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Numen - 'Numenclature' http://www.rocktopia.co.uk/media/reviews/photos/thumbnail/200x200s/ea/d8/54/numen-numenclature-73-1523646241.jpg Hot

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If you like accessible Prog then I'm sure you'll find something to your tastes.

I have to hold my hands up and admit that I'd never heard of Spanish Progressive band Numen when I was asked to review their second long player 'Numenclature'. The Spaniards formed in 1992 and four years later added new vocalist César Alcaraz (up until then bassist Victor Arques was handling vocal duties). Two years later they released their debut album 'Samsara' which by all accounts garnered favourable reviews.

I'm not sure why, as it has proven slightly difficult trying to find out much information about Numen on the "net", but the band went on a prolonged hiatus. They decided to regroup for the fifteenth anniversary of 'Samsara' in 2013 and played a few shows in their native land which were well received and led them to recording their follow-up which was originally released two years ago*.

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After my investigative work I discovered that the band are influenced by The Beatles, Pink Floyd, Marillion, Yes, King Crimson, Camel, Jethro Tull, Kansas and Genesis to name but a few and this is borne out on the album. Opener 'Cold And Grey' starts off in 'Shine On You Crazy Diamond' vein with some excellent guitar work by Antonio Valiente. Alcaraz's vocals have a slight accent to them but are very listenable. The track is the longest of the nine featured on the album and clocks in at over ten minutes. On repeated listens, it has really grown on me and I'm very impressed by Valiente's playing (which has lots of different styles thrown in). Keyboardist Manuel Mas adds an interesting lengthy Hammond solo.

'Out Of The Earth' is a mixture of KC and Camel with its initial crashing guitars and then its Jazzy overtures. Gaspar Martínez adds some restrained drumming and there is a superb guitar solo from Valiente. 'Dumb Tongues' is another fine song mixing Floyd and Camel sounding guitars and features fine bass playing from Arques. 'Every Day Brings Something New' is an uplifting, powerful song with all the band members bringing something of interest to the table, especially Valiente.

I must admit that I like all the tracks on 'Numenclature' and if you like accessible Prog then I'm sure you'll find something to your tastes. Hopefully we won't have to wait another fourteen years for album number three!

Az Chaudhry

(* this review is from Fireworks Magazine #76)

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