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Demians - Building An Empire CD (album) cover




Heavy Prog

3.69 | 164 ratings

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3 stars Heavy (almost metal) prog from France, and very good!

A curious thing happened to me, some years ago when I attended to a mini prog festival outside Mexico City, I went to one of those CD sellers and bought a couple of albums I found interesting, the thing is, that the man gave me an extra CD, and yes, it was a promotional copy of Demians' debut album "Building an Empire", I didn't know about it and just limited to say thanks.

Then when I came back home I put it on my computer and play the album, and what a nice surprise.

I honestly thought it was a full metal album, you know that kind of noisy thing called metal, but fortunately I was wrong. Demians is a multi instrumentalist from France who with his own imagination and virtuosity managed to create a consistent 56-minute album divided in 8 songs. Since the first song I felt attracted by the music, in that moment I didn't thought "is metal", I mean I was really open to it, because it is not really metal, though it has its clear tendencies.

The first song is "The Perfect Symmetry", which is a very nice opener that plays with different musical passages, structures and colours, the vocals are really good and the instrumentation excellent, the first part starts with some soft mood with nice use of keyboards making some orchestral arrangements, but the second part of the song becomes heavier, thanks to the guitar's work, and in the end you can also notice that strong drums sound. This is a 9-minute song that in my opinion fits perfectly as the album (and artist) introduction.

"Shine" opens with nice acoustic guitar, later vocals appear but the guitars prevail until one minute and a half later when it makes a brutal change due to powerful guitars and drums, though the sound is more aggressive and metalish, the song is also catchy and gentle. Then it makes a short and kind of spacey stop, and seconds later when you think you are in the same song, you realized that it is a new one called "Sapphire", that spacey sound introduces the song along with gentle guitars but later again, the power returns and its helped by those excellent keyboards. A minute later the vocals return and follow a soft and nice structure that will change again later. The same thing happens, I mean, it is heavy but at the same time catchy. I like a lot the way he uses the keyboards.

"Na´ve" is a short song that opens with acoustic guitar but some seconds later turns heavier, actually and I don't really know if it was intended, but that sounds as it was the continuation of the previous two songs, I mean that could have been a three-part song called Shine. This one is pretty similar, some catchy and soft moments, later a heavier style is included but in moments sounds redundant, anyway it follows the same path and that may have been the musician's goal.

"Unspoken" opens very calm, soft vocals and synthesizer making some dreamy noises, (it does remind me to some PT moments) then the song is progressing little by little creating a stronger feeling, but keeping the same softness and gently mood; actually the song is very touchy and emotional.

The next song called "Temple" despite being pretty short is one of my favorite album's passages, it opens with a dark feeling kind of a nervous mood, and then vocals appear along with constant drumming and nice acoustic guitar, then a couple of minutes later the song ends when you think there is more to tell, but anyway as short as it is, I enjoy it. So when some kind of electronic music appears is when "Empire" begins, that same electronic style keeps sounding accompanied by delicate vocals and some synth effects as background. Pretty good vocals that will invite the listener to feel identified with it, the song keeps the same structure, at the end those keyboards simulating orchestral arrangements appear, but in a sudden stop it ends just as it began.

The album ends with "Sand", which is a 16-minute epic that resumes Demians' sound, showing how he likes to interplay with soft and heavy moments, because it starts calm but seconds later turn stronger, and later, returning to the same structure. Actually the first part of the song is pretty similar and in moments could be boring, but later It changes with a heavier sound that is always accompanied by those excellent keyboards, which was a pretty wise decision from the composer. There are even some growling vocals that actually does not sound bad, and after that the song becomes lighter and comfortable thanks to that soft use of synth. The track ends very calm; if you can listen to the whole song it may leave a mark on you.

This is an album that I really enjoy, an album that I didn't meant to get but destiny put on my hands, though I believe it is a strong debut album, there are some repetitive moments that may bore the listener, and I believe that should be changed, anyway, my final grade will be 3 stars (3.5 actually)

Enjoy it!

memowakeman | 3/5 |


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