Que mejor que empezar la semana con la resubida de un tremendo discazo. Un colectivo francés que tiene varios frentes y pocos pero excelentes trabajos. Ya dije en el comentarios que no se pueden perder el otro disco de Nil ni los discos de sus proyectos paralelos: Syrinx y Thork. Un estilo muy particular que parte de una base de jazz rock atmosférico muy complejo para adentrarse a melodías sinfónicas de mucho gusto y permanente cambio y reestructuración, en canciones muy bien trabajadas, dejándonos un disco que te lleva a las nubes de una tremenda patada en el culo.
Álbum: Nil Novo Sub Sole
Género: Progresivo ecléctico / Sinfónico
Álbum: Nil Novo Sub Sole
Género: Progresivo ecléctico / Sinfónico
Lista de Temas:
1. Le gardien
1. Le gardien
- David Maurin / guitar & flute
- Samuel Maurin / bass & stick
- Benjamin Croizy / keyboards
- Frank Niebel / drums & percussion
- Roselyne Berthet / vocals
Elegir solamente una canción es un sacrilegio, pero para tengan una idea de cómo suena, les dejo un track como para que vayan degustando...
"Nil Novi sub sole" (Nada nuevo bajo el sol) fue el último álbum de la genial banda francesa Nil. Un disco, para mi gusto, absolutamente genial / maravilloso / bello / complejo / misterioso / oscuro / subyugante y mil cosas y elogios más. Lo mejor es que no solamente a mí me parece eso, porque si ven los comentarios que dejo debajo, se van a dar cuenta que lo que les digo no está muy elejado de la realidad.
Ya habíamos presentado anteriormente al excelente grupo francés Syrinx, bueno, este tiene mucho mucho que ver con esa agrupación, veamos que nos dice Rafa:
Para esta ocasión, imagínense un Syrinx pero con voces y guitarra eléctrica. No es raro, dado que comparten miembros. Experimental, progresivo, con toques de jazz y zeuhl. Qué más querés?Rafa
Hay que decir que es un disco al que hay que escucharlo por lo menos tres o cuatro veces antes de emitir opinión. Es un gran trabajo, donde la voz es de los puntos fuertes: suave, etérica y muy bella, pero los momentos instrumentales son mayoría absoluta.
El segmento musical principal por el que va circulando todo el disco es algo así como una interesante mezcla de rock progresivo sinfónico clásico con Avant-progresivo y segmentos de Space rock (son muy buenos en la creación de climas y atmosférias pero sin llegar jamás al ambient) y alguna sección más dura donde rozan el heavy progresivo pero sin abordarlo jamás, incluso algunas de las mejores secciones instrumentales son como un cruce inquietantemente intenso entre Yes y Genesis pero con un toque metálico, aunque también hay pasajes de ensueño y relajación en base a bella y tranquilas melodías, aunque como dijimos algo oscuras. Hay varias secciones de transición, progresiones y oscuros pasajes donde se transforma la tranquilidad en tensión, pero en el conjunto todo es realmente muy equilibrado, entretenido y cambiante.
En resumen, me gusta muchísimo el estilo de Nil y sus mezclas coherentes de estilo, su musicalidad y buen gusto, esos cambios continuos en cada tema, esos cambios de ritmo y de intención, ese espíritu de Syrinx que en Nil se expresa en toda la obra.
Vamos a los reviews:
Created by Benjamin Croizy (keyboards), David Maurin (guitars and flute), Samuel Maurin (basses and Stick) and Frank Niebel (drums), NIL was named like this in 1999. After two confidential CDs, the band reached a higher level with "Quarante jours sur le Sinaï (Fourty days on the Sinaï)", an ambitious concept-album, acclaimed by many reviewers, thus giving the band an international visibility.Unicorn Records
Till now mostly instrumental, Roselyne Berthet added her voice to NIL's music, before actually joining the band in 2002. The live DVD "Gouveia Art Rock Festival 2003", issued last year, permitted to offer in preview some new compositions taken from the long-waited next album : "NIL NOVO SUB SOLE".
