Here we have a live bullet from a still relatively new quartet out of France (okay, they have three studio albums, emphasize relatively), a healthy chunk of the set derived from and kicking off with the titular bit from Prélude À La Ruine. There is absolutely zero lag between studio Nemo and live Nemo: keyboardist Guillaume Fontaine balances biting monophonic synth leads with organic organ colorations and tasteful piano divergences aplenty. Guitarist J.P. Louveton's vocal chores don't detract from the symphonic fusion underlining in which the band's sound is rooted; his alternately fuzzy & dirty and traditional electric tones supply the diversity the compositions need to stand out. Add the crack rhythm section of 5-string bassist Lionel Guichard and drummer J.B. Itier and the instrumental shrapnel really starts to fly — that the vocals sometimes seem tacked-on is simply a reflection of the musical acrobatics.
Speaking of vocals, sometimes Louveton just plays: an aural thriller like "1914" shifts gears multiple times and proves proggish outfits can still rock out in four-on-the-floor and keep things interesting. The suite-like "La Dernière Vague" is the only real epic, opening with synthesized strings and scalar guitar runs, with a short vocal segment before the searing instrumental action resumes; Fontaine indulges in back-to-back synth-piano-synth solos — what a hog! Just kidding, he plays his rear off, and this reviewer is never one to complain about an abundance of keyboard solos (or soli). Louveton's guitar solo takes us out. "Cavalerie / Confrontation" extends the foray into moderately pyrotechnical prog-fusion with sections opened up for wordless and worded vocals. Fontaine dials up the orchestral string samples again, and while it's thickly layered a different, sawtooth wave-based sound may have made for more savory stacks. "Au Dessus De Toits" and "Au Dessus Des Pyramides" ("Atop Roofs" and "Atop Pyramids," respectively) are both from Nemo's debut Les Nouveaux Mondes and closer to pure prog/rock structures than the jazz-rock lapels noticeable on previous tracks. "Pyramides" is brimming with angular soloing and a keyboard-guitar dual and call-and-response scheme. What's missing is a nice long bass solo by Guichard, though he gets a few bars in here and there in a couple spots throughout the show. A rousing "Cluster 84" takes us out on a greased slide with the calm posture of a startled orc, and a yelp — the shortest track (6:03) aside from "Prélude." Fontaine gives the string stuff a rest and calls up some better, analog, choices.
With an uphill track record like this, Nemo might be yanked over to America for a fest. A brand new studio effort — well, that makes four! — has just appeared, so we'll have to hear how things turned out!
1. Intro: Prélude À La Ruine (1:22)
2. Les Temps Modernes (7:54)
3. 1914 (8:06)
4. La Dernière Vague (12:12)
5. Cavalerie / Confrontation (9:05)
6. Au Dessus De Toits (6:37)
7. Au Dessus Des Pyramides (6:25)
8. Cluster 84 (6:03)
Total Time – 57:44