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The Black Noodle Project: Divided We Fall

Beginning life in the early noughties as a one man solo outfit, the bizarrely named The Black Noodle Project slowly evolved into a fully fledged band. Still in place for this seventh outing is their leader, Jeremie Grima on guitars, voice and programming, and his long term musical partner, Sebastian Bourdeix, also on guitars. Joining their union for Divided We Fall come Tommy Rizzitelli on drums and Frederick Motte on bass.

I'm not a fan of tags � is it post-rock or post-prog? Who cares? What you really need to know here being that DWF is progressive, it's modern, it's edgy, it's soothing and it harks to the past. Contradictory that may all be and yet it's exactly what you'll find on an album that uses Pink Floyd as a base, then branches out into Porcupine Tree territory while adding ambient sheens and washes. Initial impressions can be mixed, a slow build through the album's first four songs suggesting a maudlin collection that, as so much prog seems to these days, focuses on the downbeat, melancholy side of life. "Isolation" is a slow desolate introduction to proceedings, while "Memorial" adds an equally pensive if more melodically inclined outlook. Then "Ashes To Ashes" surprises by providing the album's first vocal, the plain, fragile voice from Grima somehow perfect for the shimmering moods that slowly build into a mid-paced Floydian sway. I'm not sure that the man in question is a great vocalist, but a few more tracks graced by his tones certainly wouldn't go amiss.

With "Under A Black Sky" a beautiful short piece of acoustic guitar, by this mid-way stage you definitely feel that you know what TBNP want to offer. So when "Absolom" explodes with colourful keys and strident riffery, the admittedly still Floyd-like results, really are something of a knock you sideways surprise. "Cosmic Dust" ups the ante further, surging guitars finding a modern edge not revealed elsewhere, alongside a decidedly neo-prog guitar solo and keyboard interplay as the song expands in energetically ebullient fashion. Leaving "Left Behind" to close everything out by returning to the shimmer and echo that came before.

It does undoubtedly take quite a while to get under the skin of Divided We Fall, with initial encounters feeling a little underwhelming as the album's running order asks you to stay the course. And yet if you do, the rewards are handed out in abundance. As this band has, so the latest album from The Black Noodle Project relies on evolution to reach its final destination. It's a hell of journey and one you'll feel all the better for joining them on.

Track Listing
1. Isolation
2. Memorial
3. Ashes to Ashes
4. Under a Black Sky
5. Absolom
6. Cosmic Dust
7. Left Behind

Added: May 2nd 2018
Reviewer: Steven Reid
Related Link: The Black Noodle Project at bandcamp
Hits: 880
Language: english

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