NiL - Quarante Jours Sur Le Sinai (Forty Days In The Sinai)

Year of Release: 2003
Label: NiL Records
Catalog Number: NiL03
Format: CD
Total Time: 62:58:00

There are two reviews of this epic release on this site already, and I find there isn't much that I can say about this varied release that hasn't already been said (tho' that hasn't stopped me before ;-) ). So, while this review is short on words (at least for me), have no doubt that I heartily throw myself into the camp of the impressed. Whatever your taste in progressive music, you will find a sample of it here in NiL's Quarante Jours Sur Le Sinai be it rock, ambient, metal, electronic, etc., even sections that might be called "neo-prog." You might think that a release with that many styles and flavors would be an inconsistent and uneven chaotic mess. Ah, but you'd be wrong in this case. There are but two "tracks" on this album, "Acte I" and "Acte II," though the CD has broken them down into 26 segments. But that latter bit is only what your eyes tell you if you look at your CD player. Look away from that and peruse the included booklet - the concept laid out by using various quotes and snippets of classic literature (and by classic, I mean going back to antiquity - Plutarch, Plato, etc.). Meanwhile, your ears will permit your mind to go on a journey, carried along by the shifting rhythms of each movement.

NiL are David Maurin on prepared guitars, flute, gong and bass clarinet; Samuel Maurin on bass, stick, voice and Aegyptian incantations; Benjamin Croizy on synths, Mellotron, church organ, Hammond organ, piano, MS 20 and timpani; and Frank Niebel on drums and percussion. But their sound is filled out by various guests: Roselyne Berthet on vocals and ethereal voices, Eric Verdovati on vocals, Samy Cyr on ethereal voices, Anne Cayrol on cello, Hervé Franconi on soprano sax, Francois Pernel on harp and narration from Audrey Casella. (Berthet has since become a full-time member of the band).

Short of detailing every moment of the album -- I mean, wonderful and terrific can get over used, you know -- just know that you will be treated to moments of shimmering guitar from David Maurin, and later clean, precise note playing that recalls Steve Howe for me (in style, tone is different), and even later, acidic, fusiony guitar leads? Berthet has warm, rich voice that at times made me think of Anneka van Giersbergen (The Gathering). Her vocals are made even richer by the addition of Verdovati singing in harmony. You find later he has got quite a deep and warm voice on his own. Both are terrific. This played over an actively, deep and throaty, but not intrusive, fretless bass from Samuel Maurin. The music is flowing, angular, harsh, soft, practically any positive adjective or adverb that comes to mind. NiL are like having the breadth of your prog collection summed up in one package? both classic prog and modern.

Oh, just take my word for it. You're going to love this album. I do.

Acte I (36:16) / Acte II (26:42)

David Maurin - prepared guitars, flute, gong, bass clarinet
Samuel Maurin - bass, stick, voice, Aegyptian incantations
Benjamin Croizy - synthesizers, mellotron, church organ, Hammond organ, piano, MS 20, timpani
Frank Niebel - drums, percussion

Additional musicians:

Roselyn Berthet - vocals, ethereal voices
Eric Vedovati - vocals
Samy Cyr - ethereal voices
Anne Cayrol - cello
Hervé Franconi - soprano saxophone
Francois Pernel - harp
Audrey Casella - narrator

Nil (1999)
Nocturnes (1999)
Quarante Jours Sur Le Sinai (2003)

Genre: Progressive Rock

Origin FR

Added: July 27th 2003
Reviewer: Stephanie Sollow
Artist website:
Hits: 632
Language: english


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