The Black Noodle Project - 'Ghosts And Memories'

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The Black Noodle Project - 'Ghosts And Memories'

There's much to enjoy across the whole album.

French band The Black Noodle Project consists of founder Jérémie Grima (guitars, bass, voices and keys programming), Sébastien Bourdeix (guitars) and Fabrice Berger (drums).

By my reckoning, 'Ghosts and Memories' is their wonderfully titled sixth studio album (if one includes 2005's acoustic set 'Stereoscope') since their inception in 2001. It's a moody and at times dark exploration of both good memories and the ghosts that haunt us – aspects of our past that, inevitably, we carry with us. It's nice to see (and hear) the confidence the band have in the material, regarding it as a piece of work that captures the essence of what they've always been about and their best to date.

Influences cited include Pink Floyd, Porcupine Tree, Anathema and Agalloch, and to be honest, there are points where they wear them on their collective sleeve. For example after a Tom Waits-style vocal section, 'The Owls (Are Not What They Seem)' becomes very Floydian while the melody and vocal delivery of 'Shades of Tomorrow' owes much to Steven Wilson. The influence of film soundtracks is also felt and has no doubt contributed to the broad 'cinematic' approach that defines much of the album.

That's not to detract from what's here. 'Ghosts...' is a well-presented collection of seven tracks that hang together superbly and might well invoke a 'spiritual journey' for those who wish to engage. I particularly like the edgy, threatening guitars on opener 'The Wanderer of Lost Moments' and the vibe of lengthy album closer 'A Purple Memory' which segues effortlessly from 'Ghosts' (the track) and builds around an emotive guitar motif. There's much to enjoy across the whole album. Listening is particularly recommended for those in self-reflective mode (wine optional) to be played loud and with the lights off!

Michael Anthony

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