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jueves, 19 de noviembre de 2015

NeBeLNeST - NoVa eXPReSS (2002)


Potencia, energía e intrepidez musical a toda prueba, alto nivel técnico para continuar su frenética búsqueda musical por regiones sonoras y universos poco explorados. Un viaje caótico por el oscuro espacio donde las estrellas mueren violentamente y los instrumentos se convierten en asesinos seriales en medio de un trabajo compositivo de lo más sanguinariamente refinado. Discazo!

Artista: NeBeLNeST
Álbum: NoVa eXPReSS
Año: 2002
Género: RIO / Avant-Prog
Duración: 46:22
Nacionalidad: Francia


Lista de Temas:
1. BLaCKMaiL
2. STiMPy BaR
3. ReDRuM
4. CiNeMa 1920
5. NoVa eXPReSS

Alineación:
- Michael Anselmi/ drums
- Cyril Malderez / guitar
- Gregory Tejedor / bass
- Olivier Tejedor / synthesizers, devices



Debo reconocer que la tapa representa bastante bien el contenido del disco. Vamos a presentar el segundo trabajo discográfico de NeBeLNeST.



Seguimos con estos fantásticos franceses que hemos presentado ayer, en el que es quizás su mejor disco. Movimientos similares al "Red" de King Crimson hacen un salto en el tiempo y se adelantan 30 años, aumentando la complejidad de su música, triplicando la velocidad y la energía, quitando voces y aplicando melodías más heavys, estructuras que se asemejan a las composiciones de Magma junto con la oscuridad y potencia de Anekdoten... la suma de todo eso daría como resultado algo similar al "NoVa eXPReSS" de NeBeLNeST.


Segundo album de esta banda francesa, que supera al primero aparecido en 1999.
El estilo del grupo no difiere demasiado del primer disco, pero continua evolucionando de forma positiva. Con influencias de King Crimson sobretodo, Anekdoten, Univers Zero y Magma ente otros, la banda se decanta hacia el RIO salvaje kingcrimsoniano cercano a grupos como Happy Family o Gestalt, pero NeBeLNeST tienen su propio y personal estilo.
Siguen los duelos de guitarras frippianas y mellotrones, presentes en su primer album, y si cabe, mas intensidad instrumental todavia, y mucha complejidad musical, yo diria que mas que en su primer album.
Este segundo album esta mejor acabado que el primero, se nota una maduracion del grupo y una mayor elaboracion en las composiciones, y su estilo ya se hace mas propio, y menos derivativo de otras bandas que en su primer album.
Despues de un curioso comienzo, con un tema realmente caotico, Blackmail, para mi lo mas espectacular es el tema de 15 minutos Nova Express, una pieza brutal e intensa, con enigmaticos mellotrones y guitarras duras y afiladas, ritmos intensos y veloces, ademas de pasajes ambientales y experimentales cercanos al post-rock, al igual que las tambien muy destacables Stimpy Bar y Redrum. Estas piezas convierten al disco en uno de los mas recomendables del momento y al grupo uno de los mas innovadores dentro de la estela King Crimson-RIO.
En resumen, sin duda el que sera uno de los grandes discos de este anyo, que por su complejidad no creo que alcance cotas de mucha popularidad dentro de la escena progresiva, aunque quien sabe.
Puntuacion: 8.5/10
Ferran Lizana



Más o menos en la misma onda que abordaron en su primer disco, pero aún con más maestría, pasión y garra, absolutamente implacables e impecables. Riesgo constante. Detallista. Complejo y al mismo tiempo fresco y dinámco. Esto es rock progresivo instrumentnal en su mejor momento...


