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Nektar - The Other Side CD (album) cover




Psychedelic/Space Rock

3.75 | 105 ratings

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3 stars NEKTAR is a very old progressive rock group, having mainly worked in psyche-rock since 1969. It is an English group which was founded in the city of Hamburg and which delivered good big hard rock with a lot of synths , which gave them a psyche genre in the same way that the first PINK FLOYD, HAWKWIND and URIAH HEEP or DEEP PURPLE could be influenced by it somewhere; like also a little CAMEL or CARAVAN. Only Derek MOORE and Ron HOWDEN of the original group remain today and they took over the name of the group in 2018, touring until then with other musicians from 2000 to 2016. This is their 15th album. which comes out at the beginning of the year. Personally, I only have one album from them, the very successful "Remember The Future" with a melodic prog side and a little fruity pop. Released in two stages, late 2019 and early 2020, we get a little lost, but the title of the album tells you about the vagaries of life and the passage to the other side of some of their members.

"I'm On Fire" begins the album with a rock metal title a little blues metal, written and sung by Mo Moore for his wife in 1978, a title with old sounds it is true but with intense instrumental convolutions after the phase sung; Varied variations to set the rhythm a bit AOR like on the first KANSAS or BOSTON, although much younger than them; the sound is a bit dated, vintage without doing it on purpose. "Skywriter" follows with a title where Ron's sticks set the pace, the rhythm before Ryche's warm voice leaves the magic working; soft tune almost good for a slow, the catchy chorus then goes on an instrumental sequence where the synth returns the favor to the guitar with the sustained rhythm of the two basses; there is the Hammond organ as in the days of PROCOL HARUM, there is above all a good digression of virtuosos despite their age. "Love Is / The Other Side" arrives with the centerpiece of the album on a tone that ALAN PARSONS PROJECT would not have denied; It's nice but it's also very agreed at the beginning with few progressive hooks actually and it will take until the 8'40 '' to see the notes take off. In any case the musical and instrumental magic operates between Ryche, Kendall and Ron as on this magnificent piano arpeggio around 11 'which will bring a no less moving guitar solo in the blues and symphonic lowlands, a bit like GARY MOORE . Here a lot of the rhythm and convolutions make me think of the great CARAVAN, quite simply. "Drifting" follows with a pompous intro, synth, enlightened drums, everything is crystal clear, the voice well put forward further accentuating the symphonic effect; here the psychedelic is in its firmament and it is definitely one of the best tracks on the album, the guitar solos having something to do with it with this reverberation bordering on distortion. Be careful, this title can send you into a space trance, my best title.

"Devil's Door" opens the next track with a sweet tune with a symphonic and acoustic guitar intro sprinkled with cool notes (yes that's a bit weird in definition, looks like a meal!); the sequel starts with a rock rhythm well anchored in the 70's with organ play and hoarse voice, warm a bit like Joe COCKER but softer. It must be said that part of the guitar comes straight from the late Roye ALBRIGHTON's playing, a title played in 1974 but never recorded on a CD. The twirling guitar gives a good moment of pure rock here without real drawer or progressive break, like Gary MOORE in his romantic stroll moments; psychedelic blues in fact. 'The Light Beyond' comes in for the shortest track and my favorite 2nd, a synth solo from Scott in the early lineage of what VANGELIS could release like on 'Antarctica' and its repetitive streak; an ethereal atmospheric space track that will pass as an introduction to their future live shows. "Look Through Me" for an acoustic song by Ryche, a little sluggish and goes everywhere despite the addition of the synth halfway through. Fortunately, "Y Can't I Be More Like U 2020" closes the album with a punchier track again, a dry guitar intro at the start, then a warm song with its almost Canterbury more than psychedelic touch; the musicians give it their all and you can feel their pleasure in playing together.

"The Other Side" is more a series of delirious jams in my opinion in the psyche-canterbury lineage with the obvious desire to have fun after a long crossing of the desert, if we remember that a number of tracks were composed during the beginning of the 70's. The NEKTARs like many groups of the 80s or 70s come out of their retirement, their lethargy to prove that they are good musicians. NEKTAR is all that at the same time, they are just getting older, their sound is feeling it, their fans will be delighted to find them there they left them a few years ago..

alainPP | 3/5 |


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