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Demians - Mute CD (album) cover




Heavy Prog

3.40 | 111 ratings

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Conor Fynes
Prog Reviewer
3 stars 'Mute' - Demians (6/10)

With his debut album 'Building An Empire', Demians mastermind Nicholas Chapel impressed quite a few in the prog community, first and foremost being Steven Wilson, of Porcupine Tree fame. Endorsing the band and encouraging people to check them out, Demians got about as good a head start as one could hope for in the prog rock world. That being said, a great deal of hype boiled over the second album from this French project. With 'Mute', it's unfortunate to say that many with expectations of a 'masterpiece' will likely be disappointed by an album that rarely surpasses anything the debut offered.

This is not to say that 'Mute' is a bad album at all, just a bit short of the mark fans have set for it. Beginning on it's most memorable note, 'Swing Of The Airwaves' opens the album with a somewhat metal vibe, before developing into a soaring piece of art rock that sounds a bit like something Coldplay might put out these days. From there on, the pieces get progressively less interesting, although a handful of tracks like the raga-influenced 'Overhead' revive the interest by breaking out of the conventional songwriting. The last highlight here is the apparent epic, 'Hesitation Waltz', which builds up very steadily with some gorgeous string arrangements.

In terms of performance, everything here is done by Nicholas Chapel himself; extra musicians are only used in a live context. While no instrument is played at the level of a virtuoso, Chapel plays his songs tastefully, although his voice is very often the centre of attention. Vocally, he delivers quite well, although the singing rarely grabs the imagination. Instead, there is a run-of-the-mill presentation on songs that range from excellence to mediocrity. The only thing here that clearly triumphs over the first record is the production value, which have been raised in no small part due to all instruments being real performances, as opposed to virtually synthesized computer fill-ins.

All in all, the music here is rarely captivating, although my first impression with the music was quite a bit more positive. Along the journey however, many of the weaker songs do ultimately lose a considerable amount of their charm. Nicholas Chapel's Demians does not impress a great deal here, but 'Mute' does offer a few thrills along the way.

Conor Fynes | 3/5 |


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