Uno de los detalles interesantes de esta producción es la calidad de la grabación. De hecho, el famoso productor Bob Drake, quien ha trabajado con 5uu's y Thinking Plague, entre otros, estuvo a cargo de la producción de este álbum. Hay una nota de Drake en el booklet del CD donde recomienda cómo ecualizar el estéreo donde uno vaya a escuchar el disco, a fin de obtener lo mejor de él. La cantidad de espacialidad adicionada a la grabación demuestra lo serios que son los NeBeLNeST acerca de el espacio, lo interno y lo profundo.
Después de una intrincada introducción, reminiscente del new wave de los 80, la banda explota en su verdadera intensidad, ganando terreno en todo el espacio auditivo. Otro elemento resaltante es que mucho de la música suena como improvisada, o al menos con partes que se parecen poco estructuradas alrededor de improvisaciones de práctica. Esta cualidad cruda aunque elaborada se presta a sí misma, en todo caso, para "aterrizar" su sonido.
Los sintetizadores y otros dispositivos crean la visión sonora de espacio escaso pero profundo. El mellotron aparece siempre en el momento justo, desparramando su sombra a través de un millón de años luz, dejando incluso a las supernovas obscurecidas por sus tinieblas. El bajo normalmente está distorsionado y a menudo extremadamente bajo, emitiendo el tono oscuro de galaxias colisionantes. Esta es la dinámica de la que ellos hablan.
El nacimiento y muerte de las estrellas pasa notoriamente con cada escucha de este disco, convirtiéndolo fácilmente en uno de mis favoritos de los últimos tiempos.
Sir Lawn Mower



¿Qué puedo agragar a lo ya dicho?... aquí pueden apreciar otro discazo, y pronto traeremos el último trabajo de estos geniales franceses que derrochan talento, garra y pasión en lo que hacen.
A mi se me acaban las palabras, mejor los dejo con algunos comentarios en inglés que los invito a leer para que vean que este disco ha sido una cachetada para más de uno.


NeBeLNeST is one of the leading bands of the contemporary New Music movement, which follows the legacy of such Progressive Rock genres and sub-genres as RIO, Prog-Metal, Art-Rock, Zeuhl, and Canterbury, as well as Classical and Avant-garde Academic Music. "Nova Express" is the third album by the band. One of my friends has always wondered why I listen to music, which, according to him, reminds him of the seemingly endless tune-up of various instruments. Usually, I laugh off with the next phrase: "It's because in my childhood, I was sick for a long time". However, it seems he perceives it in earnest.
The Album. I don't know why, but it's obvious that presently, it is really hard to create something new and unique within the framework of the first three progressive genres, namely Symphonic Art-Rock, Prog-Metal, and Jazz-Fusion. It turned out to be that RIO was the only progressive genre, which could have adapted to all of the cataclysms of the "dark decade", etc, and still remains flexible enough to create truly innovative forms of music. Certainly, the fifth 'chief' progressive genre Fifth Element could've been born only within the precincts of RIO. It wasn't difficult for me to find it, as there are quite a few bands today, the music of which doesn't fit any of the first four main progressive genres, including even RIO, of course. So, yes, NeBeLNeST is one of the 'official' representatives of Progressive's Fifth Element. Please take your seats. "Nova Express" invites you into a very unusual journey through the difficult musical regions, which, however, are as wonderful as the Wonderland itself. Stylistically, this album presents a fantastic blend of all of the Progressive Rock genres (with the exception of Jazz-Fusion), which was composed with the active use of a 12-tone scale of Avant-garde Academic music. In addition, all of this was raised to the power of Fifth Element (which is unique ad infinitum) to have a truly hard-edged Progressive Rock of a kind you have never heard before. All of the five tracks that are featured on the album were created within the framework of a unified stylistics (which is originally NeBeLNeST's very own stylistics). In other words, the features that are typical for each of the separate tracks are also typical for the album as a whole. First, it must be said that this is the music of non-Euclidean spaces, where the parallel lines can easily cross each other, and discords create a wonderful harmony. The cascades of tasteful and virtuosi passages, solos, and riffs of a few soloing instruments, contrasting interplay between them, kaleidoscopic and, often, sudden changes of tempo and mood, atonalities, complex time signatures, and constant development of very eclectic arrangements. All of this is a brief structural characteristic of the routes (or of the tracks, to be dually correct) of "Nova Express". As for the other events that accompany this journey, the overall picture of them is rather motley. The roles that the various keyboards and both of the electric and bass guitar play here are equal. However, the parts (I'd even say "attacks") of electric and bass guitars are for the most part not only heavy, but also harsh and angry like mountain rivers. The drumming is outstandingly diverse and masterful as well. Sometimes, though, it is expressly aggressive, which happens accordingly to the current musical circumstances. The elements of a dark Doom-Metal and sinister Thrash-y Prog-Metal (both of which, by the way, can be found in the creation of Voivod at the end of the 1980s) extend a rather strong influence on this music. Furthermore, keyboards (including Mellotron) sound dark or sinister here and there on the album as well. While there are a few soft and symphonic episodes on each composition, the overall atmosphere of the album is quite tense. However, the main merit of the "Nova Express" journey is that it is incredibly intriguing.
Summary. Try to draw an isosceles triangle on a ball. Doesn't work? However, if you find a certain sense in what you've drawn (what you've done, to be precise) and apprehend that even stones have their own philosophy, you'll love the music of NeBeLNeST to death. Like any true classic for the future, "Nova Express" needs several listens to be more or less completely comprehended. Here, I mean those Prog-lovers who are truly experienced and brave enough to take such a wonderful, yet in some ways dangerous journey. There was a note on the cover of "Please Don't Touch" album (1978) by Steve Hackett, which warned any sort of nervous people against listening to it. I've heard lots of albums that need the same note on their covers. So if you feel good while listening to Voivod's "Dimension Hatross" or Univers Zero's "Heresie", for example, then you'll be in euphoria while taking the "Nova Express" journey. I can only add that as a matter of fact, this album is a unique masterpiece.
Progressor

