N.EX.U.S. – N.Ex.U.S. (2019)

BLACK ACES - Shot In The Dark [European CD version +3] (2016) full

Tomorrow is the release date of the self-titled debut album from melodic prog rockers N.EX.U.S, produced mixed and mastered by renowned Italian Alessandro Del Vecchio (Lionville, Hardline).
With expansive and always intriguing arrangements, “N.Ex.U.S” is a varied album ranging from melodic hard and AOR, to progressive.

N.EX.U.S (Neural EXperimental Unit of Security) was formed in 2015 by Christian “Jeremy” Checchin (guitar) and Fausto “Tex” Tessari (keyboards) two close friends who through the years, shared their passion for music playing in various bands. After a brief-but-crucial summit together, they decided to take their artistic career on a next level, and started to compile unreleased material they’d written along the years.
The duo then searched for a skilled singer and a tight rhythm section. Tommaso “Tommy” Galeazzo, Daniele Gallan, and Fabio Tomba were hired on vocals, bass and drums respectively.

New songs were also written to complete the tracklist for what was intended to be their first official studio album. They approached Italy’s own Alessandro Del Vecchio sending him some of their demos.
Alessandro accepted the task of recording, producing, mixing and mastering, having been intrigued by N.Ex.U.S. since first hearing their material.

Most of these songs were honed over the years. As example, Checchin wrote ‘The Mercenary’ in 2007. It’s one of my favorites from the album, quite AORish with a clean and precise guitar work and soaring vocal harmonies. It reminds me of the band Silence / Bruno Levesque, and Lionville’s last album.
While the CD starts with the unnecessary ‘Loading…’, well worth the wait for “…The System” an intense rocking track where since the beginning you can taste the dexterity on the instruments by everyone involved.

‘Empathy’ is plenty of nuances from Galeazzo’s melodious vocal verses to tempo shifts, from slow to upbeat and with a slightly proggy feel ala Avantasia. “A Man Without A Soul” pick up the pace for a rocking line, then “Land Of Misery” is embellished by keyboards all over and the vocal arrangements shine.
“Reflections” adds a touch of metallic sheen to the melodies (something like Fates Warning meets Sons Of Apollo), and we have a beautiful ballad / midtempo in “Another Shore”, a highlight.

N.EX.U.S. - N.Ex.U.S. (2019) inside

The album ends on a high note.
I think ‘John Doe’ is the prefect track to showcase what N.Ex.U.S is all about. It’s the longest song on the CD, but it’s wonderful and entertaining all the time. There’s proggy runs, passages of melodic hard rock riffs, even AORish moments. You can hear Del Vecchio’s hand here, very polished production.

All in “N.Ex.U.S” is very melodic, the disc flows easily (while driving, as example) and it’s enjoyable throughout.
But if you find the time to listen to it in detail “N.Ex.U.S” is much more meaty than it seems at first listen. There’s excellent arrangements, clever atmospheres, and some killer solos, all wrapped by a clear production.
Kudos to Del Vecchio to get out the best of these guys, and at the same time for creating a very listenable, melodious record.
Highly Recommended

01 – Loading…
02 – …the System
03 – Empathy
04 – A Man Without a Soul
05 – Land of Misery
06 – Reflections
07 – The Mercenary
08 – Another Shore
09 – John Doe
10 – Final Act: A New Humanity

Tommaso “Tommy” Galeazzo: Vocals
Christian “Jeremy” Checchin: Guitars
Fausto “Tex” Tessari: Keyboards
Daniele Gallan: Bass
Fabio Tomba: Drums

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