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BAND/AUTHOR:

NINE SKIES

(FRANCE)

TITLE:
SWEETHEART GRIPS
RELEASE DATE:
2019
LABEL:
AUTOPRODUCTION
GENRE:
PROGRESSIVE ROCK
""Sweetheart Grips" is a varied neo-progressive rock record with a complete sound palette, not hesitating to take risks in writing and highlighting a part of our history from an interesting and original angle."
DARIALYS - 06.01.2020 -
Almost two years after their debut album "Return Home", the French band Nine Skies make their comeback with a second concept album called "Sweetheart Grips". The album highlights the memories and feelings of a young soldier suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder after fighting in the Second World War. The album takes its name from the family photos that the soldiers brought into battle with them and placed on the butts of their guns.

In terms of content, "Sweetheart Grips" is a very ambitious work, as it comes in two discs of 12 tracks lasting 67 minutes. On the line-up, in addition to the 8 musicians who make up the band, there are 6 guests including some big names like Craig Blundell (Steven Wilson, Steve Hackett), Dave Foster and Riccardo Romano (Steve Rothery Band), or Clive Nolan (Arena, Pendragon).

The atmosphere of this record is mysterious and intriguing to say the least. The instrumental introduction 'Vestige' starts in a war setting. We then find ourselves immersed in the middle of a battlefield where bullets are flying, giving way to a woman collapsing in tears in the background. The tone is then set. 'Burn My Brain' is certainly one of the highlights of this first chapter, which may remind us of the Riverside of the "Out Of Myself" era in the first moments. Clive Nolan's paw makes itself felt with a strong neo-progressive aspect, while Aliénor Flavier's female vocals lead the title. Generally speaking, neo-progressive is certainly the most characteristic ingredient of "Sweetheart Grips", with songs like 'Somewhere Inside Mankind', following in the footsteps of 'Burn My Brain' or 'Soldiers Of Shame'. There's even a bit of Marillion on the eponymous track and his plaintive vocals for a very melancholic rendering.

The strength of the opus lies mainly in its balance between powerful tracks such as 'The Thought Trader', whose main and jerky riff is progressive metal, and calmer tracks, notably the two acoustic ones 'Catharsis Part II', a beautiful piece reminiscent of Blackfield, and 'Tyrant Of Nothing', whose dark classical guitar is reminiscent of Opeth's "Morningrise"/"My Arms, Your Hearse" period.

But as is often the custom in a concept album, there are a certain number of tracks that lend themselves more to transitions than to "real" songs. This is the case of 'Alone' and its male voice over on a minimalist musical background, which for 4 minutes has some difficulties to transport us. Some biases can also be surprising, such as the ending of the second record with two instrumental tracks, or the long middle section of 'Sweetheart Grips' which is completely different from the rest of the song.

In any case, "Sweetheart Grips" is a varied disc with a complete sound palette, not hesitating to take risks in the writing and highlighting a part of our history from an interesting and original angle.

More informations on https://nineskiesmusic.com/

VIDEO

SIMILAR BANDS

MARILLION, GENESIS, THE TANGENT

TRACK LISTING

01. Vestige
02. Burn my Brain
03. Catharsis (Part II)
04. The Thought Trader
05. Alone (Sweetheart Grips Intro)
06. Sweetheart Grips
07. Somewhere inside Mankind
08. Fields of Perdition
09. Tyrant or Nothing
10. Soldiers of Shame
11. Flowers of Pain
12. Isolation


LINEUP

Alexandre Lamia: Guitares / Claviers
Alienor Favier: Chant
Anne-claire Rallo: Claviers
Bernard Hery: Basse
David Darnaud: Guitares
Eric Bouillette: Guitares / Piano
Fad Galia: Batterie
Laurent Benhamou: Saxophones
Clive Nolan: Claviers / Invité
Craig Blundell: Batterie / Invité
Dave Foster : Guitares / Invité
Johnny Marter: Guitares / Invité
Pat Ganger Sanders: Claviers / Invité
Riccardo Romano: Chant / Invité


TAGS:
Acoustic, Chaotic, Instrumental, Melancholic, Neo, Dark, Concept-album, Female voice
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NINE-SKIES_Sweetheart-Grips Sweetheart Grips (2019)
AUTOPRODUCTION / PROGRESSIVE ROCK
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