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Eclectic Prog • France

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Nemo biography
Formed in 2000 in Le Puy-en-Velay, Haute-Loire, France

This French band was rooted in '99 when Pascal Bertrand (drums and percussion), Jean-Pierre LOUVETON (guitar and vocals) and Guillaume Fontaine (keyboards) decided to make progressive rock music. In 2000 bass player Hervé Esquis joined NEMO but he was soon replaced by Benoit Gaignon. Early 2002 the band started to perform, their first concert was attended by at about 100 spectators. In July 2002 NEMO released their first album entitled "Les Nouveax Mondes", a few months later NEMO hosted again a new bass player named JB Itier. In this line-up NEMO released their second album entitled "Présages", they promoted this CD on the Crescendo Festival in the same year, along with ANGLAGARD, CAST and FOCUS. What a thrill it must have been to watch these progrock bands!

The second album "Présages is a stunning CD, in my opinion as innovative as RUSH and their guitarists has the same varied and inventive play as Alex Lifeson! The five dynamic and alternating compostions contain lots of great breaks and many changes of rhythm and atmosphere. Most of the music is based upon an adventurous, jazzy sounding rhythm-section, a harder-edged guitar and varied keyboards. The interplay between guitar and keyboards is amazing: bombastic with howling guitar and orchestral keyboards, swinging with acoustic guitar and jazzy piano (Chick Corea meets John McLaughlin) or symphonic with heavy guitar-riffs and flashing, very spectacular synthesizer solos. The French vocals sound convincing, this man has a wide range but his role is a bit limited, many parts of this CD are instrumental with lots of biting electric guitar solos and sparkling piano play. Recommended to jazzrock oriented progrock fans!

NOTE: Not to be confused with NEMO from the 70's, another French band also listed in Eclectic Prog section.

: : : Erik Neuteboom, The NETHERLANDS : : :
Fan & official Prog Archives collaborator

See also: WiKi

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Buy NEMO Music

CD Baby 2018
doin' nuthin'doin' nuthin'
musea 2019
CD Baby 2015
$19.32 (used)
Le Ver Dans Le FruitLe Ver Dans Le Fruit
CD Baby 2013
$30.60 (used)
Musea records 2019
CD Baby 2011
$18.99 (used)

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NEMO discography

Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help to complete the discography and add albums

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

3.70 | 80 ratings
Les Nouveaux Mondes
3.86 | 98 ratings
4.02 | 111 ratings
Prélude À La Ruine
4.20 | 233 ratings
Si, Partie 1
4.03 | 158 ratings
Si, Partie II - L'Homme Idéal
4.09 | 285 ratings
3.85 | 318 ratings
3.97 | 294 ratings
Le Ver Dans Le Fruit
4.15 | 290 ratings
4.19 | 7 ratings
Présages (2018)

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

3.88 | 14 ratings
Immersion Publique - Live
4.44 | 9 ratings
Si Live

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

4.26 | 37 ratings
La Machine A Remonter Le Temps

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

4.73 | 30 ratings
Si (Partie I et II)

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

3.05 | 9 ratings
Eve Et Le Génie Du Mal
4.25 | 4 ratings
Les Enfants Rois

NEMO Reviews

Showing last 10 reviews only
 Présages (2018) by NEMO album cover Studio Album, 2018
4.19 | 7 ratings

Présages (2018)
Nemo Eclectic Prog

Review by kev rowland
Special Collaborator Crossover Team

4 stars Since Nemo burst onto the French progressive rock scene with their second album, 'Présages' in 2003, they have made a name for themselves as being one of the most dynamic and important bands around. However, their 2015 album 'Coma' was the last one, and the band went on hiatus. Guitarist and singer Jean Pierre Louveton kept working and releasing some great albums, but no-one was sure if the band would ever return. The band came back together to perform a one-off gig in Madrid, and at some point, the conversation turned to the fact that 2018 was the fifteenth anniversary of their breakthrough album. How could they best celebrate that? Somehow the decision was made to completely re-record the album with fifteen years of added experience and make it available with an additional song and a sixteen-page booklet. Guillaume Fontaine (keyboards, vocals) and Jean Baptiste Itier (drums) played on the original alongside JPL, and they were all joined by new bassist Lionel B. Guichard.

