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(57:52, MALS Records)
TRACK LIST: 1. Wormwood 1:56 2. Rose 5:20 3. Quarantine 6:04 4. Journey 6:49 5. Earth 1348 5:24 6. The Plague 8:35 7. All Fall Down 1:07 8. The Answers 5:01 9. Desperate Measures 4:34 10. Destroyer of Worlds 13:02 LINEUP: Bader Nana Ц vocals; instruments Hess Dergham Ц synthesizers Ramzi Ramman Ц guitars Ziad Ramman Ц percussion Ghassan Bouz Ц percussion
Prolusion. BADER NANA is a composer and instrumentalist based in Kuwait City, and following tenures as a guitarist in one band and drummer in another he decided to start a solo career a few years back. "Wormwood" is his debut album, initially digitally released in 2011, but later officially issued by the Russian label MALS Records in the fall of 2012.
Analysis. If one is to describe the style of music Bader Nana explores, progressive metal is a description that I suspect quite a few will opt to use. Some might also see this artist as one with closer ties to neo progressive rock, which to some extent is understandable. Spock's Beard and Dream Theater are both mentioned as influential artists by Nana and you can here details from both on this album. Personally I'd describe Bader Nana as something of a stripped down and down to Earth variety of Ayreon I guess, as I found the music to share some specific qualities that make that comparison a viable one. The 10 parts of the sole composition that make up this album are all fairly similar in scope and expression. On one hand you have passages of a gentler nature, with piano and acoustic guitar as the main melody providers backed by mostly careful symphonic-tinged keyboard textures. On the other we're treated to harder edged, darker toned sequences sporting riff patterns as the dominant instrumentation. The latter frequently supported with somewhat richer symphonic oriented keyboard textures than the mellower escapades, and on a fair few occasions also sporting piano details adding a gentle, frail details to the arrangements. The arrangements are never grandiose in construction though, and a slight few exceptions aside they can't really be described as majestic either. Compelling and easy to follow is a general characteristic, there's even the occasional chorus section sporting something of a singalong attitude. And it is due to those qualities I find it reasonable to draw certain comparisons towards the likes of Ayreon for this Kuwait based project, in that respect the similarities are comparable. With good quality vocals as the final ingredient this ends up as a production that merits an easy to enjoy and likable characteristic. A variety of progressive metal that isn't too demanding or challenging, yet with many compelling traits and a strong emphasis on moods and melodies.
Conclusion. Bader Nana's debut album "Wormwood" is a creation that should find favor amongst those with a taste for mainstream oriented progressive metal as well as those who enjoy neo progressive rock of the harder edged variety. I surmise, fans of artists like Spock's Beard and Ayreon will make up the main target audience for this production, but those with a taste for bands similar to Sylvan should also find plenty to enjoy on this disc.
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