(By Fondas Sumerson)
It’s no big secret that Portugal had nothing exceptional to offer the Goth scene all these years, apart from Phantom Vision and Aenima. At least this was the case before these guys appeared. With their self-titled debut, the band established its name in the European goth community and with their cracking live performances in their own country, UK (sacrosanct fest) and Spain (Semana Gotica de Madrid) they captured the attention of goth fans everywhere.
Two years after their excellent debut, they return with a second album, sounding more mature and eager to explore new musical highways, not straying from the path of traditional goth rock nevertheless ! Everything the listener had loved in their first release is also apparent in the new album… Powerful, solid guitar riffs, haunting deep vocals, dance-floor rhythms, atmospheric synth-lines, obscure electronics and a touch of industrial guitar-playing. If you add to this 3 very special guests who contribute to the album, it’s not hard to imagine that this is bound to be one of the best releases of the year…. But let’s take a closer look to “naked until noema”.
The album begins with the mystical “aethyr”, a song that takes us to ancient Egypt, through the invocation of the chosen ones and the everlasting search for light. This is a ritualistic tune with eerie guitars and an atmospheric chorus that will remind you of the early days of Garden of Delight! The participation of Carfax from Last Dusk gives the song a wicked twist, which adds to the occult atmosphere that the band masterfully creates!
The next song is the first single of the album. “Ceremonial” is made for the dance-floor. A classic goth rock anthem, intense and melodic, reminiscent of the German underground goth heroes Morbid Poetry. Killer rhythm section on this track which is themed after Sumerian goddesses and legends!
“Seeds of Absence” which follows is my favourite. I first listened to this song at Sacrosanct festrival last year and I was shocked! We’re talking about a mid-tempo tune with great bass lines and out-of-this world synths, that will surly capture you from the very first listen! The song offers a variety in rhythm, while its chorus is utterly beautiful. Absolutely amazing tune!
In “untitled” we have another guest appearance. Stephanie, the girl behind the drum kit of Last Dusk, performs a ghost-like narration in Spanish that works just perfect in the song!
“Romeo without Juliet” reveals a more sensitive side of the band. It is inspired by the dramatic “Elephant Man”. A lost, abandoned soul travels around the world as part of a freakshow, away from his true love that haunts his soul eternally. This is a unique song with traditional Spanish guitars and ethnic melodies, weaving a bittersweet goth romance!
Next one is “Suplica”. In this one the band attempts to explore new musical grounds. Imagine Die Krupps trying to sound “goth”. Heavy industrial guitars combined with Nosferatu-like (legendary UK goth rock band) keyboards and a Rammstein-like epic chorus! Quite unexpected from a band like NU:N I would say, but still I really liked this odd experiment of theirs. It definitely worked out fine! José Luis Peixoto, the acclaimed Portuguese novelist and poet is responsible for the lyrics on this one.
Next on “Incessant Lies”, the second dance-floor dynamite of the album. A Sisters of Mecry/Star Industry-like tune with bombastic rhythm section. Melodic synths and high class vocals complete another excellent song that will satisfy all the goth fans that can appreciate a good song they can dance to!
We slow down a little bit to take a stroll down the romantic alleys of “Hidden Praise”, which is a beautiful poem! M.T.’s recites for 1:23 without music…. His voice reminded me of A.Veljanov of Deine Lakaien in this one!
The song that follows is maybe the highlight of the album! It is the band’s co-operation with Oliver Heuer, frontman of German Goth Rockers Sweet William. He is the guest vocalist and lyric writer for this masterpiece! An old school goth rock anthem that took me back to the 90’s. Intricate guitar melodies from another era and amazing vocals by Mr. Heuer…. An impressive tune with a “heavy” subject (loss and the difficulty to go on without your beloved).
“Carved Silence” is another mid-tempo song which is featured on their “Ceremonial” digital single as well. Great melody once again. Classic “clean” goth guitars just like Love Like Blood and Garden of Delight used to play them!
“Green Hour Glides” is the album’s closing track, a fine opportunity for a bit of experimentation once again. This is a pure dark wave song with an excellent bass line and Clan of Xymox-like guitars. Just Amazing!
Wrapping up this little overview of “naked until noema”, I have to say that I am thrilled that NU:N have returned in such a spectacular way. This is a band that came out of nowhere to revive the glorious days of goth rock! It’s so good to have them back.
Buy it digitaly from HERE
and physical cd from HERE