Sea Of Tranquility

The Web Source for Progressive Rock, Progressive Metal & Jazz-Fusion
  Search   in       
Main Menu

Nil: Quarante jours sur le Sinaï

Take the classic French progressive sounds of bands like Clearlight Symphony and Minimum Vital, throw in a heavy dose of Eastern transcendentalism , and a pinch of Canterbury flavored progressive and mix well. The result is this superlative 3rd release by the French band Nil.

For the most part, very atmospheric, almost New Age; the band does occasionally delve into much more complex and aggressive progressive flourishes.; accentuated throughout by angelic female vocals in French. The concept revolves around the founding of Egypt by gods such as Toth, Isis, and Osiris, who , according to legends of old, were survivors of the destruction of Atlantis. The disc is comprised of 29 tracks divided into 2 Acts. It begins rather inauspiciously and hypnotically, only to burst out of it's musical confines with some exceptional musicianship, punctuated by very tasteful analog keyboard forays and highly complex guitar licks; to then return to a meditative cadence. Recommended to the more advanced or experimental prog enthusiasts.

Added: February 3rd 2007
Reviewer: Yves Dube
Related Link: Nil Website
Hits: 3622
Language: english

[ Printer Friendly Page Printer Friendly Page ]
[ Send to a Friend Send to a Friend ]


[ Back to the Reviews Index | Post Comment ]

» SoT Staff Roundtable Reviews:

Nil: Quarante jours sur le Sinaï
Posted by Steve Pettengill, SoT Staff Writer on 2007-02-03 13:07:41
My Score:

Recently reissued by Unicorn Digital, Nil's 2002 effort entitled Quarante Jours Sur Le Sinai has garnered some impressive reviews. This is intense symphonic rock that demands one's attention for a solid hour. Do not expect this French outfit to sound much like Ange. Instead, they favor a doom leaden atmosphere comparable to King Crimson at their most angular as well as perhaps a touch of Magma here and there. I am also reminded of classic cult favorites Pulsar, Arachnoid and Shylock.

The packaging of the CD is nearly as ornate as the music contained within. There are two booklets: the less threatening one contains album credits and photographs of the band in the studio; the thicker booklet features quotes from Plato, The Bible and the Egyptian Book of the Dead. I think Atlantis plays a role in there somewhere too. There are also lyrics and quotes in French and English and what must be a first for a concept album-should you want to brush up on your Egyptology-a bibliography! It's all confusingly laid out, but some perseverance will be rewarded.

So yes, the album is based on Egyptian mythology and broken into two lengthy compositions, namely the 36 minute "Act One" while "Act Two" clocks in at a mere 26 minutes. There are copious "exotic" sounds on this CD geared to conjure images of the Valley of the Kings, especially those of the Mellotron male choir variety. If I sound like I'm damning with faint praise, I suppose I am. For Nil presents a very admirable, richly rewarding textured progressive rock. Their instrumental abilities are beyond reproach and the vocals of Roselyne Berthet are quite eerie and I wouldn't be surprised if Dead Can Dance was an influence on her as well as all the band. The production is solid and overall I like what the band is doing.

Yet when all is said and done, Quarante Jours Sur Le Sinai is a somewhat chilly hour of music. Both pieces are broken down into a ridiculous 29 sections and I couldn't tell you where one ends and the other begins without watching the digital counter. In some respects, I fail to hear strong melodies and my mind tends to wander in places. But I know I am in the minority as many prog rock aficionados are enamored with Nil's endlessly intricate and admittedly well done symphonic rock. As such, my wee brain can't seem to connect with Nil's earnest scholarly approach to progressive rock. Man, I still can't believe there's a bibliography in the booklet…

© 2004 Sea Of Tranquility
For information regarding where to send CD promos and advertising, please see our FAQ page.
If you have questions or comments, please Contact Us.
Please see our Policies Page for Site Usage, Privacy, and Copyright Policies.

All logos and trademarks in this site are property of their respective owner. The comments are property of their posters, all other content © Sea of Tranquility

SoT is Hosted by