For some strange reason I didn't come across Nemo until their fourth album, so actually don't have the original to which to compare this, so have to treat it as a totally new piece of work. But given it was recorded in 2018, isn't a "simple remaster", then this is probably the best way to do it anyway. JPL and Guillaume were founder members of the band back in 1999, and although they haven't been playing a great deal together recently, behind them there are the many hours of shared time in rehearsal spaces, concert platforms and studios, and it shows. The ideas bounce off each other, with a piano and acoustic guitar sometimes being even more dynamic and powerful than rock guitar, and there is plenty of that as well. Lionel has slotted right in and has a wonderful warm sound from his bass, which may not have the punch of some but contains a depth and sustain which fits in perfectly with the often-staccato approach of Jean Baptiste.

They bring in classical moments (I love the marimba on the third part of "La Mort Du Scorpion"), jazz, progressive rock and very hard rock guitar, bringing them all together seamlessly. This album may be 15 years old, but with the re-recording it is fresh, vibrant and essential. Let's just hope the band decide to record another new album, as music and performances such as this deserve to be heard.

 Les Nouveaux Mondes by NEMO album cover Studio Album, 2002
3.70 | 80 ratings

Les Nouveaux Mondes
Nemo Eclectic Prog

Review by siLLy puPPy
Collaborator PSIKE, JR/F/Canterbury & Eclectic Teams

4 stars "Finding NEMO" may be many's favorite animated film about a cute little clownfish in the Great Barrier Reef of Australia but not so easy when looking for a particular band with this rather common moniker. For example there was a Belgian band named NEMO, an Italian one, one from the UK, two from the US, one from Finland and two bands from France that are both classified as electric progressive rock. Hard to find in a search indeed but this NEMO is the second one from France and the one that has emerged in the 21st century with a strong modern take on progressive rock with a stream of innovative albums. This NEMO emerged from the Auvergne region of France in Ceyssac.

This NEMO which seems to have outlasted all the others is the one that has attempted to ride the perpetual waves of the very Captain NEMO of the 19th century novels "Twenty Thousand Legions Under The Sea" and "Mysterious Island." The band was formed in 1999 by Pascal Bertrand (drums and percussion), Jean-Pierre Louveton (guitar and vocals) and Guillaume Fontaine (keyboards), the latter of the two having remained the only members to be involved with every album up to the present. The original lineup on this debut album LES NOUVEUX MONDES (The New Worlds) also included bassist Benoît Gaignon who replaced the original bassist Hervé Esquis.

Right from the start NEMO created a lush and dense tapestry of progressive rock styles and melded them into a rich and complex mishmash of elements that would take heavily fortified compositions and infuse them with a ceaseless parade of dynamics, tempo changes, mood enhancing atmospheres and time signatures run amok. Eschewing the policy of English only as was the norm of classic prog (save the Italian scene), NEMO, while primarily focusing on lengthy instrumental runs also includes lyrics delivered in their native French. The main focus of the instrumentation revolves around the strong and creative guitar chops of Louveton in conjunct with the deliberate and fanciful keyboard antics of Fontaine.

The music is extraordinarily dense and characterized by a plethora of melodic developments that meander and morph unexpectedly as time signatures punctate the flow, tempos gestate from calm bucolic verses to more aggressive rock. The tracks are lengthy with the four part suite "Philéas" ending the album with a 20 minute epic prog journey. The band takes influences from all across the prog spectrum with Genesis-like symphonic prog, heavy prog influences from The Mars Volta and Dream Theater, modern symphonic leanings from Spock's Beard and The Flower Kings as well as the virtuosic grace of bands like Anglagard and atmospheric sophistication in the vein of Porcupine Tree. NEMO nailed this eclectic mix from the getgo and although they have produced better albums than LES NOUVEUX MONDES, this debut is nothing less than an excellent slice of sophisticated prog yumminess.

