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Demians Mute album cover
3.40 | 111 ratings | 10 reviews | 19% 5 stars

Good, but non-essential

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Studio Album, released in 2010

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Swing of the Airwaves (7:28)
2. Feel Alive (4:33)
3. Porcelain (5:34)
4. Black over Gold (6:12)
5. Overhead (6:32)
6. Tidal (3:45)
7. Rainbow Ruse (5:32)
8. Hesitation Waltz (6:40)
9. Falling from the Sun (4:14)

Total Time 50:30

Line-up / Musicians

- Nicholas Chapel / composer, performer (vocals & instruments), production & mixing

- Gaël Hallier / drums (1,8)
- Lepolair / sampler (3)

Note: The actual instrumentation could not be fully confirmed at this moment.

Releases information

Artwork: Nicolas Chapel

CD Inside Out Music ‎- 0521-2 (2010, US)

Thanks to gandalfino for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
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DEMIANS Mute ratings distribution

(111 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(19%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(31%)
Good, but non-essential (38%)
Collectors/fans only (11%)
Poor. Only for completionists (2%)

DEMIANS Mute reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by snobb
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Heavy contemporary prog. Quite good, but not the best for sure.

Second album of French one-man band . Really not bad music as for one musician's multilayered recordings: almost all instruments sound competent, and - what is most important - the music isn't such static and frozen as on many recordings of similar formula. In fact, quite often listener can believe this music is played by real band, not studio experiment product.

Speaking about less pleasant moments, songs there are faceless, dynamic is presented, but not too inspired. Too many polished emo melancholic tunes (ok, his hero Steven Wilson has the same problem in my opinion).

In all, quite rare case, when first impression is better, than every next (after every next listening). Still nod bad album, but far not original. If you're in melancholic sweetly-sad mood, and urgently searching for some modern and comfortable listening, this album possibly will work well enough. Just don't listen it once again later - you will possibly destroy your good impression!

Review by Bonnek
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars And on we go through the growing list of disappointing 2010 releases. I admit my hopes for Mute were quite high. I was rather charmed by the preceding Building an Empire and I had hoped Demians would overcome the issues with their debut, which were the sameness of the material and the lack of memorable melodies in some of the songs.

Unfortunately they did exactly the opposite. Gone are the long progressive epics that stood out on the previous album. The band merely goes routinely through 9 samey tracks that all follow a pattern of swelling emo vocals and building walls of guitars. Now that doesn't make it a bad album, it's reaonably good if you enjoy a bit of modern emo-rock. Except for Overhead, which overtly cites Led Zeppelin as a source of inspiration, the main influences would be Tool, Radiohead, Muse and Porcupine Tree.

I think Demians could be a strong live band, their dynamic and organic playing is pleasant to listen to, but the material lacks personality and quality to also set my living room afire. Certainly after a couple of listens, the inital (positive) impression quickly wears off. Id like to give 3 stars but it's really not enough. This band will have to do a lot better till they get anywhere near PT's heels.

Review by Conor Fynes
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.

Review by memowakeman
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Good heavy prog from this french talent!

By chance a couple of years ago when I went to a festival, I bought some cd's there and the seller gave me a free CD of Demians "Building an Empire", it was curious because I didn't know about it, I actually thought to myself that it would be for sure some kind of metal band trying to be known. I was wrong, Demians have some metal tendencies, but the music is different, dynamic, interesting, so I liked that first album.

When I knew Nicolas Chapel (the man behind Demians) had released his second effort, I actually wanted to listen to it, and so I did it. The music of Demians is not the classic progressive rock, not at all, he creates a dynamic mixture of heavy/alternative prog, which is pretty good and can be actually enjoyed by anyone.

This second album entitled "Mute", released in 2010 features nine compositions and a total time of fifty minutes. It opens with "Swing of the Airwaves", a seven-minute piece which happens to be the longest track. A slow beginning that gradually progresses until the song reaches an explosion and turns heavier and emotional. Chapel's voice is pretty good, I like it and it really helps enjoying more the music, which is also great.

"Feel Alive" continues with that heavy/alt style, more heavy than alternative actually, but well the music here reminds me to some of those 90s bands. In the final minute there is a surprising and chaotic scream, power and sorrow are shared here. "Porcelain" sounds calmer and gentler, there is a nice piano all over the track, the drums are nice, the problem I have here is that in moments I feel the song too poppy, and even boring.

The following track entitled "Black Over Gold" has some depressive feeling, again a soft and slow beginning with piano and vocals. A couple of minutes later some post-rock like guitars appear along with drums and bass. The song is gradually progressing and creates a charm atmosphere. This may be a poppy tune, however I have enjoyed it much more than the previous track.

The guitars on "Overhead" reminded me a lot to one Porcupine Tree's track included in their "Lightbulb Sun", actually there are some moments on this track that really seem similar to the one I am quoting, which does not mean it is a copy, not at all, but I could think of PT as one of Demians influences.

"Tidal" is so far my least favorite track on Demians discography, fortunately it is the shortest song of this album. If you want a catchy song where you can sing, then choose this one, sorry Mr. Chapel, I did not like it at all. With "Rainbow Ruse" both the music and the mood changes, it has a piano on it and sounds more melodic, charming in moments. However, as Demians use to do, the music and mood (again) changes all of a sudden becoming heavier and more emotional.

