Thinking I was hearing a newer version of Ram Jam's "Black Betty", Nemo quickly dispelled those thoughts by completely shifting gears and ripped into a perfectly timed segue into piece after piece of frenetic and challenging sections yet seconds later brought the whole thing back to earth with some tasteful piano. Just as you were becoming familiar with the thematic development of the music, Nemo then get you to climb back on the rollercoaster while they weave their way through more different and difficult pieces than a monster jigsaw puzzle.
This is quite challenging music and is best listened to in its entirety as no one song will be indelibly embedded within the cerebral cavities sitting above your shoulders. Blending a bit of prog metal here, some great synth work with sparse but very emotive vocals (sung in French) and a solid but comfortable rhythm section, the band have concocted some cleverly executed ideas that encompasses just about everything a modern progressive band should have at their disposal. Guitars predominate much of the music with plenty of great riffage underpinned by some dynamic arrangements and very precise drumming while the keyboards add a definitive touch that drives the point home.
Most of the songs are of a reasonable length and allow the band to stretch out when required but it is the longest epic final track that I found the strongest on inspiration, despite its rather slow and mellow beginning. Not knowing the French language or understanding the meaning of the lyrics doesn't help either but thankfully for the most part, the music stands up very well on its own.
Nemo seem to have a foot in both doors here as they have a great retro sound slightly similar to the classic French band, Ange, mostly for the passionate vocals and arrangements while bringing a more modern sound into the equation by introducing a more metallic influence. While they use less of a mellotron sound, perhaps the closest similarity I can think of would be Liquid Scarlet. Certainly, they sound a bit different from your standard fare and are all very capable musically but I still miss that killer hook that seems to evade so many of the more modern bands today. Still they deserve a solid 4 as this is their debut album and a great one at that. Let's hope some more time in the studio with some more fresh ideas will produce that essential album that we all aspire to own.
1. Les temps moderns (7.58)
2. 1914 (7.40)
3. O.G.R.E. (où la guerre réveille l'économie (5.46)
4. Prélude a la ruine (1.24)
5. Les yeux fermés (le relour de l'ogre) (6.29)
6. Eve et el génie du mal (4.35)
7. Tous les chemins (9.04)
8. Cluster 84 (5.18)
9. Le monde à l'envers (13.34)
a) Une derniere valse
b) Du mauvais côté