In many ways, NEMO was even more diverse on this debut than on the later albums. While some may claim this to be unfocused, others like myself deem it as exciting. While i have nothing against more focused albums that aren't as scattered, i find all the elements on board here that defy predictability to be quite refreshing and stimulating even. For my money i actually prefer albums that have all the proper prog boxes checked and then add layers of mysterious deviations and LES NOUVEAUX MONDES delivers the best aspects of both the predictable as well as that which is not. For my money, this debut is as good as any of the albums that follow and not one to be missed by any NEMO aficionado who has come to this band late in their game.

 Barbares by NEMO album cover Studio Album, 2009
4.09 | 285 ratings

Nemo Eclectic Prog

Review by TenYearsAfter

4 stars My first musical experience with Nemo was a few months after the release of their second album entitled Presages (2003), I was blown away by their dynamic and varied blend of several styles, topped with the slightly theatrical French vocals. Meanwhile I have become a huge fan (apart from Si Partie I, a bit too experimental and fragmentic in my opinion), on every album you can notice progression, new ideas and more and more an own, very unique progrock sound. Their latest album is Coma from 2015, this review is about their sixth CD entitled Barbares, the Limited Edition Digipack 2-CD version (including 71 minutes live disc).

My main conclusion is that on this album Nemo sounds very well balanced, there is a great 'flow' in the compositions and the band even sound pretty accessible for 'Nemo standards', despite the frequent shiftings moods, many breaks and huge variety

First the interplay between the guitar and keyboards, both musicians are founding members, have played together for many years and on Barbares their musical understanding is mighty close to identical twins: amazing how they follow, challenge and stimulate each other, this gives a captivating and often exciting extra dimension to the music.

Second the way JPL uses the vocals, it has become an instrument in the sound of Nemo and colours the music with a very special flavor, slightly theatrical and often with strong expressive undertones.

An third 'captain' JPL his abilities to drive the music with his powerful and varied guitarwork, from biting wah-wah drenched runs or fat guitar riffs to funky rhythm-guitar and sensitive solos (fueled by an outstanding, very flowing and adventurous rhythm-section).

My highlights.

The early Eighies Rush inspired Ldi: awesome interplay, exciting guitarwork, great dynamics and a very surprising break.

Great tension between the powerful drums/prog metal riffs and acoustic rhythm-guitar/piano, embellished with passionate vocals in 19.59.

A swinging rhythm with bombastic organ and wah-wah guitar in Faux Semolanc.

And the magnum opus Barbares (25 minutes) that presents Nemo at their best featuring spectacular synthesizer flights, exciting interplay between guitar and keyboards, lots of great changing climates and some strong musical ideas like the blend of an acoustic guitar solo, tin-whistle and sparkling piano into the music, culminating in a compelling grand finale, what a band!

The bonus disc (500 copies limited edition) is a live registration from 2007, you can enjoy their great power and dynamics with lots of awesome solo work on guitar and keyboards, strong interplay and a captivating live atmosphere, this is a perfect way to experience Nemo on stage, unfortunately I miss the song Une Question De Temps, one of the highlights of their Progfarm 2008 Festival gig I witnessed 10 years ago.

Despite the language gap, during the years Nemo has made more and more friends, they fully deserve wider attention.

 Coma by NEMO album cover Studio Album, 2015
4.15 | 290 ratings

Nemo Eclectic Prog

Review by Warthur
Prog Reviewer

5 stars Coma is the sound of Nemo playing itself to sleep as the band go on a self-imposed hiatus. Whether we will hear anything more from this theatrical French prog collective or not is an open question, but if we don't this is a rather fine note to end on. A wide range of progressive influences can be detected, with Le Coma des Mortels reminding me in its darker moments of something which Discipline might perpetrate whilst, right at the other end of the timeline of progressive rock, some of the organ playing from Guillaume Fontaine has an outright Deep Purple quality to it - perhaps thanks to the band warming up with some Deep Purple covers in the studio (offered as bonus tracks on some editions).