With its second release (and the first for Cuneiform Records), this French prog-rock quartet charts a direction consisting of expansive sheets of sound, driving rock rhythms, and climactically driven time changes. Unfortunately, the results prove mixed at best.
On the opener, "Blackmail," guitarist Cyril Malderez pursues blaring chord voicings atop keyboardist Olivier Teledor's swarming progressions and subtle synth treatments. It's all about riffs, thumping rhythms and ominous overtones - as evidenced on "Stimpy Bar" and other works. However, the musicians engage in a bit of textural sound sculpting during "Redrum," where Teledor implements some mellotron patches along with bassist Gregory Teledor's steely bass lines.
Drummer Michael Anselmi looms as a powerful force throughout these five pieces, as he diligently pushes and prods the soloists. And other than some affable psychedelic musings and a few captivating sequences, much of the material on this outing is either superfluous or largely forgettable. The band's implied urgency is thus destabilized by a lack of cohesive thematic development. Not that these folks lack talent, but their monolithic approach yields few highlights when viewed upon as a whole. Perhaps next time the band will meld more substance with its fire and brimstone decrees.
Glenn Astarita

NeBeLNeST's debut album, the eponymous CD released in 1999 by Laser's Edge, packed a lot of promises and excitement weakened by insufficient production. For their second opus, the group recruited none other than Bob Drake, producer extraordinaire for the label ReR Megacorp and a pillar of the avant-prog movement (if one can speak of such a movement). Drake did a wonderful job, bringing all the details of the quartet's tortured prog rock much more in focus and adding his distinctive touch in the form of a wide, surprise-stuffed stereo mix. But the group did not deliver everything one could expect. The improvisational aspect of their first CD has been attenuated and the thunderous King Crimson-esque riffs that structure their compositions sound less dangerous than before. That is not to say NoVa eXPReSS is a bad album, on the contrary, but the music has lost part of its unique character, bringing it closer to an instrumental version of Anekdoten or Taal. The playing is still exciting, though. Michael Anselmi is one mean drummer, adding ferocity to Bill Bruford's stamina. The title track, after a long start, delivers the best moment of the album, a driving riff supporting great interplay between keyboard, bass, and guitar. For the sake of sonic properties start here, but if you like what you hear please do try to find the group's previous CD -- you'll be delighted.
François Couture

