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Nemo - Les nouveaux mondes CD (album) cover




Eclectic Prog

3.70 | 99 ratings

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La fraisne
4 stars This, Nemo's first album, shows an enormous amount of potential, although it does not display the same degree of assurance that the later albums were to have. What is perhaps most impressive about Les Nouveaux Mondes is how band shows an ability to convincingly treat their musical subjuect with a number of styles; unlike other bands (Arena is a good example), Nemo at their peak do not sound like a band of one style that is influenced by another, instead they have effortlessly brought a number of complete styles together to form their own distinctive sound. Hence Phileas, the closing epic, opens in an extremely up-tempo manner, stating a theme in one style, before the next section develops it in a completely different manner. Nemo go from sounding like a french reply to Rush to sounding like Think-Tank era Blur. And it is completely convincing.

The musicianship on display here is already highly impressive. Melodies heard in the verses of the opener, the energetic Abysses, which must go down as one of the most accomplished songs on any debut album, return in the verses of the next song, the mellow, beautiful Au dessus des toits, harmonized very differently. This is not the sort of skill that one expects to find outside of classical. Au dessus des toits is characterised by soft synths and some lovely singing by Louveton, and forms a nice counter to the drive of most of Abysses and the following track, Danse du diable, which serves as a bridge between Au dessus and TempÍte. The ability in evidence in TempÍte to lead the listener gradually between sections is reminiscent of Genesis. Once again, Nemo establish a cohesiveness across the whole album by refraining material from earlier on.

Nemo are never backward looking, even here on their first album. There are no nods to bands from the past, no sense that they own a lot to any band previous to them. In terms of their structuring, their quick shifts in dynamics and mood, and the general tenor of the whole effect, Nemo sound closer to 70s ISP than anything else.

Altough I have very little negative to say about Les Neveaux Mondes, Nemo never quite hit the same highs here that they do in their later works. That said, there is more imagination and skill on show here, more of a will to actually progress than in the vast and overwhelming majority of so-called progressive rock.

La fraisne | 4/5 |


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