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La Tulipe Noire - Nostimon Hemar CD (album) cover


La Tulipe Noire



3.96 | 54 ratings

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5 stars The fourth and latest long play of La Tulipe Noire is their most ambitious by far, making a great difference to their previous early-Marillion-alike music. It's a thematic album telling a story from ancient Greece: Odyssey is an allegory. The basic concept behind the poem is the quest. Odysseus is lost and he is looking fir his home. Or, you could say he is looking for his real self. Odysseus at the beginning of his adventure is a lost man, who knows where to go but doesn't know how. The modern man looks for happiness, for personal fulfillment, like our ancient hero, today's man looks for his Ithaca, but does not know where it is and how he is going to get it. So, Nostimon Hemar is an album with an ancient theme but its message is always present. Our approach is based upon the poem Ithaca of the famous Greek poet Konstantinos Kavafis. [Alix on band's website]

Changes in personnel on guitar playing didn't quite affect to this band that pushes on with a power of train breaking the boundaries of neo-prog. As this record is a concept album, the songs within are connected not only by the tale and words but musically as well as in temporal song structures - they rarely do follow the rules, nor structures of ordinary songs, but might create a theme that then fades away leaving the song without the ending climax... just to represent the theme a while later in another song. It's a rollercoaster of themes, ups and downs without natural gaps, more like with a artificial, forced breaks between non-individual tracks. Just like a concept album should be.

Another thing, while the conceptual albums are really not a curiosity in neo-prog, is the La Tulipe Noire's new drive of sound, created by a heavy, stubborn guitar riffs and strong rhythmic percussion all backed up with a propulsive and sometimes very creative bass lines. It's all just brilliant! Even keyboards mostly join this smashing of head, creating a rhythmic space above other instruments, sometimes joining into a brilliant interplay with guitars and drums in form of piano and organs. Actually, it's especially the keyboards that shine here creating the most imaginary forms and pattern into the air. As well as is Ima in her own ground - she's just amazing with her singing style strongly different from anything conventional, with her dramatic, high voice, vibrations and very inventive vocal lines.

As a conclusion, I'd say Nostimon Hemar is extremely joyful and unusual speciality in neo-prog, a brilliant concept album representing various themes carried throughout the album making it hard to pick any individual songs there. It must be enjoyed as a whole. This is a Must for every neo-progger and an excellent example how neo-prog doesn't necessary have to follow all the traditional rules of the genre, but the rules are made for breaking! Highly Recommended!

Nilman | 5/5 |


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