Bader Nana – Wormwood
Reviewed by Sebastian Kluth
Bader Nana is a Kuwait-based Lebanese multi-instrumentalist with a lot of experience and talent who released his first record (entitled Wormwood) with the help of his family and his friends in 2011. Any fan of progressive rock and metal music should give this gifted artist a fair chance. His first strike is surprisingly well produced, and finds the right balance between progressive arrangements (as in the epic thirteen minutes long closer “Destroyer Of Worlds”) and more accessible and catchy moments (seen in the heavenly light “The Answers”).
The dominating and very well employed keyboards, along with several well thought-out sound and vocal effects are, in my opinion, the record’s strongest point. The drums sound surprisingly vivid and diversified and the melodic down-to-earth vocals perfectly fit the genre as well. The vocal performance is even far beyond average and really surprised me positively. The bass and guitar work is also convincing enough but could have a little bit more impact and power at some moments.
The music reminds me a lot of big names like Ayreon, Dream Theater, and Spock’s Beard. The young musician clearly has a foible for fantasy and science fiction-related atmospheres and topics, and other releases include allusions to famous computer game soundtracks as well. Despite many quiet moments, the record never gets boring and flows slowly and smoothly like warm honey. The record is very fluid, and the transitions between the single songs are very well done – you should certainly listen to this release in one shot. I could listen to this record for hours and hours without getting all too bored. Many songs offer a multitude of intelligent ideas – take for example the diversified “Journey”, which is probably my favorite song on here after a few spins.
You can give this record a fair chance on the Bandcamp page of the artist, and pay whatever you want to purchase this smart release. According to other reviewers, his latest output and second full length release might be even better, and I will definitely follow this guy’s activities. In comparison to all progressive-oriented (and often rather dull) one-man projects, this one here is definitely the best I’ve heard. As this is only a debut record, there might still be more greatness to come in the near future.
4,5 // 5