Oh boy. What a gem this is. This was my personal favorite of the new releases in 2005. Hailing from France, Nil surprised everyone with this release despite the rave reviews on their previous disc Quarante Jours Sur Le Sinai. I would say this is a nearly perfect album. Excellent bass work, haunting Mellotron and organ interplay, intricate and hypnotic Chapman Stick and guitar, intermittent flute and female vocals that would make your hair stand on end. The only minus to the band is that all of their vocals are sung in French. Is that really a minus? I don't think so, but to many of our listeners it was. This is a band that would look great at a major festival event down the road. Comparisons are made to White Willow and Carpe Diem, but I get more reminders of NeBeLNeST and Ange in some ways. At any rate, this is one of the finest bands I have heard in a long time and kudos to the Unicorn Records label. What a thrill this was. A masterpiece!Top 10 album from Ghostland
For their fourth album, French symphonic proggers Nil chose to name their album "Nothing New Under the Sun," which is somewhat ironic given the state of symphonic prog these days. However, despite operating in a tired genre full of clichés, copycatting, and a general perversion of the word "progressive," Nil Novo Sub Sole manages to sound fresh. Much like contemporaries and countrymen Taal, Nil combine traditional symphonic prog idioms with touches of more strident styles (zeuhl, RIO) to keep things interesting.Brandon Wu
Dark and moody, Nil Novo Sub Sole is emotionally cool without being musically cold: warm tones and rich keyboard and guitar lines abound, yet the mood is dark, with an edge that compares to classic French proggers like Arachnoid or Shylock. The album is best represented by its epic opener. "Le Gardien" showcases a dazzling array of styles, particularly on the part of vocalist Roselyne Berthet, who switches between angelic singing (in French), energetic scat and zeuhlish chanting with practiced ease. Midway through comes an extended instrumental section with a spiraling, descending motif, which after fading into another vocal section turns on a dime and takes off on an entirely new direction that in parts sounds like 80s King Crimson. An excellent piece, complex and diverse enough to avoid easy digestion and encourage repeated listens.
The other tracks of note are two lengthy instrumentals in the middle of the album. Both these tracks have riffs that feature a harder-edged, almost metal guitar tone, as well as soaring guitar solos that just burn — but always within a greater compositional context. Intense, heavy guitar and Stick work is contrasted beautifully with more comtemplative keys and flute, though the mood is constantly a dreary one. I'm a big fan of this edgy sound, and these two tracks ("Déregénération" and "198") are my favorites on the album. After these two highlights, the album fails to hold my interest quite as well: staying in the same stylistic groove, the melodies don't seem quite as memorable and the edges quite as sharp. Still, the remaining two songs are far from filler, and have some excellent moments.
Mixing symphonic prog with metal, jazz, a slight hint of zeuhl and RIO, and an overall sound that is somehow very French is a formula for success for Nil. This style combined with an adept compositional touch, particularly when it comes to use of space and pace, guarantees a memorable album, which Nil Novo Sub Sole certainly is. It's not perfect, but if all neo-prog were of this caliber, maybe I'd think twice about proclaiming that symphonic prog is dead.
"Nil Novo Sub Sole" is the title of the latest release by the French progressive outfit Nil. This is disc number four for this band and quite possibly their best release to date. Fans of dark, zeulish progressive served up à la francaise will salivate over this disc. The band seems to have taken all the best elements from their superb "Quarante Jour Sur Le Sinai" album from 2003 and streamlined the ideas into a more cohesive package.Yves Dubé
The disc opens with the epic Le Gardien, a monumental tour-de-force of dark progressive punctuated by the sublime soprano vocals of Roselyne Berthet. Her delicate voice soars in very mellow acoustic moments throughout the track. In contrast, the instrumental portions of the track (and there plenty of those) rock out in classic symphonic progressive fashion. The track slowly builds in intensity, layering different musical lines and featuring some superb analog keys (yes, including the mighty 'Tron) from Benjamin Croizy. The number seems to reach an apogee approximately 12 minutes in only to build up a major (major!) head of steam. Beginning from a delicate keyboard line and jazzy drum beat, the track takes the listener from the top of the world to the nether regions of the underworld in a heart-stopping musical freefall which lasts a solid 5 minutes. The drum beat keeps getting more and more insistent as the guitar washes in and the track cascades ever downward. Guitarist David Maurin shows off in an impressively technical solo which seems to hit many plateaus on its way down. Berthet's other-worldy vocals kick in to return us to a quieter place before the track veers into a completely different direction before ending.
