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Nil - Quarante Jours Sur Le Sinaļ CD (album) cover




Eclectic Prog

3.71 | 53 ratings

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4 stars In 2003, French prog act NIL released their fine third album, the hypnotic and evocative QUARANTE JOURS LE SINAI (Forty days on the Sinai). This is very professional and varied music -- at times reminiscent of Andy Summers and Robert Fripp's 80s collaborations (the sparkling guitar & stick work brought Summers to mind immediately) -- at others much like a film score. Instrumentation includes fretless bass; Chapman stick (as popularized by Crimson's Tony Levin); some highly accomplished lead guitar that can touch upon the terrains of metal, jazz, and Crimson-esque pure prog within a short span of time; piano and the full gamut of prog keyboards; drums and percussion; and a colourful palette of secondary instruments like flute, harp, cello and sax that nicely fill out the sound, and keep things interesting and dynamic. Add to all the instrumental wizardry some good but sparingly-used male and female vocals (all in French), courtesy of a cadre of fine singers, and you have all that one might wish for in a new "symphonic" prog recording.

In classic prog style, this concept disc is organized into two long "Acts" (or suites), that very convincingly capture the atmosphere of ancient Egypt and the Sinai peninsula. Listening to this excellent music, I leave the frigid, dark days of the looming Canadian winter far behind (or, at least, comfortably outside), and journey to an exotic, mysterious, and sun-blasted ancient land.

Yes, Virginia (or is it Joren?) -- there IS great new original progressive rock. It is alive and well, and currently residing in France -- with extended forays to the Middle East. Take a trip to the sands of the Sinai with NIL today! Highly recommended

Peter | 4/5 |


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