When I was hearing the young French band NeBeLNeST for the first time, I instantly understood that they have to be one of the most interesting avant-garde progressive rock bands today. "Nova Express" is actually their second album, but unfortunately I haven't had the opportunity to hear that album. My first thought was that they had reminiscences to KING CRIMSON, but without being clones. Later on I could also hear similarities to MAGMA, MAHAVISHNU ORCHESTRA, MATS & MORGAN, THINKING PLAGUE, UNIVERS ZERO. The music is energetic and intricate with intense drum playing masterly performed by Michael Anselmi. His one of the most interesting drummers I've heard recently. All the members are highly technical top musicians and the album is not surprisingly released on one of my three favorite labels: Cuneiform Records. Without doubt one of the best releases this year.
Greger Rönnqvist

This French quartet can COOK! NeBeLNeST's second album, NoVa eXPReSS, just might be my favorite prog album to come out in the last ten years.
NeBeLNeST's sounds mixes a range of progressive styles. One thing that I find interesting about this band is that it seems that each member of the band was a fan of a different style of music. The keyboardist clearly was influenced by symphonic rock, and he is not afraid to let it show in his mellotron (!) parts. The guitarist seems to be largely influenced by psych/space rock, evidenced by his use of every stomp box imaginable except distortion. The drums reek of heavy metal influence, complete with (subtle and tasteful, not machine-gun) double-kick and roaring fills. The distorted and rolling bass shows a zeuhl influence. What is most remarkable, though, is the way it all blends together in one cohesive whole.
The music is dominated by the rhythm section, as the aforementioned rolling distorted bass and heavy-metal drums run you over with the melody section going nuts on top. If you are looking for beautiful, hummable, and uplifting melodies, look elsewhere, as everything EXCEPT that is represented by the band. The bass and drums just pound away in constantly shifting patterns, seemingly unable to repeat themselves more than once. Every time signature you can imagine is used on this album, but it is done so with startling ease; I had listened to this album several times before I even realized that the music was in odd time sigs.
This album actually manages to stand out with its production. Ordinarily, I don't care much about production, but the production on this album is good enough to make me notice. There are only a handful of albums that I think have a true "atmosphere" to them, and this is one of them. Despite all of the rapid twists and turns he puts into the album, Bob Drake managed to maintain remarkable consistency in the overall "feel" of the album.
This album single-handedly restored hope for me that the world was still producing good music. I cannot recommend this album highly enough to anyone who is a King Crimson fan (particularly the Red-era), an RIO fan, or simply someone looking to hear something you haven't heard before. If you are looking for a symphonic orgy of melody, this is not the place. Otherwise, you owe it to yourself to hear these guys.
Jake

