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Nemo - Le Ver Dans Le Fruit CD (album) cover




Eclectic Prog

3.99 | 305 ratings

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Rock Progressivo Italiano Team
5 stars This might be a tall claim, but I consider French band Nemo to be one of the hardest-working groups in modern prog! Their albums take weeks of replaying just to crack the surface, and you can spend months allowing all the little details to take hold. Their music is full of not only exceptional instrumental playing and charismatic vocals, but the compositions contain intricate arrangements, great variety and a welcome unpredictability. Certainly their albums represent the best value for money in my opinion because of how many listens you need to give each album to truly appreciate them. So imagine how daunting the prospect of a new double disc from them in the form of `Le Ver dans le Fruit' sounded!

With a title that translates to `the worm is in the fruit', it gives Nemo the perfect chance to display their typical perfect balance of light with dark. The band asks on their website "Are we being manipulated? Who would benefit from us, to follow pre-established rules? Careless. As sheep. Political parties? Religious organizations? Commercial companies? TV networks? Beware of everything, even NEMO...". Well, ignore that last bit, you can at least trust Nemo to deliver the prog goods! `Le Ver...' is their heaviest disc to date, yet still never quite hard enough to ever be considered metal, and over twelve lengthy tracks, the gloomy subject matter mentioned above gives the band plenty of opportunity to craft their moody, somber yet colourful and eclectic take on progressive rock for 92 glorious faultless minutes.

Nemo displays extreme confidence by opening the first disc on a group harmony a-capella, their lone voices weaving together before segueing into the darkly grooving `Trojan', a variety of menacing heavy riffs, wig-out synth runs, drums that hit like hammer blows and wailing electric guitar soling. Right from this start, there's already traces of those slightly sinister moods that bubble under most of their works, so wicked and addictive. Jean Pierre Louveton's voice contrasts seductive purrs with a gleeful licking of lips. The slinky groover `Milgrams 1960' jumps around, slows up and speeds down over and over around an extended searing electric guitar showcase also from Jean Pierre. `Verset XV' keeps up the Nemo tradition of the more sedate and thoughtful near-ballads found on their previous discs, and it's the first truly gut-wrenching moment on the album to connect with, while still maintaining some eerie grit to ensure you don't relax too much. Lovely pulsing heart-racing bass from Lionel B Guichard throughout this one too, and a perfectly executed build towards a brooding finale. `Un Peid Dans...' brings back some spiky guitar heaviness over icy synths and ghostly piano, with Jean Pierre alternating between hushed smooth croons and nice spitting snarls. `Neuro Market' is a pleasing standout for Guillaume Fontaine, his sneaking Hammond runs and intimidating piano glistens over some grinding heavy intensity. The almost 10 minute title track closes the first disc, a slow-burning and emotional piece with some surprisingly wistful moments, a scorching electric guitar solo and rising piano builds in the final minutes to end on a grand statement.

`A La Une' kicks the second disk off with a mix of heavy Rush-like grunt and jangling acoustic guitars with warm group harmonies that recall fellow modern band Porcupine Tree. There's a bluesy guitar and symphonic synth opening for `Triste Fable', with a lovely floating dreamy middle that again recalls Steven Wilson's above mentioned band. Instrumental `Allah Deus' is an absolute highlight of the disc, a playful run through day-glo Prince funk (Yes, Prince HAS been prog, check out `The Rainbow Children' and `N.E.W.S'!) with psychedelic Flower Kings nimble epic guitar runs while drummer Jean Baptiste Itier stomps up a storm. The band then eases up on the heaviness for one of the greatest moments to ever appear on a Nemo disc, the surprisingly victorious `Opium'. Beautiful murmuring bass, a soulful heartfelt vocal and some beautifully executed bristling extended guitar and synth soloing is truly joyous to experience, and there's an infectious positive vibe throughout the entire piece. The band then wrap on one of those long epics they do so well, the 17 minute `Arma Diania', a sublime mix of triumphant vocals, acoustic flavours, delicate piano, wild disorientating swirling synths, punchy drumming and spiky distorted electric energy that tear through a dizzying range of tempo and mood changes.

There's something wonderful about a band that is so reliable in delivering top quality progressive music that you can safely buy their new music without hearing a single second of it, and over the span of eight albums, Nemo have not only kept up a high standard, but just kept getting better and better. `Le Ver dans le Fruit' is their most impressive and defining work yet, and intelligent, varied modern progressive rock simply doesn't come any better than this.

Five stars.

Aussie-Byrd-Brother | 5/5 |


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