclothymia. There are no mood swings on the album, this is consistently pleasant symphonic Neo-Prog without corners and edges.

 Cyclothymia by NUMEN album cover Studio Album, 2019
3.88 | 71 ratings

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Cyclothymia
Numen Neo-Prog

Review by Marcello64

4 stars The third album from this Spanish band.

The band is a quintet with a lineup of drums, keyboards, guitars, bass and vocals.

I have been a long term admirer of this band and my reviews of their two albums can be found somewhere else in this blog.

Neo-prog is their genre. Sort of..... OK, it is neo-prog.

There is a lot more to the band than just neo-prog. Their sound and music reminds me a lot about early Marillion.

This album is indeed very comparable with early Marillion. No, the vocalist does not sound like Fish. The vocalist in Numen has a totally different voice. The vocals are indeed great. But the music reminds me a lot about early Marillion.

Numen combines neo-prog and symphonic prog on this album. Which is a very good combination. The music is not massive technical. It still have a lot of intricate details, though.

The album is fifty minutes long and not a single tone outstays it's welcome. There is a lot of power and melody on this album.

The melodies and the music is indeed great and the album has a classy feel.

Numen is one of those gems in the neo-prog scene who deserves a lot more attention. I rate them as one of the best neo-prog bands in the world at this moment.

 Cyclothymia by NUMEN album cover Studio Album, 2019
3.88 | 71 ratings

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Cyclothymia
Numen Neo-Prog

Review by GregLineker

5 stars If we can express something firmly, it is that Spain does not fade as far as progressive rock is concerned. And it is that there are few Spanish groups that have generated valuable contributions to this musical phenomenon, a situation more than interesting, taking into account the well-known fluctuations experienced by the style and difficulties that exist to prosecute a healthy vigorous scene. This new creative glow is Numen, a symphonic progressive band from Alicante founded in 1992, who since their genesis have oriented their style towards a musical structuring based on intense instrumental developments and a remarkable emotional charge as far as their lyrics are concerned.

Since "Samsara", his first album of 1997, works with neo-progressive touches of high beauty, through the dreamlike charm of "Numenclature", the second album recorded in 2014, the band has managed to offer a musical work of high quality. Therefore, it was foreseeable that his most recent opus, "Cyclothymia", would be in full sync with his predecessors, even more, this new album released this year under the Chilean label Mylodon Records, both on CD and in vinyl edition, come also complemented with new concepts, explained perhaps by the group's own maturity and the compositional strength of the band integrated by César Alcaraz (voice), Víctor Arques (bass), Manuel Mas (keyboards), Marcos Beviá (guitars) and Gaspar Martínez (drums ).

Cyclothymia is perhaps the darkest content album of Numen, given the remarkable thematic emphasis that inspires them, but it is not a conceptual album, although it is close to it, by virtue of the exploration that is done to these moods in the that the human being is submerged when life becomes a burden and a torment.

In the musical, vocal parts are conjugated very well achieved and of marked depth, in the typical lyrical style of Numen, with other more innovative instrumentals, expressed through the richness in the timbral and harmonic treatment of the work.

The mini suite that gives its name to the album is perhaps the maximum expression of this album, which goes into intricate sound passages, dominated by the presence of a wise use of keyboards that generate a symphonic neo-frenzy of particular beauty that results in a musical universe that represents the various moods that can be crossed by the human being, in the cyclical sense of the word.

After coping with an existence, which, like many bands, is marked by certain intermittences, the Numen film lives a new chapter, decidedly gravitational in the group's career.

 Cyclothymia by NUMEN album cover Studio Album, 2019
3.88 | 71 ratings

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Cyclothymia
Numen Neo-Prog

Review by Stefan Lukas

5 stars The band Numen Coming from Alicante was founded in 1992. Cyclothymia is his third studio work, preceded by Numenclature (2014) and the debut Samsara (1998).

With Cyclothymia or prior to its launch, there were a number of changes: first, guitarist Antonio Valiente was replaced by the current Marcos Bevia. The rest of the members remain constant over time; César Alcaraz (voices), Víctor Arques (bass), Manuel Mas (keyboards) and Gaspar Martínez (drums).

Second, since Cyclothimia, Numen signs with the record label Mylodon Records.

"The album talks about the moods that human beings can go through, in the cyclical sense of the word. Anyway, we want people to be able to make their own interpretation and can take the lyrics to their field. It is a very eclectic work, with very different themes between them, with the importance of always to the melody "- commented Gaspar Martínez.

So, therefore, is how Numen faces this 2019: working on a lyricism that serves as both poetic and environmental support, and that operates as a vehicle for musical scores. It is, indeed, dark, although at first glance it may not seem so (because the artwork is a beautiful color). However, once we dive into the round, we can verify this idea that Martínez has wanted to convey to us.

Cyclothymia reminds me of a series of groups set in progressive rock and sometimes in the Neo-Prog; like Unreal City, Huis or Marillion.. But above all, Cyclothymia remembers Numen, with that incisive and delicate pointillism that the quintet has worked as a sign of identity.

