Álbum: Quarante Jours Sur Le Sinaï
Género: Progresivo ecléctico / Sinfónico
haya escuchado el álbum de estos franceses geniales (y quien no lo
hizo, no pierda más tiempo) sabrá que este es uno de esos grupos que es
capaz de llevarlo a uno a tocar las nubes en un viaje casi místico. Ya
que lo había presentado y para no dejar pasar la oportunidad de traer
este tipo de genialidades, traigo el disco anterior de esta gente.
NIL causó buena impresión en la comunidad rock progresiva gracias a su álbum "Nil Novo Sub Sole", uno de los discos más vendidos por el Sello Unicorn Digital, casa que produjo el disco. Otro disco del que NIL puede sentirse orgulloso, es "Quarante Jours sur le Sinaï", álbum realizado originalmente en 2002, reeditado en 2006 por este Sello canadiense que produce mucho del mejor rock progresivo actual.Alfredo Tapia Carreto
"Quarante Jours sur le Sinaï" es un álbum conceptual y un proyecto de investigación bien documentado. Trata sobre el apogeo y la caída de la legendaria Atlántida y su descendencia, el Egipto ancestral. El concepto, creado por Benjamin CROIZY (sintetizadores, melotrón, órgano de iglesia, órgano Hammond, piano, MS 20, tímpanos), David MAURIN (guitarras preparadas, flauta, gong, clarinete bajo), Samuel MAURIN (bajo, stick, voz, encantamientos egipcios) y Frank NIEBEL (batería, percusiones), es el tercer álbum de NIL, el responsable de otorgarle al grupo reconocimiento internacional. Y aunque básicamente instrumental, la aparición de Roselyne BERHET como vocalista invitada fue tan impactente que a partir de entonces se convertiría en vocalista de base. Otros músicos invitados aquí fueron Eric VEDOVATI (vocales), Samy CYR (voces etéreas), Anne CAYROL (chelo), Hervé FRANCONI (saxo soprano), François PERNEL (arpa) y Audrey CASELLA (narrador), quienes con su gran interpretación le dieron elegancia y unidad al álbum, finamente interpretado y apoyado por una buena investigación; el CD incluye las referencias bibliográficas de ésta.
Grabar este álbum le tomó dos años a la banda y tanto esmero se refleja en la cualidad del producto final. Dividido en 29 cortes diferentes, introducción, ocho capítulos y epílogo, en realidad se trata de dos actos épicos representados con mucho del mejor del rock progresivo. Es un álbum magnífico, incapaz de mantenerse en una línea musical única; aquí uno escucha Arte Rock, música formal, folclor, jazz, progresivo sinfónico, rock en oposición, música experimental, metal, ritmo, disonancia, armonías melódicas, y todo interpretado con maestría y sensibilidad... no se qué más puedo decirte. Lo último que se me ocurre es comentar que "Quarante Jours sur le Sinaï" ingresó a la lista de mis 100 favoritos, desplazando a otro álbum considerado ahí (renovarse o morir). "Quarante Jours sur le Sinaï" es un álbum 100% progresivo, INTELIGENTE, culto, aventurado, emotivo, avant garde, capaz de saturarte los sentidos de elegancia musical. No te lo debes perder.
El grupo se basa en una historia egipcia que tiene al Nilo y su historia como protagonista, para profundizar en la música poco convencional.
El discazo conceptual está dividido en dos partes de media hora cada uno, en ellas hay divididas un total de 29 secciones encadenadas para formar todo un bloque (ocho capítulos sobre el Exilio, Osiris, Isis, Thot, el Nilo, La teocracia, Mri, Moïse y el Epílogo), ya que el corte entre estos dos actos es imperceptible, dando una obra sólida y compacta en toda su extensión.
Y como decía Lino, para muestra basta un botón... en este caso algunos videos.
Vamos a los reviews:
"The day it is born to eternity is a beautiful day..." [Book of the Aegyptian Dead]Nilman
NIL is a very highly, I mean VERY HIGHLY talented group from France, who's ambitiousness, perfectionism and talent could be described for example via the song in their first self produced record: There's a track Nogegon that is a palindromic song both in lyrical and in musical way; it took two years to complete it, they say! As their debut is a bit harsh especially in vocal parts, that are fortunalely few, the quality and brilliance in compositions and playing push strongly through making you certain that here's a band to expect something great to come. And that's for sure, because in their third record there's not a slighest hint of that harshness anymore, the vocals are in highest order now, and the band has matured into a full blossom! This album is a true and rare Masterpiece, one of a kind in progressive music!
Now I'm about to review this Stunning record and it should be done as proper way as this beautiful music deserves, but forgive me for my words will not do the justice - anyhow, I'll do what I can... Quarante jours sur le Sinai is actually a live album even if it's impossible to recognize as one. It was recorded live over two years between september 1999 and september 2001 including church organs recorded at st Pierre's cathedral in Annecy. Besides the band members, the group consisted of several additional musicians - including the forthcoming band member Roselyne Berthet - no wonder why they took her as a full time member because of her magnificent dark and beautiful soprano voice.
