For us, there's no such thing as "progressive rock",
but music that are "progressives" or that are not, all styles mingled.
The ways we compose are numerous, and a lot of example
of that can be found on this first album: we can tell a story (First Passage),
follow a sensation (The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch),
rationalize (Nogegon)...trying to create coherent songs without "clichés".
The album's cover is a perfect illustration of the trip
we invite you to do: a mix up of all senses. You think you see or hear one thing,
but then it's another thing that appears in the end... you will have to seek
far beyond obviousness to tread NIL's path.
1 - La Misère
It's probably the song which gave us the biggest difficulties in
order to achieve it. Frank had just joined us, and we were starting to
generalize the use of asymmetric time signatures, and above all, complex changes!
The title came from a plain observation: it has been a real misery to write
and play this song!
Since the recording of it, we have imposed David a special effect:
"The Guitar Cut"TM, which stops the guitar's recording when you go beyond three
simultaneous guitar tracks!
2 - First Passage
(Marion De Saint Vaast, voice)
This one invites you to a journey, the whole song builds itself up into
a tale that each of us is free to interpret in his own manner.
3 - The three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch
in Syndrome Part 0
David wanted Frank
to play a really linear part on his heavy 15/8 guitar's riff. It has been a
real challenge to convince him to do so. Still now we avoid to mention even
just the name of the song in front of him*!
Sam told us one day that one of the riffs he brought
was rhythmically copied after a song of a famous band which name starts
with an U and ends with a K.
At the end of the song, one can find a russian text
told by David. This language has been chosen in relationship with
Philip K. Dick psychics experiences he had, involving the russian's secret services.
*In fact, Frank confessed us recently that he thought this song
wasn't that bad!!
4 - Bön-Glå-Glön
in Syndrome Part 1
(Jean-Luc Feirrera, flute)
We all are really
proud of this one. Benjamin wrote the introduction after all the song has been
written. It had such an Anglagard feeling, that we decided to name it after
the famous swedish band.
There's also a theme from "Hybris" that you can hear if
you really pay attention.
Sam brought the idea of the latin choir in the middle
section which nobody really liked at the time.
There is also a little keyboard theme around the 7th
minute of the song which has a little anekdote: after a week of exhausting
sessions, around 4 o'clock in the morning we were arguing whether or not it
would have any interest at all to record a keyboard part here. After a long
debate as we are really good at, Benjamin let himself convinced to try at
least one time to play something... what he did in one take is what you can
hear on the CD!
5 - Inner Mazed
in Syndrome Part 2
This is the first song written by the band. It is one of the three songs
(with The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch and Parazyth [unpublished])
which has been started with our first drummer. For a lot of persons this
one is considered to be the most listenable of our songs...
the fact that you can find two almost identical verses in it has probably a
lot to do with it!
6 - Nogegon
(Marion De Saint Vaast and Jean-Michel Gaude, voice)
After reading Luc and Francois Schuitten's book, David suggested to
the others to write a palindromic song! This one was a hard one to complete...
it took us over two years to finish it! The Shuitten's book is written
in a certain manner so that in the middle of it, the story goes backward,
as well as the strips.
Palindromes in music is not new: Bach wrote a piece called
"The musical gift", and even before, around the fourteenth century, Guillaume de Machaut
wrote "My end is my beginning", using the same proceeding. A proof
(if it was needed) that modern spirit is not bound to an epoch.
For Nogegon, the exercise had to deal with several
The song is 8' long
Themes are numerous
The sound's characteristics are also reversed
The inversion works also with the stereo