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Demians - Building An Empire CD (album) cover




Heavy Prog

3.69 | 164 ratings

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Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer
3 stars DEMIANS is really the one man project of Nicolas Chapel from France. He had been in an Electronic band previously but quit the music business after two of his band mates were killed in a car crash. The first song he wrote afterwards called "The Perfect Symmetry" is about the aftermath of that tragic event. All the songs on this album were written, performed, arranged and recorded by Nicolas at his home with no budget ! I think that is in part why Steven Wilson has really endorsed this record, i'm sure he can see himself in Nicolas, considering he also started out as a one man project. I also think that Steven is drawn to this type of music that is melancholic, atmospheric and emotional. This album features quite a lot of samples as well, most notably the strings. Lots of electronics but also a heavy almost metal flavour at times in contrast. The lyrics are very impressive by the way. To quote Steven Wilson "One of the most assured and accomplished debut albums i've ever heard, the textures and dynamics within the music are breathtaking. A must for everyone that appreciates the art of epic and ambitious 21st century rock music". I must add that DAMIENS is now a full band that is actually touring with the great ANATHEMA this fall.

"The Perfect Symmetry" is probably my favourite because it does bring PORCUPINE TREE to mind. The first time I heard it I was pretty excited because it's so good. Gentle low end guitar melodies eventually lead the way. Vocals a minute in are reserved. We get a beat 2 1/2 minutes in. It gets heavier 3 minutes in but calms back down quickly. The guitar comes ripping in before 5 1/2 minutes. Strings are back and then vocals return 7 minutes in. It's heavy again. Dreamy ending. Check out the lyrics though. "Shine" opens with acoustic guitar as vocals join in. Drums follow. A nice heavy sound comes crashing in after 1 1/2 minutes. It calms back down and becomes spacey before 3 minutes to the end, where it blends into "Sapphire". The guitar eventually comes in tastefully as the sound builds. Strings too with drums and bass. It settles before 2 minutes. Vocals follow. It kicks back in a minute later before settling down again quickly. A powerful undercurrent can be felt 5 minutes in. Here we go again as it comes crashing back in.

"Naive" is the song I like the least by quite a bit. It's ok but is missing something. Some heavy and mellow passages are contrasted. Too predictable I guess. "Unspoken" opens with lots of atmosphere as almost spoken vocals come in. A melody arrives before 2 minutes. It ends as it began. "Temple" has some great lyrics to it. This song seems so urgent. It's mid paced with steady drums and tasteful guitar melodies. Some spoken word samples too. "Empire" features electronics throughout. Vocals a minute in. This is a laid back tune with more meaningful lyrics. "Sand" is right there with the first track as being my favourites. It's the song that Nicolas seems most proud of, and he said the style of "Sand" will probably be the direction he will go on his next album. It's a 16 minute track that contrasts throughout the full sound with heavy drums and guitar, with the mellow vocal sections. Lots of dreamy strings too. Check it out before 11 minutes when he actually lets loose some growls. Very emotional and powerful song.

I originally felt this was barely 4 stars but here I am 2 years later and for me it's a 3.5 star album.

Mellotron Storm | 3/5 |


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