This number is followed by the very dark and creepy Linceul (The shroud). This track will make the hairs of your neck rise up. It's primarily a showcase piece for the exalted voice of Berthet, accentuated with some somber keyboards and guitar synth passages. The track has a very melancholic feel to it.
Déregénération is the third track on the album and may be the showcase piece for Nil to put on display their instrumental prowess. This one has all the elements that makes French progressive so damned enjoyable. Shades of French progressive giants, past and present, can be heard on this excellently crafted piece. At times quiet and serene, at times tempestuous and volatile, this is one monster track and some of the best instrumental progressive I've heard this year. The foursome shows off some serious chops, but never at the expense of the overall song.
198 is the name of track number four. This is another relatively lengthy instrumental piece. This track has a slightly harder edged sound to it, featuring more crunchy guitars and fatter bass lines. I'm reminded at times of fellow Unicorn Digital artists Spaced Out and Talisma on this track, although the truly French approach to progressive rock does make its appearance in spurts throughout the number.
The following track is entitled Abandon and returns the voice of Berthet into the fold. She dominates the number as her voice changes from angelic passages to more straight-forward rock singing, demonstrating a very good vocal range in the process. Although lyric-heavy, we are still treated to some excellent instrumental passages, with the band once again putting an emphasis on drama.
The disc closer in titled Dérives. This track returns us into the band's darker regions. It slowly builds from a hypnotic cadence but never fully blossoms. The music seems to be held in check throughout the number. The changes to the melody line are very subtle. Berthet's voice soars to new heights halfway through and closes the disc off in a very à propos haunting fashion with the album's final lyrical passages.
I don't know how Unicorn Digital managed to sign these guys right under the noses of major French labels like Musea, but they've landed themselves a very big fish indeed. This is the kind of disc which restores my faith in modern symphonic progressive rock. One never has the feeling that Nil are merely "going through the motions of prog", which alas, often is the case with many newer bands. This is simply one of the finest progressive records I've heard in 2005. Highly recommended.
Nil is a French progressive rock quintet who have released their second album - Nil Novo Sub Sole. The band consists of Roselyne Berthet on vocals, Benjamin Croizy on keyboards, David Maurin on guitars and flute, Samuel Maurin on bass and Stick, and Frank Niebel on drums, According to the promo sheet the band was primarily an instrumental outfit until only more recently adding Berthet on vocals. However, though Berthet is an excellent singer, the band remains, for the most part, primarily instrumental.Jerry Kranitz
The CD opens with the 20 minute epic "Le Gardien", which starts off with spacey keyboards, a slow melodic guitar pattern and Roselyne Berthet's flowing French language vocals. But it quickly launches into the main segment, which is an interesting blend of classic and avant-progressive rock influences. There are hints of RIO stylings at times, but even then the music is highly accessible, and combined with classic prog influences. I liked the spacey segments that serve as tension building devices. "Deregeneration" is the other lengthy track of the set and is heavier and more energetic than "Le Gardien". Nil are very good at creating brooding atmospherics. And some of the best instrumental sections of this track are like a hauntingly intense cross between Yes and Genesis, but with a metallic edge, though there are also dreamy keyboard and flute passages that keep things firmly in classic the progressive rock domain. "198" is a much ballsy metal-ish tune with some fiery guitar and keyboard parts. It's got the dark and foreboding transitional sections and tension building bits too, but it all really comes together nicely on this song. Definitely one of the most expressive and cohesive compositions on the album. "Abandon" and "Derives" are two more strong tracks that round out the set.
In summary, I enjoyed Nil's style of progressive rock, which incorporates multiple influences from symphonic progressive, to metal, to spacey ambience, and even occasional smatterings of avant-prog. If you like continual changes in theme, rhythmic pace and atmosphere, these guys serve it up in heaps.
