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Nemo - Coma CD (album) cover




Eclectic Prog

4.13 | 306 ratings

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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.

FragileKings | 5/5 |


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