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

A most remarkable release, this self-produced album conceived and recorded by a collective of French musicians. Remarkable foremost because the album only contains two compositions. So in a way you could think this has something to do with Magma, yet once you get to hear this album, it has little to do with Zeuhl or the likes. The guitar parts have more in common with the repetitive patterns of Philharmonie, whilst from a compositional point of view, you could trace resemblances with XII Alfonso. Especially the wide selection of collaborators is rather similar. Particularly the use of different vocalists is a positive factor in order to diversify the various passages in both chapters. Based in Egypt, needless to say NIL uses Eastern melodies to underline the atmosphere of the album. This ranges from dreamlike parts to powerful outbursts via jazzy paths. These jazzy interventions amongst others include a short "battle" between drums and bass before eerie keyboards add to the strangeness of the piece. Things become even stranger when ominous male voices come to the fore introducing once again some repetitive guitars. In the softer parts the wonderful sound of fretless bass is heard. In most cases it's the vocals that inject a new direction. Some parts are truly magnificent when long stretches of string sections are interspersed with fretless bass. This is all disturbed in an abrupt way by means of heavy guitars and choral sounds. Also the harp is a most refreshing element that suddenly pops up. Due to the long compositions plus the fact you don't get any extra information about subtitles or such, it remains difficult to give an exact idea of what to expect, but trust me this is a unique concept written and recorded by a bunch of outstanding musicians. If you like, you can compare this album with a pure classical work as it also contains all the elements that are demanded in the domain of classical music. This is a superb realisation that will most certainly reveal new elements time and time again, even when you're listening to it again for the fiftieth time. The album was written, arranged and produced by David Maurin, Samuel Maurin, Benjamin Croizy and Frank Niebel. They were helped out by friends from the Academy of Grenoble, whilst amongst others the organ was recorded at St. Pierre's Cath?dral in Annecy, France. Right now I can't find any names to compare this band to, so I just keep it with the word: "unique." I'm convinced you'll feel the same. Apparently this is the band's third release having released both Nil and Nocturnes in 1999, two albums that in the meantime have sold out completely!

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: October 5th 2003
Reviewer: John "Bobo" Bollenberg

Artist website:
Hits: 586
Language: english


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