In my book Nil Novo Sub Sole possibly is one of the greatest modern prog albums. When I take a look at some of the records that we today herald as being groundbreaking and earth shattering pieces of prog rock, I must admit to feeling a bit sad on Nil's behalf. This album is about the most innovative piece of work I've come across in the past 20 years. Sure, just like a lot of other progressive artists, you hear certain bits and pieces harking back to the old time greats, but then again I find it next to impossible describing the sound and feel of Nil just by throwing a bunch of names on the table. This album is as unique as a carrot screwdriver or a ballet dancing boa constrictor.David Guldbamsen
The first thing that hits you will probably be the venomous bite of front vocalist Roselyne Berthet. This woman sounds like a beautiful French vampire - whispering soft icy emanations in your ear. She's seductive, diabolic and angelic all cooked up in a manner that has you trembling with lust and fear simultaneously.
This icy voice blends incredibly well with the overall ambiance of the band, which shines through in the sound-production like one of those freezing winter mornings, where the sun is terrifyingly white like an exploding bag of radioactive flour. This makes for a cold and serene feel to the music, and although the two acts sound nothing alike, what this clean and frosty feel reminds me the most of, is Dead Can Dance's masterpiece Within the Realm of a Dying Sun. There's a similar sense of abandonment and desertion to this album. The thing is, you don't feel detached from the music - the result is far more complex, and conveying how this mystifying approach actually works, would take all of my evening - plus the fact that you'd have to be a trained shaman from Ecuador to actually fathom this highly original musical trade.
Slowly rising up between these trembling vocal ice plates - we are treated to lethargic oscillating synth layers that sound like they're ascending steam from a boiling kettle. Gently and swirling - reminding me a great deal of the type of ambient wizardry you'll find in Richard Barbieri's playing. Counterpointing this intangible piece of the puzzle, we have perhaps my favourite ingredient in the mix, which is the powerful and reckless drumming. Frank Niebel is the name of the man behind the kit, and this guy is without a doubt one of the most incredible modern drummers. He never plays what you'd expect him to do. With an overpowering lust for insane, complex and just impossible rhythms - he injects every piece of music within this recording with something audacious and off-kilter. I've never encountered so many poly-rhythms in such a short amount of time - well not any that work this beautifully! On paper this bizarre, angular and utterly aggressive approach should fail miserably, but it is just one of the magic components of this album that makes it soar and glide like a bald headed vaseline eagle.
Then you have the propulsive bass lines and the metallish squares of the guitars filling up this monstrous sonic bathtub - now complete with sea creatures, nymphs and underwater vampires snapping out after you. One could easily put a sticker on this album calling it Zeuhl - or maybe symphonic - then again you could deem it to be metal, no better yet avant gothic prog rock with 50 litres of blood in it... There is no way you can box this creature down - it lives on its own terms, frolicking wildly among those preceding musical masterpieces that answer to no one. It is very rare that I look for that fleeting 6th star, but this is certainly one of those special cases.
This is music that every morning plays for old sea captains standing on the edge of the beach - seductively being summoned by the sea - wooed by the crystal music of icebergs blue. If you'd like to join them in their never-ending quest, then you certainly need this awe inspiring gemstone. It is beautiful like a thousand white suns.
It's very hard for me not to give this 5 stars. After some more listens i may change the rating,you never know. This is beautiful,dark,haunting music with some amazing drumming and guitar work. The ethereal vocals of Roselyne Berthet only add to the atmosphere of this incredible album. Her vocals remind me of Synne Larsen's from IN THE WOODS... There is mellotron as well which only makes this even more ominous sounding.John Davie
"Le Gardien" opens with haunting synths with acoustic guitar as the female French vocals come in.Then there is a quirky sort of melody that reminds me of ANGLAGARD.This is followed by a big change in the sound.The vocals sound great as does the melody.The tempo and mood shifts continue as a dark,subdued mood moves in including mellotron. A tasteful guitar solo comes in after 14 minutes that goes on and on. Vocals are back late in the song. "Linceul" is a dark and ominous tune with vocals,synths and some brief piano, all moving very slowly.
"Deregeneration" is my favourite song on the album. It's an instrumental masteriece with mellotron and synths playing almost all the time. Organ and drums become the backdrop for the grinding guitar melodies. Keys replace the guitar as mellotron waves crash the scene. The guitar comes back and it's angry as we hear it rip it up ! Some riffing followed by wailing guitars as mellotron flows in. Some powerful guitar is followed by more mellotron. What a song ! Vocal melodies and some odd metered drumming arrive before the song starts to brighten after 11 minutes.This is caused by some uplifting guitar as drums pound away. Nice. Flute before this one ends. Whew ! "198" is an instrumental. Lots of energy a minute in with some incredible guitar playing too. Mellotron is back. Or did it not leave ?