'The Man with the X-Ray Eyes' is the beginning of the tour. It is a compendium of keyboard arrangements and rhythmic setbacks that occur with vocal parts, distorted in the first minutes.

With 'Some Faith' the classic side of Numen becomes evident, since the piano is also used to add compositional richness. I must say that the second minute reminds me of the keyboards of the song 'The Web' by Marillion (Script For A Jester's Tear).

'A Cosmic Prayer' presents, as the name anticipates, cosmic scratches, whose intricate nature evoke Rush in '2112'.

In 'Cyclothymia' the dark and melancholic mood that the quintet wishes to reflect in this round becomes more evident. I would say that the keyboards play a fundamental role in the work, either by brushing the rear as in the form of a main dish leading the entire sound network. The tempo changes are also noteworthy, and halfway again it changes third. In this part, the melody acquires a more direct conception and a dreamlike intonation in the last minutes.

'Lady of the Winds' develops the "British progressive" side, but without undoing the other aspects. I want to say that 'Lady of the Winds' also plays with other aspects and other instruments such as the acoustic guitar. 'Footprints' closes Cyclothymia with a dose of Neo-Prog Arena style, dotted with reflective notes.

In short, Cyclothymia is more than worthy work that deserves to be heard, since it will not leave you indifferent. Hopefully the hiatus that was years ago in Numen will not be repeated, and continue to delight us with new works.

 Cyclothymia by NUMEN album cover Studio Album, 2019
3.88 | 71 ratings

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Cyclothymia
Numen Neo-Prog

Review by Peter Angus

5 stars This is the third album of this Spanish Prog band coming from the warm coasts of the Mediterranean Sea. Their two previous albums left me a good impression since I am a newprog follower and they hit the right buttons to take notice of them. Despite of the fact that Antonio Valiente left the project, you cannot find any loss of creativity in the current album. Marcos Bevià, the new guitar player, seems to fit in with the particular universe of Numen.

Going to the point, Cyclothymia is made of six tracks, each of them with a particular color that sometimes reminds me of the classics, especially Pink Floyd in the 70's and Marillion in the 90's.

The first track is a musical gesture to the sci-fi movies from the 60's, but the message seems to have a second interpretation thanks to some jokes in the lyrics. The instrumentation is kind of orchestral and the structure made of two different parts, the first one more humouristic than the second one that transmits a sarcastic message.

The second track, Some faith, is a ballad that has to do with the title of this album. The lyrics are kind of disconsolate. Here you find those harmonies that remind me Pink Floyd. The four track, Cyclothymia will reproduce this feeling again. The interaction between the vocals and the guitar is really pretty. A grand piano is the base of the song.

The third and the fifth songs are the most positive and brights songs. Both of them have a typical song form with an instrumental interlude in the 3/4 of the tracks. The keyboards and guitars solos are pleasant. The lyrics uplifting.

The fourth track, Cyclothymia, is a rollercoaster of emotions, full of color and timbres. The message is the plot that supports all the musical structure. It's not a mere yuxtaposition of ideas, but a discourse that evolves in a cyclothymic way. It's the best track of the album and the soul of it.

This works finishes with Footprints, a neutral song in terms of emotion. Completely Marillionesque, made of three different parts. The first one is in the Floyd style. The second is an instrumental part with sketches and ideas brought by the synths, the guitar, the bass and even a vocal echo. The last part increases the tempo and its vitality.

All in all, if you're a newprog fan, you shouldn't miss Cyclothymia. From time to time some new gems appear in the enormous river call Prog rock.