It's a truly grand proposition in all, and finds the band going out on a high; say what you like about their hiatus, at least they didn't leave us with a bad memory before they went.

 Coma by NEMO album cover Studio Album, 2015
4.15 | 290 ratings

Nemo Eclectic Prog

Review by FragileKings
Prog Reviewer

5 stars I have found that when listening to prog albums, there are many times when I recognize that great music is there but it doesn't grab me right away. Many albums are "growers" as reviewers like to say. I have become acclimatized to listening like this. So when I put in CD by a band I've barely heard and don't know what to expect, it comes as a very pleasant surprise to hear something that totally hooks me and holds my interest.

Nemo's "Coma" (their 9th studio album!) is among the PA Top 10 of 2015 and I only managed to snag it recently. Earlier in the year it was a little too pricey for me. But recently I heard that Nemo guitarist and vocalist Jean Pierre Louveton was a guest on Grandval's "A ciel ouvert", playing lead guitar on two tracks, and I took interest once again. Thankfully the price of the CD had come down!

The album begins with a dark synthesizer key and then erupts into an awesome metal guitar riff. The song turns prog metal for a while pulling off yet another great riff before settling down to some lighter music with piano and clean guitar. "Le Coma des Mortels" is 11:55 of changing moods and weights, shifting between light and heavy, slow and fast, and features some wonderful eighties metal guitar played to a modern prog style.

"Train Fantome" emerges so smoothly out of the conclusion to "Le Coma" that you might not notice the track change. This track includes some Iron Maiden-ish riffing and later something like Steve Morse-era Deep Purple with a Hammond organ solo that channels John Lord. There's also a part that breaks out some Steve Vai-era Whitesnake but soon switches once again to slower, delicate piano and clean guitar. Mention must go to Jean Pierre's vocals which are very good and suitable for the frequently changing music. He sings cleanly and with emotion.

After the first two tracks it's tempting to peg these guys as a prog metal band with frequent detours into piano country; however "Comaine" begins with an eastern acoustic sound and adds some woodwind which is later accompanied by the heavier rock guitar. "St. Guy" is an instrumental that delivers more of the band's versatility, shifting between gentle music and overtly challenging rhythms and riffs. Meanwhile, "Tu n'es pas seul" shows off Nemo's lighter side with some nice harmony vocals placed against an almost jazz-influenced musical background.

The album wraps up with another longer piece, "Coma", that simply continues the masterful music of the album.

Nemo are listed here as eclectic prog yet this album seems to balance heavy prog, prog metal, and even neo-prog in a very succinct but wonderfully prepared arrangement. It's very easy to hear and understand how this album placed so highly on the Top 100 of 2015.

 Coma by NEMO album cover Studio Album, 2015
4.15 | 290 ratings

Nemo Eclectic Prog

Review by tszirmay
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

5 stars Le chant du Cygne? (Swansong)

Nemo is allegedly done after this final chapter in their discography, putting an end to one of the finest French prog bands in recent memory. All of their albums have been well-received, praised and appreciated by the progressive community. 'Coma' is a sterling monument to their craft, perhaps even their finest moment yet on record. With a drop-dead beautiful cover and artwork, the seductive package also has a 2 CD option that includes some cover songs, which may be of great interest to fans as well as the uninitiated. Nemo was the purveyor of a distinctive prog style that was unashamed to elevate French language vocals to their rightful place, propelled by the expressive guitar acrobatics of Jean-Pierre Louveton, the innovative keyboard colorations of Guillaume Fontaine and a bass/drum rhythm section that clearly understood the message and laid a thrilling foundation. Olivier Long has replaced long time bassist Lionel B. Guichard but Jean-Baptiste Itier is still the beastly percussion man he has always been. Some have likened their style to such legendary icons as Rush and Dream Theater, I truly fail to fall victim to such easy categorization. Truth be said, they have a Nemo sound that enjoys contrasts, hues, shadows and tones as well as a propensity to display some wizard-like chops in the process. This duality explains why their albums are all highly rated with nary a trace of any dud.