"Abandon" opens with drums and vocals that give it a jazzy feel. A definite change in the vocals and mood though follows. Piano comes in then heavy guitar,then piano comes back. What a moody song ! "Derives" has this backgound of synths that comes in waves as the drums pound out a steady beat. The vocal melodies are cool. She actually starts to slowly sing after 5 minutes to end the song.
I just love this style of music. It has emotion,it's dark and the vocals fit perfectly. I really can't see how they can top this one!
This French band has released 3 previous albums and their preceding album was a remarkable achievement. A concept album made up of two acts over 40 minutes and without interruptions. Here Nil changes to an album made up of 6 tracks, two of which are instrumentals.Assaf Vestin
Le Gardien begins softly with a guitar playing two chords, accompanied by synth and the voice of Roselyne, the female vocalist. This goes on for 2:10 minutes and then the music becomes more dynamic and faster due to the synth speeding things up ad in come the drums and the rest of the band joins in. Roselyne does a very good job with her beautiful voice, creating some haunting melodies. Though her voice is more appropriate for plain singing in a low key, she manages to deliver the right emotions in all the ways she sings here. Le Gardien's sound and appealing sound owes it to her voice and the keyboards as well. The guitar part is good but a bit repetitive sounding, and it will change in the coming other songs. This songs spans over 20 minutes in length and as all other songs here, switches tempo and swings between slow, contemplative drum-less parts to more energetic guitar and keyboard driven parts. To me this is a beautiful song filled with much emotions, harmonies and good vocal parts. However, I suspect some might find this song boring, repetitive and going nowhere. While I can understand this criticism I do not agree with it and all I can say is that this is eventually determined by your taste and this song is to my taste. A criticism I accept about this song (which does not apply to the other songs here), is that it may sound hollow, as if it misses some more sounds filling it, like there are instruments not present, that should be. Maybe this problem could have been reslved in the making of this album. Another thing is that towards the 17th minute it sounds as if the songs ends and then it reemerges sounding like a different song altogether. This is not a problem, but why not separate it to two songs?
The second song, Linceul, is a blurry hazy song made up of a synth playing continuous chords and Roselyne speaking/singing with it. This song functions more a border between the first song and the rest of the album which is different in style and so to allow us to understand that we are about to listen to something else. It may sound as filler and to me it is not particularly interesting. It is quite short (almost 4 minutes) and in comparison with the other tracks, it should get minor attention.
Deregeneration is an instrumental and it is a more dynamic track, original with much more active guitar and keyboards. The music keeps on changing moods and shape during this one and Nil comes up with new twists and adds more flavours to it all the time. The music switches from calm and heavenly to distortion guitar lead with a scary atmosphere enhanced by the keyboards. In this track you hear well all the instruments players and their playing abilities. There is no extravaganza and bombastic playing, but rather an elegant show of capabilities. This is also true regarding the next track. This track Nil shows a slight tendency towards RIO. This is varied and original music.
198 is another instrumental and here like in the first track they begin softly and quietly without drums and they switch to a full blown song after about 40 seconds. Like in Deregeneration, the composition here is original and varied with many contradicting moods within it. In its concept it resembles the previous track and it is as good.
Abandon is a good song and has a sort of free-jazz feel in some parts. What I appreciate most here is the shifts from disharmonic to harmonic tunes, greatly aided by Roselyne's voice. The songs' ending is superbly done.
Derives is a repetitive musical part, around which the keyboards, drums and Roselyne's voice revolve and add their enriching elements to it. She only sings at the very end, when the music begins to fade. It is a fitting closing track.
Nil knows how to create captivating original and interesting music. They put in it different ingredients that seem maybe to contradict each other, but the result is excellent and the music is beautiful. This album has enriched me and given me much pleasure and I recommend it wholeheartedly.
Sin duda uno de los mejores álbums que salieron en el 2005, absolutamente recomendado, no dejen pasar esta verdadera joya del progresivo. Imperdible.