Black Noodle Project, The - Eleonore,
I first heard from singer/guitarist Jérémie Grima back in 2005 at the time of their second album ‘And Life Goes On..’, and we were in regular contact for a while but lost touch after I moved to NZ. That may explain why it is only now that I am writing about this their fifth album, from 2008 (since this they have released a CD/DVD live set, another studio album, and a double disc of early demoes – these are busy boys). Anyway, The Black Noodle Project have long been one of my favourite French prog acts and this was an interesting departure in many ways as before this album was recorded keyboard player Matthieu Jaubert left the band and wasn’t replaced. The line-up therefore was just Grima, Anthony Leteve (bass), Sebastien Bourdeix (guitars) and Fabrice Berger (drums) – yep, no keyboards.
Now back in Feedback #83 is said that the music was “where Pink Floyd has been crossed with Roine Stolt in a way that makes for an album that is extremely enjoyable and open”. I also said that it was the finest French prog album I had heard since Mininum Vital’s ‘La Source’. So, with no keyboards it was obvious that this was going to quite a different sounding album to what I had come across before. The CD is a concept story of a small girl who lives in the forest with her parents and when they die she reads all of the books in the attic (of course) trying to find a way to get her parents back, but she finds a mysterious tome and the story starts there. Musically this is a dark album, with some heavy passages, but incredibly there is also a large amount of space and it is very much a band album with some wonderful interplay between the guys. Somehow BNP have managed to still provide what is very much a prog album, as opposed to a prog metal album, with a strong storyline and performances. There are still some elements of Stolt in the guitarwork, but overall this brings in much more Porcupine Tree and even The Pineapple Thief.
This is yet again a great album – I just need to get hold of the others now. The website is available in both English and French, and is well worth a visit www.theblacknoodleproject.com.