"Hesitation Waltz" is pretty interesting, there is an intriguing yet tense atmosphere here, drums, bass lines and a soft voice. While the minutes pass there are some new elements that can be better appreciated with headphones, though the rhythm is practically the same, the textures and nuances offer a more exquisite song.

The album finishes with "Falling from the Sun", which is a melancholic track that once again remind me of Porcupine Tree, they have some closers songs like this.

Well, I like the album, there are a couple of songs I really loved, but honestly Building an Empire is by a wide margin my favorite, and I can say better than this. However, you can listen to it and have a good time. My final grade will be three stars.

Enjoy it!

Review by UMUR
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars "Mute" is the 2nd full-length studio album by French progressive rock/metal act Demians. The album was released through Century Media Records/EMI Records in June 2010. Itīs the successor to "Building an Empire" from 2008 and as the case was on the debut album Demians is still the one-man project of Nicholas Chapel who handles all instruments and sings all vocals on the album (although two guests appear on a couple of tracks).

Chapel is a skilled musicians, so if you didnīt know, you wouldnīt notice that he plays all instruments, because there are no weak or sub par performances on "Mute". Everything is played with the amount of skill needed and with the right passion and conviction. His vocals are strong and pleasant, although he doesnīt have the most unique sounding voice. Stylistically the music is alternative/progressive rock, which is often similar in style to Porcupine Tree and other artists in that vein. But other influences also pop up on occasion like the Soundgarden influenced "Feel Alive", or the Sigur Rós and Radiohead influences heard on some of the mellow melancholic parts of the album.

The album opens with the longest and probably most progressive song in "Swing of the Airwaves", and while Chapel visit progressive territories at other times during the albumīs playing time, "Mute" isnīt the most progressive album out there. It focuses more on emotion, dynamics (heavy/mellow), and melancholy, and in that regard itīs a nicely atmospheric release. Itīs an album which reeks professionalism in all departments. High level musicianship, a well sounding production job, and well written material. A 3.5 star (70%) rating is deserved.

(Originally posted on Metal Music Archives)

Review by The Crow
3 stars The Demians project, by French musician Nicolas Chapel, returned in 2010 with a second album!

Still keeping the contract with Inside Out Music, who returned to work with the group editing this "Mute", the production was once again in charge of Chapel himself as well as most of the instruments. Fortunately, in this case Chapel corrected some of the shortcomings of his debut, such as having a real drummer in the figure of Gaël Hallier.

As for the music, we continue to find a very guitar-heavy prog with quite a few touches of alternative rock and post- grunge influences (Feel Alive is a good example), but this time something less Americanized, which brings this album closer to what European groups like The Pineapple Thief, Riverside and Amplifier were doing at the time, influences that were already present in "Building an Empire" anyway.

Fortunately, the compositional level of this "Mute" is also quite good, while being less predictable (it doesn't abuse crescendos so much) offering us a record that, although it is not perfect, can be enjoyed from beginning to end, resulting in an interesting and stimulating experience in almost its entirety.

It's a shame that after this album, probably due to the lack of commercial success, Demians had to self-publish their next two albums, because given the quality of "Building an Empire" and this "Mute", it's obvious that Nicolas Chapel deserved better luck!

Best Tracks: Porcelain (very interesting instrumental work, especially at the beginning of the song), Black Over Gold (a showcase for Chapel's nice voice), Overhead (I love those oriental touches, as well as that explosion of guitars towards the end) and Hesitation Waltz (another of Chapel's typical crescendos, very intense and with hints a la Dead Soul Tribe and Tool)

Latest members reviews

5 stars Boy this is a good album. It had a bit of a weak first impression, but has quickly grown to be one of my favourite discoveries of 2012. Essentially it's a prog metal tinged alt-rock album, with moments of prog and some heavier bits more in the style of Porcupine Tree FOABP-era. From the fast t ... (read more)

Report this review (#800131) | Posted by Gallifrey | Saturday, August 4, 2012 | Review Permanlink

3 stars This is a powerful second release by Demians. Being a huge PT fan, I was initially attracted to the album by the favourable reviews attributed to Steven Wilson. I must confess that after first and second listen, I felt dissapointed - yet another Heavy Prog release that lacked the depth that I was lo ... (read more)

Report this review (#306644) | Posted by Gilgamesh182 | Monday, October 25, 2010 | Review Permanlink

4 stars The second, two years wishful thinking present from St. Nicolas is nice packed, with amazing contents. So, beware of this frog-eater! He is bloody good composer, singer and multi-instrumentalist in one, in short: prodigy. (Isnīt forwardness to say heīs French Oldfield?) I think his project Dem ... (read more)

Report this review (#286456) | Posted by Gandalff | Monday, June 14, 2010 | Review Permanlink

5 stars OH YEAH! THE EMPIRE IS BUILT!!! Two years ago Demians released a splendid debut "Building An Empire", which introduced the great talent of Nicolas Chapel to the world, the man who wrote, produced, sang and played everything on it. The album received very positive reviews and landed Demians openin ... (read more)

Report this review (#286288) | Posted by Gandalfino | Sunday, June 13, 2010 | Review Permanlink

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