 Cyclothymia by NUMEN album cover Studio Album, 2019
3.88 | 71 ratings

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Cyclothymia
Numen Neo-Prog

Review by CosmicMan

5 stars Another return! That of the Spanish quintet NUMEN, originally from ALICANTE in the south-east of SPAIN and who had published his first album "Samsara" in the last century, exactly in 1998. Important thing to explain this renaissance, the group was put to sleep for thirteen years from 2000 to 2013. There was the release of a second album "Numenclature" in 2014 with the original formation but since the guitarist Antonio VALIENTE left his little friends and was replaced by Marcos BEVIA. So what does NUMEN offered us in the year 2019? Well a progressive neo album! Yes but still? Let's move on, César ALCARAZ sings correctly even if we sometimes realize that it is a Spaniard who sings in English, the amplitude of the octaves he has, partly erases this little discomfort.   NUMEN opens hostilities with "The Man with the X-Ray Eyes", easy to translate that one! Neo with a symphonic tendency, which even if the Iberians do not invent anything, remains pleasant to listen to, a piece where the synthesizers of Manuel MAS lead the dance with zest and prettiness and well supported in the second half by the lyric six-string guitar and brilliant by Marcos BEVIA (9/10). "Some Faith" the shortest title of the album introduced by the piano, before the intervention of the guitar, is certainly also the most basic, the most happening everywhere, in short the one that fascinates me the least (7/10). "A Cosmic Prayer", a whole program!, is the piece where the Spanish-English diction of César ALCARAZ turns out to be the most troublesome insofar as it is a much sung piece, too bad because Manuel MAS is still positively involved (6/10). Non place at the top of the album, the title track "Cyclothymia", incidentally the longest of the opus, pure chance of course, a track where the two soloists already mentioned shine brightly, where Cesar sings the best and where the rhythmic pair, Victor ARQUES on four strings and Gaspar MARTINEZ on drums are also highlighted (without them nothing would be possible of course), in short a superb piece of symphonic progressive, which offers us in its mitan and in its last quarter of the sounds from elsewhere (crowd noises, police sirens, voiceovers, laughter, slamming car doors ....) thanks to PINK FLOYD and Alan PARSONS for having created, invented even in their time these musical ersatz which allow us today to fully appreciate progressive music (10/10).   "Lady of The Winds" starts with stormy noises and a childish voice and turns out to be almost as fascinating as the previous piece, lit up again and again by Mister MAS, the only track where the guitar is clearly and advantageously perceived acoustic, the improbable marriage between rhyme of youth and symphonist, with unfortunately a little abrupt end ..... (8/10). The conclusive piece "Footprints" which approaches ten minutes is also a remarkable symphonic piece, magnified more than the other pieces previously heard by the sieur BEVIA and where César ALCARAZ sings there excellently, like what everything is possible ..... with a end there too a little too steep (9/10).   In summary a very good album if you checked the box "symphonic progressive".
 Cyclothymia by NUMEN album cover Studio Album, 2019
3.88 | 71 ratings

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Cyclothymia
Numen Neo-Prog

Review by JellyFish

5 stars Long time ago I discovered this Spanish Prog rock band that was very useful at that moment to be interested in a style I didn't know at all. Almost 20 years after that encounter, I've bumped into them again. I must say that the feelings have been the same as the first time. With Cyclothymia, it's like to visit a musical museum. After all this time the band has produced a well crafted album one more time. They still know how to use musical brushes to paint coloristic canvas where you can dive in. Each song is so different from the other ones! You listen to Cyclothymia song and you feel so overwhelming by the drama that lies under the lyrics... after this you feel reconforted with a Lady of the Winds, a folk and NA song. Finally Footprints invites you to reflex about how our lives are threads of a immense fabric, like the canvas that is the basis of this picture.
 Samsara by NUMEN album cover Studio Album, 1998
3.57 | 35 ratings

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Samsara
Numen Neo-Prog

Review by JellyFish

4 stars Thanks to a friend of mine I came across this neoprog Spanish band. Their first album was the way in to a style unknown for me. After this event I got interested in listenning more and more prog albums. If the feeling when I heard of Numen hadn't been good, maybe I wouldn't have listened other similar bands. This album is like to visit a museum where you enjoy pictures of different kind. Some songs are uplifting while other take you to nostalgic and sad landscapes. I think each detail is a kind of brush that makes up a coloristic canvas. Genesis, Psychodrama, Introitus are the most Prog, otherwise Running on ice, Unlucky orchid are kind of ambient. The whole will give you an enjoyable while.
 Cyclothymia by NUMEN album cover Studio Album, 2019
3.88 | 71 ratings

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Cyclothymia
Numen Neo-Prog

Review by friso
Prog Reviewer

3 stars The neo-progressive genre has lots of bands releasing albums and very few top tier bands. Numen is a neo-prog group from Spain with an honest bid for that short list of stronger neo albums of the year 2019. Stylisticly I would place the band the closest to Pendragon because of the mild progressive leanings, the generally uplifting vibe and plain vocals by a not-too-gifted, yet very motivated singer. Also the production gave the band an above avarage and full-bodied sound.

The fifteen minute title song 'Cyclothymia' stands out as much darker than the other songs and makes for the most interesting listen. Other highlights on the album are the keyboard solo's by Manuel Mas who really has a knack for finding sweet spots with sound and melody Take for instance his moments early in the titlse song and his atmospheric twist in 'A Cosmic Prayer'. Some of his chord progressions are well crafted. The guitars of Marcos Beviá are clearly inspired by Gilmour and Hackett, yet his lines sound more like improvisations than thought out melodic lines. Still some very competent playing. Vocalist César Alcaraz is a singer most will easily sympathize with, but I guess his pronounciaton of the English lyrics and his obvious hardship in performing the material is this record's main weakness. This together with lyrics that are better not given too much attention. All compositions have some great ideas and I especially like the darker twists of Numen. The overal quality of the album is fairly consistant and it has a pleasant playback and lenght. The album cover looks like one of those heavy psych albums of the late sixties and I guess this album is as much a slightly flawed masterpiece as most of the albums it resembles. That won't bother most listeners of the neo-prog genre, because listeners of Pendragon, Marillion and early Arena will surely find something to enjoy here! Three and a halve for this one.

Thanks to ProgLucky for the artist addition. and to Quinino (w/ TenYearsAfter) for the last updates

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