Neronia - Limnotapes

(CD 2014,48:14, NE CD1003)

The tracks:
  1- Darkland Intro(02:54)
  2- Sleep My Child(06:12)
  3- Only Sometimes(05:12)
  4- Clouds Of Tears(03:34)
  5- Journeys End(06:15)
  6- Go This Way(06:03)
  7- Watching TV(04:11)
  8- Marching On(05:22)
  9- Another Year(06:14)
10- Open Space(01:56)

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Some 20 years ago I bought a CD named Neronia from a German band Ulysses. I loved their neo prog and was impressed by this production by Clive Nolan (Arena) and Karl Groom (Threshold). But this neo prog band suddenly disappeared from the radar. To avoid legal problems, the current members of the band, Falk Ullmann (vocals), Rudiger Zaczyk (guitars), Michael Stein (keyboards), Lutz Beberwell (bass) and Dirk Hartel (drums) had to change the name of the band into Neronia (!) and now they are back again with the successor Limnotapes.

The intro to Darkland consists mainly of spooky soundscapes with a heavy guitar riff at the end. The next one Sleep My Child could be a song done by the boys in Saga. The same guitar riffs, excellent vocals and good hook lines from drums and bass. The melodic guitar solos from Rudiger are a real pleasure for my ears. This is an excellent start. In the third song Only Sometimes you can discover the same musical structure-several melodic passages with synth and guitar solos. An acoustic guitar can be heard in the romantic ballad Clouds Of Tears. The lyrics are quite cynical and bitter - "A sad memory comes to you - clouds of tears - she took the love from you - leaving loneliness to you". In the beautiful Journey's End we are treated with lingering synth solos and Camel-like guitar play. In the next song Go This Way you can easily hear the influences of the American band Styx. Unfortunately, this song isn't a favourite of mine as it is too predictable and not catchy enough. In Watching TV Neronia describes the ambivalent function of this medium. Glamour and glitter in Europe and North America and on the other hand, poverty in Africa and war in Iraq. The critical lyrics and the neo prog go well together. Marching On is the prototype of a militaristic, fascist style song with bombastic guitar riffs. Itīs never hard rock or metal music but it's still uplifting. The music is a lot calmer in the ballad Another Year. The theme of this song is, of course, love, but more the essence of missing each other for the eternal love. The now familiar triangular guitar playing and synth solo comes back regularly. The last and very short song Open Space is another instrumental one. 48 minutes of old fashioned Neo Prog has come to an end.

***+ Cor Smeets (edited by Robert James Pashman)

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