NeBeLNeST's second effort 'Nova Express' is their best so far. The frenzy energy feels less massive here, but by no means it is subsided: the fact is, that same energy is spread out through the repertoire so in its own not-too-hideous way, NebeLNeST's fire keep itself burning at the same level of intense heat. The skills are also as excellent as they were shown in their debut album, yet it's fair to point out that the ensemble sound is more polished and the compositional work is more refined. You can tell that from the first two tracks (my two personal faves, by the way): the work on the complexity and changes of rhythm patterns and the interplay between guitar and synth, well sustained by a very focused drum/bass foundation, are symptoms that these guys spent more time devoted to the writing process. It doesn't mean that the jamming is significantly diminished, it's just that there is an increased sense of order working here, allowing the powerful sonic deliveries of NeBeLNeST to become more solidly "orchestrated". More than orchestrated, I would say, diverse. The openere 'Blackmail' kicks off with a pulsating electric piano-based motif, very Can-ish indeed. Once the opening motif is over, follows a series of dark passages delieverd with total energy, going from the most incendiary RIO a-la Present to the densest ambiences a-la "Starless and Bible Black"-era KC, with added touches of Ozric Tentacles-inspired electronic textures. A special mention goes to Gregory Tejedor, whose bass lines steal most of the limelight in many of the track's various sections. Its 9 1/2 minutes just pass by fluidly while the listener allows himself to become mesmerized by the ordained sonic magma that surrounds him across the air. The more concise 'Stimpy Bar' focuses on disturbingly dissonant polyphonics on a mid-tempo pace. Olivier Tejedor's job is even more prominent, since he gets more space for some solos that rival with Malderez's ever-punchy guitar; Olivier also gets the chance to expand his efforts by adding some avant-garde jazz touches into the band's spectre (the latter factor reminds be a bit of "Udu Wudu"-era Magma). I find 'Redrum' and 'Cinema 1920' the most sinister numbers of the album, almost Gothic at times, always keeping that revived "Starless and Bible Black"-feel that the guys of NeBeLNeST undoubtedly worship. 'Redrum' comprises explosive build-ups to consecutive climaxes, the last one being a brief tribal closure.'Cinema 1920' is the least complex number in the album, but as I stated before, its compellingly sinister nature stops it from being unnoticed between the longer tracks. The closing namesake track is mainly an extended jam, a strong reminder of the dominating spirit of their debut: the ideas flow over a solid rhythmic dynamics that continuously feeds the guitar and keyboard inputs. Definitely, a track build on the spirit of teh debut album but delivered with the extra energy that is essential to the whole new album. The final section is epic, in a disturbing approach. A prog masterpiece of our times... from my current favourite prog act from France.
César Inca

This is outstanding instrumental music from France. I would describe their music as dark, complex Avant-garde music with the drums and bass being the most upfront in their sound. Bob Drake from THINKING PLAGUE recorded, mixed and mastered this album. He and band mate Mike Johnson get a thankyou in the liner notes, as well as PRESENT's Roger Trigaux. A good comparison to NEBELNEST's sound would be GUAPO's "Five Suns" album. A real bonus for me on this album is the abundance of mellotron.
In "Blackmail" the drums are outfront and leading the way while the bass and guitar are simply outstanding. Check out the mellotron though ! Some great atmosphere to this song too. Amazing 9 1/2 minute opener. "Stimpy Bar" is incredible as the mellotron absolutely soaks this song. Interesting sound early then the drums come pounding in with the bass. I like the way the guitar plays over top. The drumming is ridiculously good. It settles before 3 minutes and when the mellotron floods back in after 3 minutes and it reminds me of the great ANEKDOTEN. It brightens somewhat after 4 minutes then the mellotron storm returns. Incredible !
"Redrum" might be the best track on here. It has a spooky intro with lots of dark atmosphere. Mellotron waves blow in before the drums start to pound away. Bass and guitar join in the fray. Some fat bass here. More mellotron 4 minutes in as it calms down some. Killer drumming 5 1/2 minutes in and another calm a minute later. Check out the mellotron 7 1/2 minutes in as it pulses. The bass is huge as the guitar plays over top. ANEKDOTEN comes to mind here as well. I'm not worthy ! "Cinema 1920" features relentless drums and raw sounding guitar. Oh yeah and some growly bass. Keyboards in this one too. The title track is the 15 1/2 minute closer. It opens with an ominous 2 minute intro. That melody stops then different sounds come and go including some weird noises. Drums and a melody return after 4 minutes. Mellotron before 5 1/2 minutes with some nice bass. Check out the drumming that follows ! The guitar makes some noise 6 1/2 minutes in then turns angular. Mellotron 8 minutes in. The song continues to go back and forth. It's chaotic 12 minutes in. This is such a ride. Actually the whole album is.
This is such a find for me, it's dark and heavy with mellotron. What more could you ask for ?
John Davie