"The desire for perfection is that desire which always makes every pleasure appear incomplete, for there is no joy or pleasure so great in this life that it can quench the thirst in our soul" [Dante]
I wonder if Nil feels pleasure from this piece of perfect work? And yes, it is perfect. I cannot name a single thing they've should done differently. The album is a thematic tale from the ancient Sinai and the lyrics and the story is based mostly on ancient texts like Dante, Plato, Bible, some papyrus and so on, that are all written up and there's even a bibliography of them. And the tale is more like a collection of minor tales and wisdoms than a story of forty days. Well, lyrics may appear incomplete in English - a lots of stuff written in French is missing from the English translation. A pages of lyrics exist, but they are not sung. Berthet sings only some verses from here and there and it accomplishes the mysticism of the tale - it's nice to read pieces from it, but I really don't mind not to get it completely.
Quarante jours sur le Sinai is not only a theme album but a theme song, consisting of two acts creating together an hour of total pleasure. The main musical theme of the album, telling the ancient tale from Sinai, is somehow always constant and present, while the texture is wild and changing. The Egyptian, or Arabic influences can be heard throughout this album, but it's more like a flavor than a subject. The music is carried on mainly with a beautiful quitar picking of David, stretched and very moody fretless bass / stick of Samuel, spacey keyboard playing of Benjamin and very accurate percussion of Frank added with some extra instruments. It's mostly instrumental, but Roselyne joins in with her beautiful vocals occationally, sometimes adding only ethereal background voices. The group plays together amazingly well and the composition is superb, which can be heard from perfect passages that are numerous.
"I am all that Hath been, Is and Shall be, and my Veil, no mortal hathever yet uncovered" [Plutarch]
The word is "developing". Quarante jours Sur Le Sinai is a continuous flow of pleasure, made from intelligent pieces and parts that come and go and joins together in a manner hard to comprehend. One cannot tell how the music changes and develops, it just does and it does it all the time. This is Sneaky! I have ever never heard so smooth and stealthy changes - after this you can point another view for those! So, if you're listening to 43'00 or 06'35 you can instantly tell they're strongly connented to each other, but you cannot tell what's the similarity! And that's amazing! How in hell they can play it live, remember the whole thing? And This Is Not Just About Jamming, It's something brilliant my brains fancy about! An ever demanding piece of puzzle, impossible to solve, that's NIL!
Now what it comes to individual parts... If you're expecting fast solos, guitar heroism and things like that, you're in a totally wrong place! Here you get some stunning interplay, co-play, not even forgetting brilliant individuals of picking of bass, guitars, drums or vocals, but their purpose, the thing is All for one, one for all. Here you can hear the utter commitment to the music they play, the music is not for them, but they are for the music! All my respect to this brilliant group for that! But Oh Boy, how well this all are performed! The base is the very impressive bass playing using fretless bass and stick and I believe there's quite some overlayed bass lines there. the border between the bass being a base, rhythmic or solo instrument is blurred and sometimes it's being played like it was a mellotron! Actually all the instruments are used in the same very variable and creative way and always elegantly and style - including Berthet on vocals that goes from fast speaking parts to high operatic soprano vocalese.
"In the world of magic, it was believed that the representation of an object or of a being could easily be brought to life if the name of the object or being in question was used properly" [Enel]
Well Quarante Jours is alive already! You may think that a song one hour long might be dull, but you wouldn't be more wrong, for it's so complex, offering details, small and big in quite a many level, you just cannot get used to it - It sounds new and fresh after years of listening - and that's a relief and a banner forever! This is no easy music: If you'll purchase this album, don't expect you'll like it right away! It first may sound only 'promising' and it will get quite some spins to get into. For NIL has created a perfect combination of complexity, fusion, rio and avant prog... metal, ethno, classical music with all the soprano works and chamber... and their main influences are... Oh, well, maybe there's no actually main influences and maybe I even cannot name the genre of this music because it's truly original, but complex and unpopular it is, that's for sure.
This is probably the Best Progressive Rock Album Ever Recorded! This is one of my most played album ever and there's no signs of boredom yet - just the opposite: After a thousand times of hearing I cannot write a proper review of it, there's still a lot to explore in Sinai, it's such a big place - What more a progger like me can ever hope for?
What an impressive release from the French band NIL. After reviewing the THORK album, i'm starting to believe that the Maurin brothers(the two guitarists) are musical masterminds. THORK is a side project for them that is a little experimental, with an Avant feel to it. Another side project is SYRINX, more dark and atmospheric music. So although this is another dark record there is so much variety on it, from Jazz to Fusion to Avant and even some Metal. And yet this record flows like a river.John Davie
There is a real harmony to the record. It's a concept album about Egypt and it's gods, made up of part I(over 36 min.) and part II(over 26 min.). On my stereo it shows 28 songs, and most of them flow into each other with no break in between. Another observation is the instruments used, from mellotron to cello and harp, sax, church organ, clarinet and more. Male and female singers as well, although there is by far more instrumental music than vocals. The joy for me is listening to the lead guitarist David Maurin play. The different styles he plays, the unique sounds, from fiery to angular to scrorching to riffs to acoustic and so on.
