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Neronia - 'Nero' http://www.rocktopia.co.uk/media/reviews/photos/thumbnail/200x200s/78/40/55/neronia-nero-35-1474482455.jpg Hot

Added by Central Electronic Brain     September 21, 2016    
 
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It is a shame that the negatives tend to outweigh the positives as there does seem to be a decent band in there trying to get out.

The Prog Metal market place is getting somewhat crowded with acts of an increasingly high calibre. With the roots going back to the days of vintage Rush and an updating with the arrival of Queensrÿche, it was arguably Dream Theater who grabbed those influences and blended an intoxicating mix of the intricate musical passages of Progressive Rock, the melody and commerciality of Pomp Rock with the aggression and punch of Heavy Metal. DT may still undoubtedly be the genre's figurehead, but the likes of Vanden Plas, Circus Maximus, Kamelot and Pain Of Salvation are all close by in their slip stream, and with up and coming bands such as Defecto snapping at their heels, there is no shortage of quality coming through the ranks.

Germany's Neronia return with their follow-up to 'Limnotapes'. Like 'Limnotapes', 'Nero' shows some flashes of inspiration, whether it's the sublime, dreamy guitar solo by Rüdiger Zaczyk during the breakdown in 'Cold and Strange', or the melodic refrain that opens 'When It's All Over', not to mention the heavyweight riff that kicks off the album in 'Shadowland'.

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Again, however, like 'Limnotapes' the cold, lifeless production tends to flatten the good ideas, reducing their impact. At times, the musical passages come across as clunky and contrived instead of exciting and inspired. Falk Ullmann's unusual vocals are also something of an acquired taste and despite numerous attempts these ears still have not acquired that taste.

It is a shame that the negatives tend to outweigh the positives as there does seem to be a decent band in there trying to get out, but four albums in, you'd hope for something better. Unfortunately, with 'Nero', Neronia won't be challenging DT for their crown any time soon.

Mick Burgess

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