How to use a Mellotron.
This is one of those rare "buy on a whim" purchases based only on the retailer website description. It is even rarer to be completely blown away by such a purchase. Nova Express is one of those few albums that made me feel that everything else has led up to this. Nebelnest incorporates elements of virtually every progressive sub-genre in a thick instrumental stew of aural dark matter.
Perhaps the strongest element of Nebelnest is keyboardist Olivier Tejedor. His style is a retrograde blast of piano, church organ and Mellotron with a hint of Moog squares and saws. Its his sounds that harken back to the symphonic days. The tasteful yet exuberant slightly overdriven bass of his brother Gregory combine a style of deep smashing chord and octave sounds with surgically precise walking lines. The most modern sound that comes from Nebelnest is the powerful drumming of Michael Anselmi. The beats, never overly complex, range from slow and deliberate to almost hardcore thrash beats to pedestrian, all the while holding true to the overall message in the composition. Guitarist Cyril Malderez adds further width to the sound with frantic chord patterns fused together with atonal noisemaking and spacey echoes, all equating to a timeless, extraterrestrial sound. The recording and mix of the album is typically lower volume (a disclaimer is even printed in the liner) so as to prevent distortions in post-production and encourage all the instruments to hold equal footing.
The feel of Nova Express is DARK, VERY DARK (but not Metal dark). The opening track, Black Mail opens by scaring the listener into thinking the album is going to be much more mainstream than it will turn out to be. The up tempo pedestrian beat is is eventually cut through with craggy guitar morphing to a tremello sound as the band settles into their spacey darkness with crushing bass undertones. The album wavers little in its opacity from that point forward, conveying in musical terms the vastness and oppresive vacuum of space, while retaining the beauty of its cosmic completeness.
When comparing sounds to find a frame of reference for Nova Express, it is not hard to think of King Crimson when considering its textures. Nebelnest does not display the individual technicality of King Crimson, nor do they venture far into KC's improv territory on Nova Express. The musicians are very composition and texture driven.
This is a very essential part of my collection, an easy 5/5 stars.
Ian

I have to join the ranks of praise for this space-zeuhl-drone-rock masterpiece. Nebelnest is the product of a collision between King Crimson and Magma that took place in the deepest outskirts of space back in 1974. At least that's what this sounds like, so forceful are their rhythms and heavily pulsating bass, so chilling are their chromatic guitar riffing and eerie keyboard sounds.
Nebelnest continues in the vein of the darker sound of Anekdoten's 90's albums. Especially the instrumentals on the excellent Live In Japan come to mind. Also the avant-garde of Univers Zero is a welcome influence in their nebula, but Nebelnest sure rocks a whole lot harder. Closest of all is of course the blasting avant-rock of Guapo.
Nebelnest don't write your average pleasant rock song. If you look for melodic splendour and tunes you can hum along with, you won't find them here. Their long instrumental suites are driven by the rhythmic energy and muscular bass guitar. Layers of dissonant keyboards, mellotron and guitar flippertronics complete the anxiety attack. The production is perfect for their music, very organic, rocking and harsh. Despite the battery of keyboards the sound remains solid and raw, the atmosphere is dark and alien.
Nova-Express is a perfect modern prog trip, it's intense, bleak and nihilistic, but at the same time it's energizing, inspiring and full of vibrating creativity. Not for everyone obviously, but highly recommended if the above description and bands doesn't frighten you away.
Karl Bonnek

Quizás ames este disco apenas lo escuches. O quizás te tome tiempo y esfuerzo apreciar este trabajo (me parece lo más lógico), pero si perseveras entonces la recompensa será enorme. Yo sugeriría que como mínimo lo escuches como mínimo cinco veces con plena concentración. Después de alcanzar el punto en que las melodías siempre cambiantes te resulten familiares, es probable que no puedas abandonas este disco por mucho, mucho tiempo. Si soportas las primeras escuchas tiene la adicción garantizada.
Otro discazo sumamente recomendado! Ni se les ocurra perdérselo!



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