Play on words 'Le Coma des Mortels' (a pun on 'le Commun des Mortels') sets the pace and rage from the first seconds on, with J-P Louveton's staggering axe grind challenging the synths and the ornate piano, showing who is boss and burrowing headfirst forward. This is a circa 12 minute wallop that captures those attributes mentioned earlier, adding attractive melodies, scintillating technique and a complete sense of musical adventure, all intended to snare the unsuspecting listener and dominate their senses into submission. Louveton is a shrewd guitarist, able to dispense brash riffs with uncompromising ardor, as well as caressing his instrument with suave romanticism when needed, coercing the sensorial ooze from his muse. Newcomer Long grumbles with the finest, underpinning the bridge between rhythm and melody with a sizzling display of low end genius. Drummer Itier bashes, slashes and thunders with seasoned skill, driving all this Gallic passion with effortless zeal.

Guillaume Fontaine is a dynamic piano player, a judicious talent that is perhaps more prevalent here than in the past. He maintains that ivory touch on the next piece, the slick 'Train Fantome', a heavy, chugging guitar and synth epic locomotive propelled by the bass and drum combo. The volume pedal infused guitar licks the lower bass rumble as the ubiquitous voice of Louveton adds some classic theatrical that is the hallmark of French symphonic prog, a la Ange, Atoll, Mona Lisa and co' Bravo! The sudden apparition of electric piano caught my attention and I could not help salivating, Bravo encore!

A sitar-like sound introduces 'Comaine', another wordplay on that devilish white powder that ravages the sinuses, the brain and the soul, adding unaccredited flute (did Fontaine do that on a synthesizer?), while the thrashing guitar ravages inhumanly forward, sweeping ahead, unchallenged. A burping bass guides the barking dogs, the caravans that pass in the night and the rising bright sun. JP lops off a few dangling solos, both intense and cataclysmic. Breathtaking material and playing.

Definitely a highlight track, 'St-Guy' refers to the French word for a specific disease and not a dance move called 'La Danse de St-Guy', better translated in English as St-Vitus dance (aka Sydenham's chorea or chorea minor is a disorder characterized by rapid, uncoordinated jerking movements primarily affecting the face, hands and feet). This is the ideal platform for Olivier Long to indulge in a spectacular bass solo that hops, jerks and collapses with imminent grace. The following wah-wah drenched guitar solo is a celestial display of talent and an all-around bold and magnificent testimony to Nemo's talent.

'Tu n'es Pas Seul' translates as 'you are not alone' and showcases a jazzier and more experimental side, led by some echoed-keyboards, droning e-piano, tick-tock beat and JP's suavely murmuring voice which here reminds one of the mercurial Ange maestro Christian Decamps. Off the charts and hypnotic, the pleasure is divine, an oblique ballad that has all kinds of aromas and flavors, juxtaposing a melancholy feeling with a hint of 'chanson francaise', as Long again penetrates his big bad bass deep into the fleshy, feminine core. Clanging, chiming and then suddenly tortured like some rejected lover longing to rejoin the bliss, Louveton exults and orgasms, fast and furious on his fret board. Fantastic experience.

The title track takes a dozen plus minutes to enjoy but within seconds the colossal mood is set, the mellotron kettle blazing, the ornate piano fire burning and the rough guitar boiling, quickly offering room to a nearly medieval expanse, then the arrival of a military beat and a missile-like lead, more rhythmic shuffling and a true sense of overload and confusion. Tres bien, so let's do it again or as they say in French 'encore, cheri!' The main guitar riff is a classic Martin Barre blast, lower register but powerful, slashing drums and impassioned vocalizations that are further sweetened by slick synth bending. Thick, juicy, insane, audacious and deranged, all the symptoms of a comatose musical mind. Mellotron choir, twinkling piano and sheer unadulterated bombast finish off this masterpiece.

