5:20, the new album of Nine Skies

After a 1st album in 2017 "Return Home" and a 2nd in 2019, 'Sweetheart Grips', the new opus of the progressive rock band from Nice, Nine Skies, was released in June 2021: '5.20'.

Nine Skies
Nine Skies is a progressive rock band from Nice, created in 2012, with Eric Bouillette on guitar, mandolin, violin, piano and arrangements, Alexandre Lamia on guitar, piano and arrangements, Anne-Claire Rallo on piano, David Darnaud on guitar, Achraf El Asraoui on vocals and guitar, Aliénor Favier on vocals, Bernard Hery on bass, Fabien Galia on percussion and Laurent Benhamou on saxophone.

After a 1st album in 2017 "Return Home" and a 2nd in 2019, 'Sweetheart Grips', a new opus was released in June 2021: '5.20'. The music was composed by Eric Bouillette, Alexandre Lamia and Achraf El Asraoui and the songs are the work of Anne-Claire Rallo and Alexandre Lamia for Wilderness. The latter has also been responsible for the recording, mixing and mastering of the album. 

From the start, we are gently transported for a stroll in the land of dreams, in a world free of all pain, of all madness: "Somewhere a place exists, A land far from distress, Released from the embrace of pain, Where the world wouldn't be insane". "I created a dream, A beautiful scene,...", that's what it's about. Colourblind is incredibly delicate, with a sublime saxophone solo; the notes, which come together and merge, fly away light, like powdered pastels, to color and set the space on fire, just like the "Coloured balloons in the air" of this song.
The very airy Wilderness with the participation of the remarkable Steve Hackett on lead guitar is just superb. The voices harmonize with finesse and the musicality of the orchestral ensemble imprints its desire for infinity.
The acoustic guitar duet on Beauty of Decay exhales a breath of great purity, despite its title, as if to remind us that from decomposition come the seeds of renewal.
The sensitivity that emerges from the ensemble of violins, cello and percussion on Golden Drops makes me want to grab the precious golden drops myself.
On Above the Tide, the notes of the piano and the guitar at 2:30, on which are superimposed whispers, like warnings, darken the atmosphere: "Darkening the sky", before an orchestral reprise with a powerful symphony, sublimated by the voices of the singers.
A new instrumental track with Dear Mind where the ineffable search for the absolute is condensed.
The Old Man In the Snow proposes a nostalgic ballad, whose emotion is reinforced by the crystalline exaltation of the flute of John Hackett in guest on this title.
The lyrics of this album are like poems and Godless Land is no exception to this rule: vocals and music pour out their harmonious undulations, with fluidity.
Then follows the superb Porcelain Hill. We touch the marvelous with the performance of the talented Damian Wilson as a guest singer. A melancholic sweetness emanates from it, embraces us and literally transports us by the strength of the lyrical breath emanating from this composition with a refined musicality.
3rd and last instrumental track among the 11 tracks of 5.20, the piano is the only one in competition on Achristas. With simplicity and limpidity, it deploys the whole range of its sadness.
Finally, Smilling Stars is remarkable for its vocal lines and its orchestration giving each musician the opportunity to express himself with elegance. This acoustic opus also benefits from the artistic collaborations of Cath Lubatti on violins and viola and Lilian Jaumotte on cello. Nothing has been left to chance. Everything has been thought to offer the best.       

The hope of a brighter elsewhere, the ultimate dream in this universe that embraces and merges various musical landscapes. 
This album is a jewel of mastery, subtlety, and creativity that deserves that we stop and take the time to get lost in the wonderful universe of Nine Skies, in search of the Golden Drops, the Smiling Stars or Porcelain Hill.

Setlist :
- Colourblind
- Wilderness
- Beauty of Decay
- Golden Drops
- Above the Tide
- Dear Mind
- The Old Man in the Snow
- Godless Land
- Porcelain Hill
- Achristas
- Smiling Stars

Article de Nathalie Bellesso
Author of the heroic fantasy trilogy "Les Véritables"
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