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Nemo - Les nouveaux mondes CD (album) cover




Eclectic Prog

3.70 | 99 ratings

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3 stars Les Nouveaux Mondes was the first album from Nemo, but the last one added to my collection. Released in 2002 it shows the band were already highly accomplished musicians at this early stage as well as having a firm grasp of song writing, although they would improve on this over subsequent albums.

Musically Nemo tread the ground at the heavier end of the prog spectrum, their trump card being the excellent guitar work of Jean Pierre Louveton who's powerful riffs and fiery lead runs are an essential element of their sound. As a bonus he's a dynamic player and able to use subtle restraint where necessary. Of equal importance Keyboardist Guillaume Fontaine is certainly not in the retro area of ivory ticklers, modern synths his preferred instruments more often than not. The less dense nature of these provides a more contempory and less imposing sound which is not necessarily a good thing for prog lovers but his playing is always top notch. The fine rhythm section of Pascal Bertrand (drums) and Benoît Gaignon (bass) play with flair and dexterity, Bertrand's drum sound being particularly pleasing, favouring a highly tuned snare sound a la Bill Bruford. Incidentally a stumbling block for some may be that all the vocals are sung in their native French but don't let that put you off as Louverton whilst not likely to trouble the lists of worlds greatest singers is more than adequate. In fact like much of the RPI genre the use of their native language adds to the appeal after a few listens.

The complex compositions constantly shift through many time/tempo changes which can occasionally be their downfall as sometimes parts come and go a bit too quickly, leaving some less than memorable. In the main however, it's rarely less than interesting and often compelling with some exciting and lively instrumental workouts perfectly demonstrated in the twenty minute four part Phileas which closes the album.

Those looking for some heavier prog with a modern edge are recommended to check out Nemo but as fine a debut as Les Nouveaux Mondes is I wouldn't make it your first port of call. Instead a great starting point would be 2004's Prelude A La Ruine or the equally excellent most recent release Barbares. 3 ½ stars.

Nightfly | 3/5 |


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