The 2 CD set has two interesting covers from Deep Purple and Led Zeppelin as well as a 'La Divine Comedie' a trio of pieces from previously recorded yet unreleased material. Nemo will remain a monument to modern French prog and we can only hope that this is just a rest period and the crew will be back.

5 blackouts

 Coma by NEMO album cover Studio Album, 2015
4.15 | 290 ratings

Nemo Eclectic Prog

Review by Aussie-Byrd-Brother
Special Collaborator Rock Progressivo Italiano Team

5 stars 2015 brings the ninth and very possibly final album `Coma' from eclectic French prog group Nemo. Back at the start of the year, the band announced they were taking an indefinite hiatus, citing a mix of the difficulties of working in the current music climate, exhaustion and simply the need for a break. However, were it to be the end of the road for the group, they were still determined to release a fitting final album, and fans of the group should find `Coma' a more than satisfying finale. Not as dense or overlong as many of their previous works, the six pieces that make up the 56 minute album are frequently more instantly approachable than on many of their other albums, but there's still plenty of Nemo's signature mix of heavy guitars, delicate piano and Jean-Pierre Louveton's darkly crooning vocals.

Opener `Le Coma des Mortels' bursts with blasts of ragged guitars and dirty Black Sabbath-like riffing without ever becoming heavy metal, breaking away in the middle for a deeply personal and soulful wounded vocal from Jean-Pierre above sparkling piano, warm acoustic guitar and gorgeous murmuring bass. Epic electric guitar and keyboard duelling opens `Train Fant'me' , gives way to slinking bass and a thoughtful melodic tune before muscular riffs batter gutsy Hammond organ blaring. Despite heavier bursts, the shorter `Coma'ne' has several folky themes with a sweeter vocal, and it makes a nice break from the longer brooding moments of the disc.

Seventies David Gilmour-style bluesy wailing, sprinklings of nimble-fingered jazzy electric piano, hard driving drumming and relentless bass powers through the infectious `St Guy', one of the best instrumental tracks to appear on a progressive album in 2015. The sad beauty of `Tu n'es Pas Seul' holds a carefully pleading and insistent chorus, with reflective chiming guitars and fluid bass all building in urgency with restraint. The twelve minute album closer title track `Coma' hits with epic power, built around lengthy instrumental builds of everything from thrashing metallic riffing runs, jazzy interludes, blitzkrieg keyboards and a soaring vocal. The piece is melancholic but not without hope, and frequently lifts to become victorious and life-affirming. If this is to turn out to be Nemo's final track, then the band went out on the perfect curtain call.

It may not be quite as aggressive or involved as some parts of their previous albums, and there are just little traces of a band starting to coast a little with a subtle melancholic weariness in a few spots, but this really holds everything fans of the group would want to hear. The harmonies and melodies are more instantly obvious here, and the album is perhaps even a little more accessible than previous works that would actually make it ideal for newcomers to the group, despite the fact that they'll likely only have a back catalogue to explore if they are impressed with by what they find here. But if this is the end of the road for Nemo, the band can be exceptionally proud of a consistently strong run of albums over their career that have held up well to constant repeated listens, a true achievement. `Coma' not only proves that the band was a winner right until the end, but they just might have delivered the best album of their career, and possibly even one of the best progressive rock releases of 2015.

Four and a half stars - Don't go, Nemo!

 Coma by NEMO album cover Studio Album, 2015
4.15 | 290 ratings

Nemo Eclectic Prog

Review by Prog Maniack

4 stars I recently discovered a French prog band. Nemo is the name. The beauty of prog rock genre, with all subgenres, is that you can discover a very good band in every country. It doesn't matter if is a very big country, or is a very small country. You can expect to find a very good band in every corner of the word. Today is Nemo turn to be on my menu. And what excellent menu I'm offered here.

