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  • Sylvain Lupari

HARALD NIES: Axial (2018)

Updated: Aug 20, 2019

“Axial is a strong comeback for Harald Nies who combines successfully nice melodic themes on rock and dance beats beneath synth solos. Ah yes, there is a guitar too...”

1 Inorganic 8:29 2 Islands Nights 6:20 3 Roadshop 14:47 4 Escape from Earth 7:11 5 View from The Hill 7:06 6 Let´s Jam 8:10 7 Dark Fever 8:55 8 Axial 5:33 MellowJet Records|cdr-hn1801 (CD/DDL 66:35) (V.F.) (Rock & Dance EM)

Harald Nies is one of the rare artists in the field of electronic rock music who succeeds to combine catchy melodic themes in short structures. After a break of 2 years, the German synthesist and guitarist makes a strong comeback with a powerful album which mixes marvelously the cosmic style to big rock while touching the important signature of MellowJet Records label, a heavy animated and danseable music. AXIAL proposes a continuous musical mosaic of 67 minutes where the rock, the blues and the disco styles live without skinning the ears of those who prefer a style to another one. Inorganic begins this album with a slightly lively circular structure. We stamp of the foot and we roll delicately of the neck in a sound decoration rich in its layers of synths soaked with fluty melodies and with its sonic elements which go and come such as lights of gyrating sounds. Set apart its lively tempos, AXIAL soaks in a multitude of synth layers. There is influx on Inorganic, among which orchestral layers and mists of the Mellotron years. The electronic effects are thought well with lines of chirpings which go and come in forms of stroboscopic strands, being bound at times to a jerky structure. The tempo re orientates its fluidity in middle-route with rather melodic spasmodic elements which swirl in a heavy mass of orchestral mist. A good opening which brings us to Islands Nights which oscillates between a more rock kind, because of its heaviness, and of dance, because of its lightness in its rotating spirals. The music and its momentum hooks a little pleasure on my ears. The orchestral layers fall like disrupted silhouettes while others fly with grace and velocity in a very musical environment. Even the tiny voice sounds good in this electronic deco soaked of good synth solos and which brings us back in the Disco time and these plated balls of glitter and mirrors. The dusts of its finale are flowing towards the monstrous Roadshop. The rhythm is of lead with good electronic percussions which hammer the dynamism under a carousel of synth solos, some of organic tones and others with more vintage tones. The oasis of sounds which surrounds this very creative electronic rock at the level of its sequences, at the level of its stroboscopic effects and at the level of the harmonies of a synth which never lacks imagination, in particular at the level of solos, is simply breathtaking. The guitar rages and takes away the 2nd part which becomes pure rock essence. And while we believe that the track is ending, a vein of sequences escapes and structures a very good phase of electronic rock that we would want endless. With its swarm of sequences which flutters on the same spot, Escape from Earth is a passage of ambient and motionless elements. Flourishing on a dense cloud of slightly wave-like mist, the rhythm escapes with this meshing of percussions and sequences which bang and skip without really looking for a rhythmic dynamic. The harmonies are sculpted between the big tears of a synth from where escape fluty strands as well as chords which try to imprint a musical itch between our ears. It's working rather well I may add! View from The Hill couples to the finale with these synth layers always rich in effects of lunar violins to propose a slow rhythm which is lasciviously hammered by heavy percussions. A splendid oriental melody strolls in this décor packed of effects of voices, let's say murmurs, and dusts of stars which add a real dimension of cosmic blues to the music. The percussions are heavy and handled well such as a drummer of Rock and Blues music and they drive the music in cosmic interludes and to attract them again in this beautiful cosmic slow dance where always strolls this wonderful oriental melody. This has to be the highlight of AXIAL. Let's Jam follows with a rhythm of dance. Lively and heavy with its structure of bass sequences which steals the show to the percussions, this rhythm of dance remains very electronic with good synth solos which are more harmonious than in a kind of free style. Dark Fever is a big furious electronic rock. Percussions and a fluid bass line bring the rhythm towards a soaring heavy rock. The synth drops cosmic melodies while weaving other melodic themes in mode staccato which resist to the riffs of a guitar which is also starving for good solos. This is another catchy and lively electronic rock! The title-track ends this blistering album with a more meditative approach which is always rich in synth elements. At every levels, AXIAL is a pretty strong comeback album from Harald Nies who presents us here his most beautiful, the most constant album of his career. Dynamite and as it's writing in the press info, listen and enjoy. Sylvain Lupari (March 14th, 2018) ****¼*

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© 2019 by Alexandre Corbin for Synth&Sequences \ Sylvain (A.K.A. Phaedream) Lupari

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