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NeBeLNeST - NoVa eXPReSS  CD (album) cover





4.12 | 65 ratings

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Eclectic & C/JRF Prog Team
5 stars 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 stars.

Tapfret | 5/5 |


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