Reviewed: February 2003
Released: 2002, Laser\’s Edge
Reviewer: Night of the Realm
When Nemesis’ third and latest album, EDEN? arrived in my mailbox, I instinctively knew that this would be a good album. Standing out immediately was the cover. Well drawn and bleak in concept, it piqued my interest immediately. Second, the fact that the band is from Hungary furthered my curiosity.
Nemesis plays progressive heavy metal influenced mainly by Dream Theater and some mid-period Fates Warning, though unlike either band, the main focus is on guitarist Zoltán Fábián. Nemesis’ sound is somewhat heavier than many progressive metal bands, reminding me very much of Symphony X’s sound on their latest album, THE ODYSSEY. Rather than incessant noodling and guitar wanking, Fábián opts for more of a riff-based approach.
Gathering a little background information in Nemesis, I discovered that the band dates back to 1997 with two previous albums to their credit from 1998 and 1999. The current line-up is the second incarnation of the band, with founding members György Nagy (keyboard) and Zoltán Fábián (guitars) carrying the band forward after an initial split in 2000. EDEN? is also the band’s first attempt at an album sung in English.
EDEN? contains eight tracks spanning just over fifty minutes in length. The first three songs on the album are three delicious pieces detailing everything I love about technical progressive metal. “Reality’s Door,” and “Four Mirrors” reminding me of Dream Theater’s SCENES FROM A MEMORY. The title track, “Eden?” is where Nemesis really show their skills, and is also my favourite song on the album. The song opens with an extended intro with a very cool tribal jam drum march with an Eastern flair on the synths. Carrying on in much the same fashion, this is one of the more epic songs on the disc. Reading and listening to the lyrics on the album, I am surprised that the band’s has no problem with the foreign language, and Zoltán Kiss with very little accent at all. “Eternal Circle” is another great tune with some of the band’s finest playing, and even more folkish/Eastern elements. Another favourite of mine is “Escape,” which is driven by an intense, catchy rhythm with an unusual pace. Closing out the album is “Viragenek,” an Hungarian folk-song of piano and vocals sung in Hungarian. Although this song is completely out of place with the rest of the album, I still found it enjoyable.
For only their third release, Nemesis demonstrate a considerable amount of professionalism in terms of musicianship and songwriting. The band still has room to grow, and a new album is due out in early 2003. I strongly urge fans of progressive metal to check out Nemesis and keep a watch on them in the future.
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