[Review] Nemo – Les Nouveaux Mondes (2022 Edition)

Nemo were from 2002 to 2015 at the top of the French Prog Rock scene, also establishing themselves on the international scene with albums of absolute quality. The debut album “Les Nouveaux Mondes” was originally released in July 2002, the first of a series of hits in the genre, forging its own sound with personal traits over the years. On August 29, 2022 new totally re-recorded version of Nemo‘s first album, by the band’s most classic lineup (Jean Baptiste Itier, Lionel B. Guichard, Guillaume Fontaine and JP Louveton). “Les Nouveaux Mondes (2022 Edition)” contains the same tracks as the original with in addition 2 bonus tracks will be released via Quadrifonic Records. The album opens with “Abysses” and a keyboard intro to which are added the granite riffs of the guitar and the solid rhythm session. The intertwining of keyboards and guitar characterize the style, with the structure enriched by tempo changes and symphonic openings that counterbalance the harder riffs of the guitar. The vocal in French is dynamic and intense, alternating more aggressive parts with others that are more melodic and choral. The sung parts alternate with the instrumental ones in which the intertwining of guitar and keyboards stand out. The next “Dr Fergusson et les caprices du vent Vol.1: Au dessus des toits” is the first of two parts, opens with a warm and expressive vocal and dreamy guitar arpeggios. The first part is soft and with more symphonic features with the intensity that increases with the evolution of the piece to which are added the valuable more Heavy guitar works. The second part offers a crescendo instrumental section that brings the sound into a territory between Prog and Heavy sounds with accelerated drumming. With the return of the vocal, the track offers an intense and pathos-laden ending. “Danse du diable” is the shortest track on the album, characterized by a frenetic and virtuous bass line that intertwines with the electric guitar. A concentrate of technique and Heavy sounds that mix, enhancing even in the short term the skills of the artists involved. The piano and an engaging vocal open “Tempête” which develops with refined and elaborate plots, continuing the musical discourse of the previous track. The guitar is at the center of the sound, while the rhythm session is enriched with tempo changes and a killer bassline. The keyboards intertwine well with the works of the guitar and with the entry of the vocal the track increases in intensity alternating Heavy passages and Symphonic openings with melodies that have made the history of modern Prog. The second part is a whirlwind of emotions with intense vocal parts and high-level technical instrumental passages, concluding with atmospheric keyboards. A passionate intro with voice and bass opens “Dans la lune encore” to which keyboards and guitar are slowly added. The heaviest traits of the band are mixed with pompous keyboards and the refined Prog that has characterized their success over the years. Here we can listen to the classic sounds of the band, skilled in giving their own personal imprint both to the music and to the intense sung parts. in the central part they develop an interesting and original duet between guitar and keyboard, which develops with a musical crescendo that in the second part of the piece leads to a virtuoso guitar solo. The vocal returns for the last verses and the song closes with the textures of the guitar and bass. “Dr Fergusson et les caprices du vent Vol. 2: Au dessus des pyramides “is the second part of this mini-suite, with a more powerful and dark sound than the previous one. Heavy guitar riffs, a granite rhythm session full of tempo changes, showing the more Prog Metal side of the band, with pompous keyboards Entirely instrumental, it is a technical track full of ideas with intertwining keyboards and guitar of the highest level and an elaborate and solid rhythmic session. The suite of over 20 minutes that concludes the album entitled “Phileas” opens with the first part “Départ / Europe” a tense track with energetic sounds. Valuable intertwining between guitar and a sumptuous organ, while the rhythm session is constantly evolving with continuous tempo changes and elaborate passages. A track that combines the 70s Heavy Prog sounds and brings them to the present day with the personal touch of the band, here updated to the 2022 version. The vocal alternates energetic verses and engaging choral choruses, with the organ offering a short but intense solo in the final part. “Les fleuves sacrés” is a softer part of the suite with more acoustic sounds with Jazzy and oriental references. In the second part the song opens by inserting traditional influences and with a Folk Rock touch. Connecting to the melodies of the previous one and evolving them with a dark touch, granite riffs and a solid rhythmic session “Luna” returns with an intricate sound and a more Heavy Prog. The duets between keyboards and guitar are interesting, creating instrumental plots of absolute value, for composition and execution. The changes and variations of the theme are very original and enhance the sound imprint that the band wants to give to their sound. In the final part the vocal enters and the track becomes more elaborate experimenting with both the voices and the sounds. The suite and the tracks of the album end with “Nouveau monde” which begins with the drumming rolls and the piano notes on an atmospheric background. A musical crescendo that reaches its apex in the central part with a refined Prog theme with Symphonic features with fine interweaving of keyboards and hard guitar riffs. The rhythmic sessioen, as always, is very elaborate and enriched by the tempo changes that allow you to combine different genres and styles between classical music, Prog and Heavy traits. The first of the two Bonus Track “Africa” is a track where the rhythm enriched by percussion characterizes the sounds, with an ethnic touch that blends with Progressive Rock. Original and good guitar works in the first part, where the sound is also more Heavy, while the second part is more focused on keyboards and on a choral sound with percussion in the background. An interesting track that finds the right point of contact between African and European sounds like the Prog. This new edition of the album ends with the second and last Bonus Track “Bataille navale” which returns to the more classic sounds of the band. Organ and guitar intertwine creating a sound on the style of 70s bands, with a modern look and an energetic rhythm with leading bass lines and solid drumming. The first part develops on a more Rock sound, while in the central part it transforms taking on more Symphonic traits. in the second prte he returns to the opening sounds with a good jam between the instruments and the presentation of the band members who offer solo inserts in turn. The talent of these artists we have come to know over the course of these over 20 years, and with this re-edition of the debut album they show that they are in excellent shape. An ever-present record, which was the starting point for the creation of the successful sounds of the band’s prolific career. This edition has been resonated, leaving unchanged the essence of the album, a milestone of modern Prog. A must-listen for all Prog lovers, an absolutely fundamental band for the European scene of the 2000s, skilled in building their own sound with personal characteristics, always current and original.

Tracklist

01. Abysses (10.03)
02. Dr Fergusson et les caprices du vent Vol.1 : Au dessus
des toits (6.39)
03. Danse du diable (2.48)
04. Tempête (7.18)
05. Dans la lune encore (6.23)
06. Dr Fergusson et les caprices du vent Vol.2 : Au dessus
des pyramides (5.58)

PHILEAS (20.41)
07. Départ / Europe (4.57)
08. Les fleuves sacrés (3.16)
09. Luna (5.54)
10. Nouveau monde (6.34)

BONUS
11. Africa (5.51)
12. Bataille navale (11.08)

Lineup

Jean-Pierre Louveton / Guitar, Vocals, Bass (Africa), Virtual Instruments
Guillaume Fontaine / Keyboards, vocals
Lionel B. Guichard / Bass
Jean-Baptiste Itier / Drums
With:
Pascal Bertrandt / Drums (Bataille Navale)
Benoît Gaignon / Bass (Bataille Navale)

Echo & The Bunnymen Re-releases...

Nemo |Bandcamp|Facebook Page|

Quadrifonic Records |Official Website|Facebook Page|

Author: Jacopo Vigezzi

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