Nemo isn't a new band. They formed in '99, and released nine albums until now.I don't know how I missed this band for so many years, but I did. SHAME ON ME! SHAME ON ME! SHAME ON ME!

This album kicks off with "Le coma des mortels" in a very alert way, only to slow down after about one minute to play what will be the main theme of this song. I like the idea to return to this main theme in so many different ways and tempos in one song. In fact, all album is rich in changes of tempos and bright ideas. Give me this rich prog rock menu every day! Three times every day, please. I will be so fat and happy. This is a very complex menu, with old Pink Floyd flavours, neo-prog sounds, Dream Theater spices and even little tastes of Amorphis. In the end add a little bit of Yes here. Just how I like it. Isn't that a feast? Trust me, it is! And cream of the cream is the song "Coma". Is the sum of band's all knowledge. All in one! Give me the bill please, I'm full!

Strange for me, but I start this webzine with two non-english lyrics bands. Strange indeed. Strange, but not bad. Just beautiful! The language of music should be diverse and without frontiers. Even more in prog rock genre.

Another pleasant surprise is Jean Pierre voice. Sure, I don't understand the French language, but is a very sensitive voice and is matching perfectly with Nemo's type of music. I don't need to understand the lyrics, I feel them.


 Coma by NEMO album cover Studio Album, 2015
4.15 | 290 ratings

Nemo Eclectic Prog

Review by BrufordFreak
Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

5 stars Finally! A Nemo album that I feel immediately engaged with, that I can feel drawn into the melodies and structures! For so many albums I've read the rave reviews, bought or listened to the albums (with great attention, I might add) but this is the first time that I feel the music is comprehensible, that I'm not being pushed away by the music's busyness and abrasiveness. I really appreciate Jean Pierre's slowing down and spacing out the music a bit more. The moods and atmospherics are so much more evident and accessible this way.

1. "Le coma des mortals" (11:38) opens with over three minutes of instrumental pomp and blaze before shifting to a more sensitive, jazzy acoustic foundation at the 3:20 mark. The piano-accompanied electric guitar lead setting up the vocal entry is sublime--very RIVERSIDE-like. And such a beautiful sensitive vocal it is! In the second verse he starts to amp up both his emotionality and volume--as does the support music. At 6:15 a BLACK SABBATh-like metal riff establishes the musical foundation for the next section--even though things quiet down soon after--back to piano and acoustic guitar with more laid-back vocal. The fretless bass play and jazzy piano tinkling are awesome! Mix in the electric guitars' metal power chords and you have quite an ingenious passage. Militaristic drum beat with one, then two, then three lead guitars each playing their mirror'ed yet distinctive tracks eventually gives way to a steady background pulse of snare and thumping bass to set up a great old fashioned rock guitar solo. Layers of keys are gradually added to great effect. The final solo is given to a modulated synth. Awesome! Great opening track! (9/10)

2. "Train Fantôme" (9:08) has quite a PINK FLOYD vibe to it without feeling as if it is a rip off or a copy--especially the opening and ending sections. Throughout the middle there is a neat little power riff used throughout that reminds me quite a bit of METALLICA's "Enter Sandman." I love it! (9/10)

3. "Comaïne" (6:01) starts out with a very French folk/troubador-feel to it for the first 1:28. Then the metal guitars and rock drums kick in. The smooth vocal retains a consistency throughout--which helps in tying all of the song's parts together. The two guitars playing out at the end reminds me of THIN LIZZY. (8/10)

