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Nexus - Perpetuum Karma CD (album) cover

PERPETUUM KARMA

Nexus

 

Symphonic Prog

4.05 | 147 ratings

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Gatot
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Practically, I did not pay enough attention to Nexus since my first experience having the signed copy of their debut album dated back in 1999. I knew that the band has good potentials in the future as I could see on the roots of their music that in my opinion is close to being a neo progressive rock similar with the like of (Early) Marillion, Pallas, IQ, Pendragon, Camel. And now recently I got this album with me which impressed me even the first time I spun it.

This third album, in my opinion, scores fairly high on musical composition as well as performance. I have seen major improvement in keyboard and drums departments. Bass guitar also good. When I talk about prog composition, it comprises five major factors: melody, harmonies, complexity, change of style and structural integrity. Almost all of the songs contained here in this album have good to excellent scores on melody line, i.e. whether or not they are catchy to our ears. On harmonies I can hear a pretty good balance of instruments being used and they move quite well from one segment to another. Sometimes the harmonies produced in this album create an intriguing question: what these guys are gonna do with the next? It's so interesting. For example right now I am listening to the ending part of the impressive opening track that demonstrates great intertwining roles of bass guitar and multi-layered keyboard. Fabulous! On complexity, this album is like ELP but in a bit simpler composition. This makes me so excited with the way how the keyboards lead the music with its innovative notes and chords. The album also offers excellent change of styles from one segments to another where the transition pieces have been managed quite well by the boys in the band. Last but not least, the structural integrity of each song as well as the whole album is cohesive enough so that the listeners do not get confused with the kinds of music Nexus is playing.

When ELP plays neo prog

The first time I listened to 'Mirar hacia el centro' (17:28) I was really impressed with the way how dynamics the song is in terms of frequent changes of style as well as harmonies provided by keyboards, bass as well as guitar. This opening track that mean 'Looking into Center' (using DR. Google translation). The track starts with an ambient, spacey, keyboard work accompanied with acoustic guitar fills and sounds of birds using keyboard sound effects. It suddenly turns out to be an energetic music blast that may remind you as, probably, a progressive metal track. It'so dynamic and so symphonic. The keyboard, bass, and drums make significant roles in this opening part. It then moves dynamically from one segment to another using guitar solo - which is stunning. The bass guitar provides solid basslines that reminds me to Graeme Murray of Pallas fame. But the keyboard really remind me to ELP! It's so captivating, I tell you! If you love old skool symphonic prog you must love this opening track. The track has a very long instrumental part while the vocal part takes at the ending part.

The same impression I experience with another excellent track that follows: 'Perpetuum Karma' (14:56). It follows similar pattern where it starts with an ambient keyboard work in Keith Emerson style, it's very interesting indeed. The Hammond-like sound brings the music with keyboard solo in eastern nuance. The way the keyboard is played reminds me to Jon Lord's solo albums. Guitar also provides fills during transition pieces. The style of the music reminds me to ELP's 'Fanfare for The Common Man'. If you love keyboard-drenched composition, this is definitely for you. For me personally, there must be rooms for the guitar to take part. It only happens shortly when the track reaches minute 8. But the keyboard is toomuch. 'Del abismo al sol' (9:50) is a mellow track that moves pretty slowly where the keyboard plays at background and lets the guitar takes part as lead melody. The song moves up gradually with vocal line even thoug not reaching the upbeat style. Guitar is now given a chance to perform the solo part. I am not quite impressed with this track as it's too slow for my taste, I don't have the patience to wait waht's going to happen next.

'Travesía' (9:12) brings the music back to form. with another great demonstration of keyboard solo combined with dynamic drumming and solid basslines. 'Cruces y Sombras' (14:00) starts with flute-sound and it moves gradually in symphonic style and moves dynamically with Hammond organ work backed with solid basslines. 'En ese viento' (6:44) concludes the album with a combination of acoustic guitar and keyboard work as intro. This time the guitar provides howling guitar sounds like Hackett.

Overall, this is an excellent album that is worth investing. Keep on proggin' ...!

Peace on earth and mercy mild - GW

Gatot | 4/5 |

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