Artist/ Band: Nebuleyes
Title: From Earth To Nebula
Label: Self release
Year of Release: 2012
Offical Artist/ Band Link

The Review:

Released in February of 2012, "From Earth to Nebula" is a five song, 28 minute EP from French duo Nebuleyes. The project was founded in 1999, when metal guitarists Benjamin Masson and Xavier Boscher found themselves looking for an outlet for some of their more experimental ideas. Since that time they have released two full-length CDs, a previous EP, and a 2011 compilation titled "12 Years of Stellar Pieces". On their official website, Nebuleyes describe their music as "a mix of progressive metal, pop, atmospheric, electronical and symphonical atmospheres".

For me, the hardest kind of albums to review are those that display some good qualities, but suffer from just enough negative qualities to ruin the overall listening experience. Albums that I love from start to finish are easy to review. Albums that completely turn me off are more difficult, but at least I know where I stand. This EP (my first exposure to the music of Nebuleyes), on the other hand, leaves me with mixed feelings at best.

There are some good elements here - some nimble-fingered (but still melodic) guitar work from Masson and Boscher, some rich, new-agey keyboard textures that offset of the more 'metalic' elements of the music, as well as a few strong melodies and circling, layered-on hooks that give off the vibe of a heavier-handed Tangerine Dream. Unfortunately, it is in the area of vocals and lyrics that this CD really loses me. The opening track (and at least one other) suffers from the very obvious use of auto-tune on the vocals, a much overused (and annoying) element of today's pop music. But then much of the other vocal work on the CD just sounds emotionally flat and tuneless. Worse yet is the bizarre use of death metal grunts (AKA "Cookie Monster vocals") on a couple of the tracks. Also, being someone who pays special attention to lyrics, most of the lyrics here struck me like an underwritten afterthought. The second track, "Sky" simply repeats the single line "sky, flying so high" over and over again for its full five minute running time.

All in all, despite some good guitar and keyboard work, this is definitely not a work that I am likely to revisit in the future. I do, though, wonder what this band could achieve with a stronger, more melodic vocalist...Or, as this duo's existing fans are likely to say after reading this review, maybe I just don't "get it".

Reviewed by Jeff Matheus on October 26th, 2012

Tracks:

01. Earth (5:26)
02. Sky (5:11)
03. Stratosphere (5:52)
04. Hyperspace (6:29)
05. Nebula (5:37)

Reviewed Discography

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