Over the years, Nemo bandleader Jean Pierre Louveton was frequently asked if their 2003 album Présages would become available again. Since the album was out of print and still many progressive rock aficionados were searching for the album; myself included; Présages was my missing Nemo album. JPL told me once, he was considering to re-record one of the Nemo albums; Présages in the original setting. He completely made my day and now the album lies in front of me; re-recorded one extra song and packed in a very nice digipack.
For sure, back in 2003 the compositions on Présages already were impressive and I think the album definitely was the one that got the band the recognition they deserved. Especially as they were one of the few progressive rock bands that sang in their native language, while the majority of bands remained on the safe English side. So, now the re-recorded album has to be reviewed. I can tell you about the songs, but the majority of readers are well aware of this classic album. What I can say, is the way the fifteen-year-old compositions have been given a polishing towards the music nowadays, but on the other hand, the little rough edge of the album still remains. For the ones who never got to listen to the original, the 2018 version of Présages could have been totally written in our modern times. Listen to the guitar lines during the album's opener La Dernière Vague, many modern progressive rock bands would have given anything to have that fine guitar sound. That is one of the things that really stands out on the album, the modern sound, especially the sound of the guitar lifts the album without any problems to our era. But also the mix, bass, keyboards and drums are even more balanced than before, completing the re-do of a classic album. Just listen to the four parts of Les Nouvelles Croisades or the three parts of La Mort Du Scorpion and you have to agree with me, this is a real progressive gem and truly worth being re-recorded and released.
The final track on the album is a bonus track. Le Pire Est Avenir is a new composition, written in 2017, but it creates the overall feeling as if the extra song also was written for the intentional album in 2003. Therefore, the extra one perfectly fits on Présages 2018.
For me the re-recording of this album is a very successful one. Drawn into the modern age, but still the nineties feeling that remains noticeable. For the fans who bought the original, I would recommend to buy this one as well, just to her how the album has evolved over the years. And don't forget the extra thirteen minutes that is Le Pire Est Avenir.
For myself, I am very pleased with this version, but I still will keep on searching for the 2003 one, just to complete my Nemo collection.
****+ Pedro Bekkers (edited by Tracy van Os van den Abeelen)
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