Monday, October 03, 2022

La Tulipe Noire: Nostimon Hemar 2006


Pioneers of the new generation of Greek progressive rock, Athens' La TULIPE NOIRE present a

tightly woven tapestry of sonic pastels which never really escape beyond the bounds of their self-imposed prison. This talented line-up performs a refined and quiet progressive rock that develops baroque and solemn melodies. The group formed in Athens Greece in 1997. Initial members: Lena on vocals, Alix (piano & keys), S. Kontakis (el. & ac. guitar), Y. Barkoulas (el. & ac. guitar), George F. (drums) and finally Hyde on bass guitar.

During the same year the band recorded and released “In the Gates of Dream” through the Greek label

Europa Records which was distributeed by MUSEA. Then Lena left the band to continue her studies in classical vocals and then George F. left the band. They were replaced by Ima on vocals and Nick Kassavetis on drums. Ima made backing vocals for various artists of mainstream music before joining the group in 1997.

After the release of Nostimon Hemar Ima left the group and she was replaced by Tatiana, singer and

musician. She has made piano and vocal studies for many years and she's also released some personal albums and participated in many groups of the greek scene. Guitarist Marios also joined the group at the same time. He has studied classical and electric guiter and participated in many rock groups till now. "Nostimon Hemar" is the latest album from this Greek progressive power rock band who have carefully written an epic 70 minute concept album.

Again fronted by the caressing vocal prowess of Ima and the neoprog resonating supporting 4

piece band they set out to tell a musical epic Greek odyssey concept album as seen thru the eyes of Greek poet Konstantinos Kavafis (1863-1933).
With a high degree of musical composure and a keen and special sense of magic La TULIPE NOIRE have released another excellent symphonic progressive album. Musically this band draw allusions to the likes if MARILLION, PALLAS and IQ but are still able to carve out their own unique place in my musical collection.

Although highly symphonic in nature thanks to Hyde's keyboards this album also features some standout guitar, bass and percussive moments. Perhaps the strongest track on the album is

"Polyphemus" which offers both power and symphonic delicacy. For those willing to try to experiment a bit with some less known new prog bands should check this act out and "Nostimon Hemar" would be a fine place to start. "Nostimon Hemar" is a concept work based on the struggles of Odysseus to return to Ithaca. The band sees this tale as an allegory of current events in the world, as the famous Greek poet Konstantinos Kavafis,described in an excellent way, to his poem "Ithaca".

This is a band of very good players for whom frequently changing and complex passages present no problem, yet they never play in a flashy manner simply to draw attention to themselves. Lead vocalist

Ima is emotive and experienced enough to do a lot with her great voice. Occasional spoken verse in Greek and English emphasizes the theatrical quality of this excellent music. Keyboardist Alix sounds like she strungles against difficulties to come back home, as Odysseus did. And she did it ! Through "Polyphemus" and the following "Circe" and "Tiresias" Alix utilizes common variations and ties these great tunes together conceptually.

"Nissos Sirinon" is an epic at 9:11 and it is also the emotional and musical highlight of this release, with

chugging guitar against regal Mellotron sounds. Gaining tempo and intensity as it goes on, it careens up against Kosta Savvides's acoustic guitar again and again in a crashing finale. A stronlgy recommended album!

After seven albums and 20+ years, LA TULIPE NOIRE have announced that they are no more in October 2017. The band's founder, Hyde, announced that rare and unpublished material will continue to be released through

La Tulipe Noire – Nostimon Hemar
Label: Musea – FGBG 4635 AR
Format:    CD, Album
Country: France
Released: 2006
Genre: Rock
Style: Prog Rock, Psychedelic Rock



01. Anakroussis (4:07)
02. Oenops Pontos (6:08)
03. Lotus Eaters (6:26)
04. Polyphemus (6:58)
05. Circe (7:05)
06. Tiresias (5:01)
07. Nissos Sirinon (9:11)
08. Skylla and Charybdis (7:26)
09. Calypso (7:16)
10. Phaeacia (3:54)
11. Ithaca (5:26)


Total Time 68:58

Line-up / Musicians

Alix / piano, organ, synthesizers
Hyde / bass, keyboards
Ima / vocals
Kostas Savvides / guitars
Nick Kassavetis / drums, percussion

MP3 @ 320 Size: 160 MB
Flac  Size: 457 MB


  1. My dear Kostas here the announced and at the same time feared greek band which is expensive and where is currently only 1 copy on discogs for 44e.
    It was once quit cheap on average 16e and the cheapest 9e.
    This seems to be over.
    Maybe in half year you'll be so kind and transfer the cd to me along with a few others for PAYMENT. (???)
    Thank you.

    1. Sorry Josef, I did it once for you and I don't do it again. Is not for the money. It's a waste of time for me. You can do it by yourself. Also, there is another Greek guy who read our conversation about the CDs i sended to you snd wants the same for him. He sended in Messenger a list of 80 albums. As you can understand, I can't do this for noone.

  2. Great album, never heard of the band before...thanks a lot!