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Nemo - Revolu$ion CD (album) cover




Eclectic Prog

3.87 | 340 ratings

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3 stars Nemo's Revolu$ion is an interesting album. It's got a really nice sound, some good songs, and it made a really great impression on me. That is, until I sat down and started to really listen to it. While there's nothing terrible about Revolu$ion, there's not enough great, and it functions better as background music rather than something to give all your attention to.

Although this is my first experience with Nemo, from listening to some of the previous album, Barbares, it seems like there hasn't been a drastic change in their sound. The music is mostly guitar driven, but with a good amount of keyboard thrown in. The guitar sounds range from a lot of heavy riffing akin to more standard metal, clean electric guitar, and some consistently beautiful solos. The keyboards used are mostly synthesizers (though there are a few piano sections), and I really appreciate the sounds the band chooses for them. They are not trying to emulate any past sound, and the tones are as fake sounding as possible (which I say in a positive way). Synthesized strings are used alongside the guitars to provide the background, and these two combine to give a very modern feel to the whole album. There are a couple oddities, like the occasional use of bass pedals, a handful of wind instruments, and one bagpipe section that is completely out of place (more on that later).

The instrumental sounds are really the highlight of the album, and regardless of song or composition, they are always used well. There's about one guitar solo per song, and though none of them is wildly different from the other, they are all very well done. Likewise, the synthesizer lines are pretty neat, and the few times the two play off of each other are some of my favorite moments. The guitar riffs, however, all sound interchangeable to me, and by the end of the album, they started to blend together in my mind. The vocals also started to blend together, not aided by the fact that I don't speak French. They are usually quite pleasant, but with really no standout moments, the vocal melodies all sounded pretty similar.

While Revolu$ion is instrumentally entertaining, it's in the composition area that the album fails to impress me. There's rarely anything particularly complex in any of the songs, and when you start to really listen, you'll hear a lot of repetition. While it's certainly not bad, it's not particularly interesting either. Also, while there are a couple great payoffs in songs, the buildups can be extremely long. Take for example, my favorite moment in the album, from Seul Dans la Foule. The guitar finally lets loose in such an epic way at 7 minutes in, with the previous 6 minutes being an antagonizing slow build. Though everything before the climax helps in making it so satisfying, while the build is going on, it can get a little tiring waiting for this 30 second moment.

Although the previous comments apply already, the epic Loin Des Yeux is worth noting, since it takes up over a third of your time with Revolu$ion. It is subtitled with "Barbares Parties VIII a XII," but having never heard the previous album's epic, I can only judge it for the music presented here. Loin is actually a pretty good representation of the album as a whole. It starts off with a really exciting introduction (that sounds like metal crossed with a movie score), turns to a slower vocal section, and then segues into an instrumental section with some mild ups and downs. If the song had ended 2/3s of the way through, it would have been a fine 16 minute song, however, the final 8 minutes are some of the worst on the whole album. The bagpipes lead the final section of the song, and they could not sound more out of place. They occasionally do some neat stuff, but they are really not needed. What blows my mind is the actual ending to the song is the exact piece of music that was used to close the previous section 8 minutes earlier. I could only ask myself why it was not ended there with this great ending, rather than be padded out, only to experience the same ending a second time. The epic, just like the album overall is fine, but for its length, lacks some excitement to make it great.

The album goes out with a little piano led song, just as it came in. Just as the finale peacefully reminds us of all the album has to offer, and brings it to a fitting end, so does my review. Other than the final section of the epic, I have very little bad to say about this album. I wish I had more great things to say, but there just aren't enough of those moments to make Revolu$ion an incredible album. There are some moments worth hearing, and if you don't mind reserving Nemo's latest to being background music, it's worth those few listens.

m2thek | 3/5 |


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