Buying this NIL record is a no brainer, there is enough complexity and variety and beauty to keep even the most seasoned progger interested for a long time.
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.Yves Dube
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.
Well I was first exposed to this fantastic French band called Nil through their 2005 release from Unicorn Records called Nil Novo Sub Sole. Now their new label has re-released their 2002 album, Quarante Jours Sur Le Sinai. My findings on Nil Novo Sub Sole, are present here as well. The only difference to my ears is the guitar playing isn’t metallic, other than that the haunting melodies and French vocals are ever present as well as the Crimsoneque passages.ProgNaut
On Quarante Jours Sur Le Sinai, there’s listed two long tracks, Acte 1 & Acte 2 but on the actual cd there’s 29 tracks. While the individual tracks make it easier to get to certain spots, it takes away from the epic flow, in my humble opinion. Other than that, it is a fantastic piece of music that gets many repeat listens.
If you’re not familiar with Nil, you’re missing out on something special. Both of the releases on Unicorn Digital are excellent starting points. I would recommend purchasing both of them at the same time from your favorite vendor. I hope the band’s other two albums will get re-released as well. I would recommend this to fans of modern French progressive rock as well as fans of King Crimson, The Red Masque and so many other like minded bands.
I heard "Quarante Jours Sur Le Sinaï" and I was stunned. It's a captivating concept album. Roselyn Berthet's voice is exquisiste. This album deserves a try. It won't let you down regardless of the style of prog you like. A masterpiece!Boomer
Original, dark but with no shadows (of doubt). A fabulous masterpiece from a country where progressive music is being so well treated (Priam, Taal, Sotos, Nebelnest, Syrinx, Thork...). All here is inventive, all here is fascinating. Do you really want to know if there's a future for symphonic prog rock? Well, here it is. Grab it while you can!Luis Loureiro
This is the band's 2nd full-length album and the one that got them some worldwide recognition in the prog circles as well. It is an album about the Egyptian mythology: an ambitious concept containing two acts and a total of over 60 minutes of music and it manages to keep things interesting the whole time. What I like most about this album, and about this band in general, are the many influences that band has and this makes the music varied. Some styles that can be heard are symphonic, jazz-rock, RIO and even metal. The heavier and calmer sections alternate and float naturally. Despite these many influences the overall feel is still clearly symphonic but it is very unique in this style. In this album there is also lots of Eastern elements because of the concept. The vocals are by female and male guest singers but the music is mostly instrumental. The female singer Roselyne Berthet, who was later to become a permanent member of the band, almost exclusively delivers the vocal parts.Geezer
A special mention for an excellent detailed booklet in which the whole concept is written both in French and English!
Conclusion: This is an excellent and rewarding album but still pales in comparison for what was to come
In 2003, French prog act NIL released their fine third album, the hypnotic and evocative QUARANTE JOURS LE SINAI (Forty days on the Sinai). This is very professional and varied music -- at times reminiscent of Andy Summers and Robert Fripp's 80s collaborations (the sparkling guitar & stick work brought Summers to mind immediately) -- at others much like a film score. Instrumentation includes fretless bass; Chapman stick (as popularized by Crimson's Tony Levin); some highly accomplished lead guitar that can touch upon the terrains of metal, jazz, and Crimson-esque pure prog within a short span of time; piano and the full gamut of prog keyboards; drums and percussion; and a colourful palette of secondary instruments like flute, harp, cello and sax that nicely fill out the sound, and keep things interesting and dynamic. Add to all the instrumental wizardry some good but sparingly-used male and female vocals (all in French), courtesy of a cadre of fine singers, and you have all that one might wish for in a new "symphonic" prog recording.Peter
In classic prog style, this concept disc is organized into two long "Acts" (or suites), that very convincingly capture the atmosphere of ancient Egypt and the Sinai peninsula. Listening to this excellent music, I leave the frigid, dark days of the looming Canadian winter far behind (or, at least, comfortably outside), and journey to an exotic, mysterious, and sun-blasted ancient land.
Yes, Virginia (or is it Joren?) -- there IS great new original progressive rock. It is alive and well, and currently residing in France -- with extended forays to the Middle East. Take a trip to the sands of the Sinai with NIL today! Highly recommended
Absolutamente recomendado, no dejen pasar esta otra joya de este terrible grupo. Imperdible.
- David Maurin / prepared guitars, flute, gong, bass clarinet
- Samuel Maurin / bass, stick, voice, Aegyptian incantations
- Benjamin Croizy / synthesizers, mellotron, church organ, Hammond organ, piano, MS 20, timpani
- Frank Niebel / drums, percussion
Roselyn Berthet / vocals, ethereal voices
Eric Vedovati / vocals
Samy Cyr / ethereal voices
Anne Cayrol / cello
Hervé Franconi / soprano saxophone
Francois Pernel / harp
Audrey Casella / narrator