Nine Skies – 5.20: Album Review

Nine Skies is a French progressive rock band inspired by many influences. Rock, pop, progressive and jazz are all evident on this polished acoustic opus.

Release date:  4th June 2021

Label: Self Release (Bandcamp)

Format: CD / Digital

The 4th June will be a double treat day for not only Nine Skies fans, but any discerning music enthusiast as they release a live album simultaneously with this acoustic epic.

Featuring the Hackett brothers (Steve on guitar / John on flute) and the vocal talents of Damian Wilson, this French prog ensemble,  led by  Eric Bouillette, is an accomplished piece of work to brighten up your early summer listening.

Colourblind is the opening track and a has a very Genesis feel to it. Fascinating melodies with a jazzy  sax solo merging into a mellow acoustic guitar the highlight. Steve Hackett’s guitar blends in nicely on Wilderness and compliments  the sophisticated  arrangements.His distinctive sound lifts the track to a glorious ending.

The acoustic guitar work throughout the whole album is beautiful and no more so on the melancholic Beauty of Decay and Dear Mind. String quartet arrangements add charm and warmth to this poetical journey. This creates a soundscape which is sometimes haunting, sometimes folky, sometimes jazzy, sometimes orchestral. A magnificent mix providing an enchanting,  delightful sonic experience. Especially when John Hackett’s fluttering flowing flute illuminates The Old Man in the Snow.

Versatile vocals deliver the plaintive poetical lyrics in  these multi textured pieces of music. Each track has its own character and each listen is like a voyage of discovery finding new elements every time. Damian Wilson also adds another dimension to the plethora of plaintive vocal styles. 

The group may be ‘honoured’ to  guest the likes of Steve Hackett but knowing his  humility he must have felt truly privileged to be asked to contribute on this highly accomplished work.

A range of dramatic moods and musical  brushstrokes created by this impressive ensemble results in a very appealing listen which never gets weary after repeated visits. 

Here’s Wilderness from the new Nine Skies album, featuring Steve Hackett.

Nine Skies online: Website / Facebook / Bandcamp / YouTube

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