Nemo - Présages

Year of Release: 2003
Label: Quad
Catalog Number: Quad-06-03
Format: CD
Total Time: 61:30:00

Wow ! How I was blown away when I heard this album for the very first time. French vocals within a prog context are never easy to digest, as I think the language is more suitable for the singer-songwriter genre better known as "chanson." Instead Nemo delivers a wonderful form of prog as if Ange, Taal and early Dream Theater are all mixed together. The band most certainly doesn't try to copy any of those bands, as the end result clearly becomes an original Nemo sound all over. Whilst the guitar parts will lean more towards a heavy approach, it's mainly the keyboards that add the necessary symphonic structure to it all, adding soft touches of strings and piano as time evolves. Also from a production point of view, a lot of effort has gone into unfolding detail after detail. Listen to the acoustic part during "La dernière Vague" where the drummer suddenly switches to a softer style of drumming in order to blend perfectly with the atmosphere. Again the synth parts are more prog inclined, whereas the distorted guitar delivers riff after riff of authentic rock. The great bass playing is given plenty of room during the powerful, aggressive "Générateur" which suddenly sounds like contemporary Bach.

With "Sur La Tombe Du Phoenix" the band proves to be much more than your average prog rock outfit, as they flirt with jazzy elements, also adding percussive textures and dramatic changes, which is where the Taal influences come from. During "L'oeil Du Cyclope," the splendid acoustic guitar blends with the classical piano almost sounding like the California Guitar Trio, whilst once again a fair amount of fusion enters the world of Nemo. The acoustic percussion in "La Mort Du Scorpion" lets the shadow of Isildurs Bane enter, making way for yet another spectacular heavy solo by guitarist JP Louveton, as if two different musical worlds collide. With "Cavalerie" Nemo delivers yet another slice of heavy jazzy material, sporting once again some tasty fusion-like guitar backed by outstanding classical piano like two opposites who get together. The nice thing about the music of Nemo is that they are professional enough to know that they have to alternate heavy parts with softer passages. That's why several acoustic pieces turn up, such as the laidback "Désolation," which by means of some more distorted electric guitar, suddenly changes toward yet another uptempo part that also contains some weird time signatures and odd drum patterns.

Right at the very end of this album there's also a ghost track and what a great piece this is. Here Nemo attacks none other than Dream Theater's "Glass Prison," yet in authentic "beatbox" style! So expect a pure a capella beatbox version of this prog metal classic in a way that you can find this kind of approach in the hiphop scene with youngsters delivering this kind of "music" on streetcorners. No doubt an inventive way to deliver prog without one single instrument except for the voice. So humour and prog do combine very well, if only you are original enough yourself, which Nemo most certainly is! Based on the legacy of Jules Verne, I'm convinced good old Jules can be very proud of what Nemo has done. And with the current media campaigns concerning the Disney movie Finding Nemo the band should most certainly benefit from the publicity. And if you take the title Finding Nemo literally I would say the search is over, as the only Nemo worth looking for can be found in your record store as from now!

La Dernière Vague (13:57) / Générateur (4:42) / Sur La Tombe Du Phoenix (9:53) / La Mort Du Scorpion : Soleil (1:15) ? L'oeil Du Cyclope (5:57) ? La Mort Du Scorpion (7:42) / Les Nouvelles Croisades (17:57)

Guillaume Fontaine - keyboards, vocals
Beno?t Caignon ? bass
JB Itier ? drums
JP Louveton - guitar, vocals


Pascal Bertrand ? marimba
Olivier Soumaire - harmony vocals

Les Nouveaux Mondes (2002)
Présages (2003) 'Eve Et Le Génie Du Mal' (2004)

Genre: Progressive Rock

Origin FR

Added: February 9th 2004
Reviewer: John "Bobo" Bollenberg

Artist website:
Hits: 1799
Language: english


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