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Nebuleyes - "Divine Revolution" (CD)

Nebuleyes - "Divine Revolution" CD cover image

"Divine Revolution" track listing:

1. Revolution Divine
2. Endorphine et Placenta
3. Digitaline
4. Elixir

Reviewed by on August 11, 2008

"If you're a fan of Joe Satriani and Pain Of Salvation, this will be stylistically up your alley"

A 32 minute opening track should be a daunting task for even a seasoned prog-metal band like Symphony X, and yet progressive bands feel compelled to the epic ideals of length, concept and artistic virtuosity. This is where we meet the futuristic French Nebuleyes, composed of guitar maestros Xavier Boscher and Benjamin Masson. As with most prog acts, I tend to fly over any pretentious album concepts and get to the music deciding posthumously if it warrants attention, so let's go flying.

Discarding the annoyance of not being able to skip to certain sections, when compared to the like of Oxiplegatz's 30 minute opus "Sidereal Journey" (also recorded with a small budget) "Revolution Divine" is a track that could have done with some editing. Why did I mention Oxiplegatz? Well for one they're great, but for two Nebuleyes has a commonality in the futuristic electronic clouds of sound that mingles in between musical sections. Incidentally though it's not a bad track and you will no doubt be on the path to fandom if it has piqued your interest. If you're a fan of Joe Satriani and Pain Of Salvation, this will be stylistically up your alley. The non-technical prog atmosphere feels rather laid back and elevator music-y at times but perhaps one too many replays of Atheist and Opeth albums have twisted my mind into a contorted beast apathetic to simple music.

The vocals are entirely in French, which unlike Alcest or Mortifera doesn't do the metal-cred too many favors, at least perhaps when crooned with mid range vocals. However, most open minded people will feel that whether jaunting German, scathing Norwegian or plain old indecipherable screaming, the language of metal is the same. Or should that be hard rock? This is not the most metal of albums and falls into that "prog" grey space between the metal Dream Theater and a simple Genesis.

On from the 30 minute epic, "Endorphine et Placenta" melds dreamy Satriani-esque solos with an upbeat undercurrent. The guitar work is outstanding and a true feature of the album, which as it progresses, feels much more like a one-guitar show. Underneath these liquid solos however I was disappointed with the rhythm tracks, which are at best straight forward and at worst simply meandering. The drums especially were ho-hum and can make this album seem more like guitar mastery over fluff than song writing gold. I've previously heard programmed drums work superbly in several bands, but "Divine Revolution" is begging for something less mechanical. On the other hand, the bass guitar is brought into the fold and tender vibrato and slides are blended in to support the shredding which has taken center stage. The instrumental "Digitaline" moves into an electronic Emerson Lake & Palmer groove next with a jazzy flair, and is followed up by another instrumental track “Elixir.” In these last tracks metal fans will no doubt press the eject button, but as the instrumental affair leaps genres with fusion strides the target progressive audience will no doubt still be around and enjoying the show. If this sounds like you, don't hesitate to support global metal in the form of Nebuleyes' "Revolution Divine."

Highs: Classy guitar work, nice electronic sequences and a genuine aspiration to progressive ideals

Lows: Uninspiring rhythm sections and relatively simple musical progression throughout the album

Bottom line: Setting the sights slightly too high on what still feels like an immature release by talented musicians

Rated 2.5 out of 5 skulls
2.5 out of 5 skulls


Key
Rating Description
Rated 5 out of 5 skulls Perfection. (No discernable flaws; one of the reviewer's all-time favorites)
Rated 4.5 out of 5 skulls Near Perfection. (An instant classic with some minor imperfections)
Rated 4 out of 5 skulls Excellent. (An excellent effort worth picking up)
Rated 3.5 out of 5 skulls Good. (A good effort, worth checking out or picking up)
Rated 3 out of 5 skulls Decent. (A decent effort worth checking out if the style fits your tastes)
Rated 2.5 out of 5 skulls Average. (Nothing special; worth checking out if the style fits your taste)
Rated 2 out of 5 skulls Fair. (There is better metal out there)
< 2 skulls Pretty Bad. (Don't bother)