4. "St. Guy" (8:27) is an instrumental that opens with a Barbares familiarity to it but then morphs into its own with the gradual addition of synths and guitars. By the beginning of the third minute the song has established the structure it will hold for the next six minutes--a kind of bluesy rock, with some awesome organ, fretless bass, forward drums, and Colin TENCH-like guitar soloing. Around the 4:30 the band goes into a bit of a bridge before returning to a solo-based structure--electric guitar followed by nice showcase for the Ollivier Long, the fretless bass player. Again, the ease and dexterity of the guitarist's play reminds me so much of the Jeff BECK side of Colin TENCH. Really nice stuff! (9/10)

5. "Tu n'est pas seul" (8:01) a very powerful song with lots of space and atmospheric sound--definitely my favorite on the album. The opening minute is awesome with its slow-to-build weave and reversed guitar notes. The way that the delicate lead vocal is accompanied by background vocal harmonies is gorgeous. Then there is a very powerfully constructed spacious interlude in the fourth, fifth and sixth minutes--which perfectly sets up the emotional heavier lead guitar solo section that ensues at the 5:30 mark. Gorgeous solo. The vocal return is quite welcome and caps off a virtually perfect song. Awesome! (Nice to know that I'm not alone--and that Nemo appreciates my musical tastes.) (10/10)

6. "Coma" (12:46) opens with a bombastic beginning much more in the NeoProg vein followed by a sensitive solo synth. At the 1:00 mark gentle arpeggiated electric guitar, military drum beat, Arp synth voices, piano and bass create a GENESIS-like weave before the electric guitar establishes a melody. Then, at 2:05 the music shifts into a rhythm-guitar and bass-dominated section with syncopated drum play over which the lead vocalist lays down his first lyrics and melody. Organ and heavier guitar chord play elevate the song into a heavier realm--over which the vocalist and his companion (tracks) sing with matching intensity. Great melody and harmony lines! At 6:00 a Jan HAMMER-like synth solo takes us away. Then at 6:25 the song shifts into a different time signature and the instrumental balance shifts toward multiple keyboards and multiple electric guitars. At 8:20 there is yet another tempo shift--this one allowing synth washes and soloing synth to take the fore while the singer shifts to singing from within the mix. The song seems to be winding down in the tenth minute as a few familiar melodic and chordal themes are recapitulated, entwined and played with. The final two and a half minutes are played out with deliberate power and bombast but at a pace that allows each and every sound and shift to be heard and appreciated. Awesome song! (10/10)

This is DEFINITELY my favorite Nemo album I've ever heard and one that I feel deserves a five star rating. Nemo has definitely brought their music into a range that is more accessible (to me) and yet is just as creative and powerful as their previous releases. Bravo! and Encore!

 Coma by NEMO album cover Studio Album, 2015
4.15 | 290 ratings

Nemo Eclectic Prog

Review by Einwahn

5 stars First the good news - this superb French band have capped their wonderful career with surely one of their best ever albums. Their 2013 offering 'Le Ver dans le Fruit' was very well received on this site, though personally I felt Nemo were becoming a little formulaic by then. 'Coma' feels like a break-out album for them - lots of ideas they haven't emphasized previously. They merit their categorization as Eclectic Prog - there are all sorts of styles in here. I'd perhaps summarize 'Coma' as endlessly busy rhythms setting the landscape for their best-ever guitar work (IMO) with alternately jazzy and metal moments. Basically, full of interest, you cannot get bored - but easily excited. 'Coma' should appeal to fans of heavy but sensitive music like Anekdoten or Riverside.

Also noteworthy are a couple of surprising covers on the bonus disc of Deep Purple and Led Zeppelin - certainly justifying the inclusion of those bands on Prog Archives, and encouraging a prog fan like myself to look at that music once again.

The bad news - the band have been saying for some time this will be their last album. It's cruel for me, because I'd convinced myself with 'Le Ver' that Nemo had finished their development. Now 'Coma' opens up a whole new landscape we may never explore further.

Verdict: Prog Archives is hereby tasked with persuading Nemo to CARRY ON PLEASE!!

Thanks to ProgLucky for the artist addition. and to Quinino for the last updates

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