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(48:43, Progressive Promotion Records)
TRACK LIST: 1. The Wanderer of Lost Moments 11:12 2. They Live, We Sleep 3:59 3. The Owls 7:11 4. Shades of Tomorrow 6:26 5. Voices from Yesterday 5:48 6. Ghosts 3:37 7. A Purple Memory 10:32 LINEUP: Jeremie Grima – guitars, bass; keyboards, programming; vocals Sebastien Bourdeix – guitars Fabrice Berger – drums
Prolusion. The French band THE BLACK NOODLE PROJECT started out as the solo project of Jeremie Grima back in 2001. The first album was released in 2004, and since then the solo project has developed into a proper band while half a dozen or so albums have seen the light of day. "Ghosts & Memories" is their most recent studio production, and was released through the German label Progressive Promotion Records.
Analysis. The Black Noodle Project is a band that appears to be a unit that needs to be mentioned within a Pink Floyd context. Which, to a certain degree, is understandable. But at least as the band appears as of 2013 the connections are far stronger to a rather different kind of music, which is post rock. The trademark feature of this production is the manner in which the compositions ebb and flow, from tranquil and delicate sequences with the piano or the acoustic guitar opening, slowly developing into a richer textured yet still careful arrangement and then soaring or climbing to a grandiose, majestic expression featuring dark toned guitar riffs, one or more solo guitar layers and additional keyboards combining into a stunning and often haunting arrangement. The songs tend to explore this ebb and flow routine multiple times as well, just about always opening in a careful manner, setting off one build, subsiding back to a tranquil mood again and then building up to the dramatic landscapes anew. A description I guess most people familiar with post rock will recognize. The Black Noodle Project mainly uses the approach however, and while they do use the familiar textured instrumental layers to add a more distinct post rock vibe those act more as supplemental details to the guitar riffs and guitar soloing, a few exceptions aside. The compositions are rather atmospheric in nature due to this approach, and the most distinct atmosphere is arguably found on The Owls, which opens with atmospheric soundscapes and a sampled dialog from the Twin Peaks movie, where the following instrumental escapades utilize elements from the Twin Peaks score as the ebb and flow landscapes are constructed. Some of the delicate instrument in this song also reminded me rather strongly of Robin Taylor's composition ‘Waiting for Something to Happen’, although I surmise that this small detail falls in under the incidental category. The concluding, epic length track A Purple Memory concludes this album on a slightly different note, as the first half of this composition stays fairly close in sound, mood and expression to what Pink Floyd did in the latter half of the 1970's, and also maintaining some of those elements as they shift to the ebb and flow build that is so much of a distinct feature of this album.
Conclusion. The Black Noodle Project explores the ebb and flow dynamics of post rock fairly thoroughly on their 2013 album "Ghosts & Memories". Mainly without turning to post rock as a stylistic expression as such, although they do utilize some textured instrument layers on occasion. Atmospheric laden and fairly often dark toned progressive rock that ebbs and flows between delicate, frail landscapes and majestic, grandiose arrangements is the end result, and one that also sports a solid nod to progressive rock giants Pink Floyd at the end. And if you enjoy bands such as Pink Floyd and Porcupine Tree, alongside having an interest in post rock, this is a CD that merits an inspection.
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