Superb Jigs and Reels! Exceptional Bodhran!
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Failte! Nomos is a young group like Danu, but unlike Danu, they are generally unknown outside of Ireland. Their enthusiasm for traditional Irish music is obvious. "Set You Free" is about not paying the price forever and perhaps the British occupation of Ireland. Bean Dubh an Ghleanna is an old Gaelic song I am accustomed to hearing in pubs. Put a lad with a good voice in front of a pub audience with this song about that dark lass from the Glen and a sprig of Hawthorne on his lapel for the Tuatha De Danann and Leprachans, and you have the only method to quiet down a pub." Frank Torpey provides a bodhran backup to this peice, something I find uniquely good. Frank's playing through the fast paced reels and jigs is exceptionally good. He has a fast triplet style on the front of the drum while altering the pitch on the backside of the drumhead. My only complaint is the group falling back on snare drums. Just give Frank a bunch of tea and Guinness and keep the bodhran going. The biggest bazouki ( deep voiced Octave Mandolin) I have ever seen in my life belongs to this group. It isn't how big your bouzouki is that counts, its how you use it. This seems to be a popular and escalating thing with groups since Altan showed up on stage with a huge Bouzouki. There is very credible bouzouki, fiddle and concertina playing on this album. A concertina to most people looks like a primitive Sailor's instrument. However, it is played fast with tapping style on double and triple notes that counts. NOT easy at all. My wish list starts with the band staying together, doing more albums, getting a lot more U.S. exposure and selling their snare drums to a rock group. Oh yes, no electrical appliances also, such as an electric bass guitar. I suppose it is a matter of US versus Irish taste, but there is too much talent here to play over with rock and roll additions. Ceol de Erin go bragh!"
Nomos now up with the big boys
(4 out of 5 stars)
"One of the newer wave of Irish folk groups, Nomos is an exciting quintet based in the city of Cork. While their first album, "I Won't Be Afraid Anymore", was impressive, I was inclined to think that lead-singer John Spillane's powerful, slightly husky voice did not always blend well with the very fast and precise instrumental style of fellow group members.Come the second album, I'm willing to bury such complaints forever. This is a beautifully integrated effort, with the undoubted talents of all members being given rein. Niall Vallely on concertina and Vince Milne on fiddle form the melodic heart of the group, with rhythm coming from Gerry McKee's bouzouki, Frank Torpey's bodhran and John Spillane's bass.But when Spillane is given his head, his melodic and sometimes haunting songs form a wonderful counterpoint to the full-on traditional instrumentals. I would go so far as to mention Spillane in the same breath as Christy Moore. There is a similar intensity and thoughtfulness to his approach, and he's also unmistakably Irish.The title track is an infectious, life-affirming song about forgiveness, while "When You and I Were True" is a more equivocal love song. On top of such sung treasures, it should be stressed that this group has virtuosic instrumental skills. "Set You Free" moves Nomos up among the headliners of today's Irish groups."
Definitly a must have
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Nomos displays a unique array of talents in their recordings, with collaborations from many artists specializing in certain instruments. While their performances are certainly much more rousing than their recordings, the music is the same. It evokes a spirit of ancient rituals and modern faith. Their album is a necessary addition to any music-lover's collection."