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Almuadem - Nimrodel CD (album) cover




Psychedelic/Space Rock

3.68 | 28 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
3 stars From the lot that brought us Egyptian Kings and the album Almagest, here is a new digital-age project, Almuadem, with the album Nimrodel.

Comparing Nimrodel to Almagest, I'm glad to see an hear that the rock part in progressive rock has this time been taken into account, with a greater presence of drums and electric guitar, giving it more of a post-rock vibe than Space-Rock (just like Almagest was closer to Electronic) It seems a more complete recording, and I confess that, after some listens, I seem to enjoy Nimrodel quite a bit more. I appears to be a dash more tasteful and carefully arranged. However, the first times I heard the album I did so as simply background music - only later did I devote my complete atention to it. Again comparing it to Almagest, I found it a bit too strong and intrusive to serve just as soothing, simple ambient music. Yet with more listens I felt that the album could still not hold on his own.

So what do we have here?

The first track, In A Cold Chaos Place, is an 8-minute song beggining as an ambient piece in the vein of Almagest, with lots of keyboard atmosphere complemented by some indutrial sound effects and... a saxophone! Lovely touch. 5-6 minutes into the song, the industrial sounds turn quite naturaly into percussion, in a calm, slow tempo. The following track, Nymphomania, begins just like the first, with an eerie keyboard athmosphere. Close to the second minute, electronic sounds and drums kick in, and we get to hear in the backgroung a kind of chimes similar to those in baby toys, which gain more presence as the track comes to an end. The third track, Blow Up, is immediatly opened by the apearence of the distorted sound of an electric guitar and pounding percussion. It keeps that sound for some two minutes, when it bursts into a steady tempo and a quite acomplished guitar solo (with a nod to Pink Floyd) that carries the track until it ends.

The album's epic is a 12:30 piece entitled Dial D For Dream. Beggining with electronic sounds with urban noise in the backgroung, it fades away close to the third minute, only to regain force by means of percussion and gentle guitar playing, with the omnipresent keyboard athmosphere in the background. The guitar then takes the lead, with some calm soloing, although slightly less successful than on the previous track. The 6th minute gives way into another section of the song, with the keyboards again dominating, accompanied by drumming and the reemergenge of the distorted guitar, that provides an heavier vibe to the track. Nine minutes into the song and we get another shift in sound, with the return of a more ambient sound strictly keyboards and electronics. The guitar and drums then suddenly reapear in order to provide a grand finale. This track features some good ideas and sections, but it is overall a bit inconsistent and unsatisfying, which is a shame. The songs segues into the 5th track, Daisie, again beggining with a keyboard, drums and distorted guitar sound, but less enjoyable than on Blow Up. Here and there we get to here voices in the background. Basicaly a keyboard-driven track, with a dull steady drumming and some guitar noodling, it is the most uninteresting piece on the album. The final track, Airam Atir, begins with some annoying whale-like sounds accompanied by the trio steady-drumming/athmospheric-keyboards/floydian-guitar. It gains some more life towards the end, providing an enjoyable enough finale to the album.

The downloadable pack has the album accompanied by a couple of text documents, describing the concept and storyine of the album. I must confess the music didn't quite pass the feeling it was intended to as described in the text. About those, I must say that the english version has some minor flaws, which are forgivable. What is unforgivable is the appalling quality of some parts of the portuguese text.

Let us just hope that the overhype and shameful manipulation of ratings that Almagest suffered is not repeated in this one. Let the album be judged by what it is. And that should begin by denouncing the band's self-description: indeed, unless you have lived shut in a cave during the last 30 years, you will hear nothing pioneering or see anything innovative. All in all, it is a good effort and an improvement over Almagest, the highlights being In A Cold Chaos Place and Blow Up. This album is definitly a grower, one that will make you want to explore it again and again, so my initial 3-stars may well become 4 in the future.

Kotro | 3/5 |


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