Demians - Building an empire [Inside Out - 2008]Demians debut album is a pleasant, soaring and adventurous mix of prog, pop,metal, electroinca and string elements. Though you can hear hints of their influence here and there be it a Tool like vocal soar or Rush bass Ďní keyboard weave- thereís enough original edges & surprising twist and turns to make this something rather special.
I think what makes it so appealing is it mangers to been highly memorable and addictive yet at the same time very creative and adventurous with-in each songs trail. For example a snaking electronic element will suddenly appear, or soar strings will rise phoenix like from guitar chug, but every twist and turn is done so smoothly, graceful and in places almost magically so you donít quite know how all the elements are bound so well and strongly togeather. This is all made the more impressive that itís written and played by one person one Nicolas Chapel, though in live format their a four piece, Chapel is clever but heís not quite mastered the one man band live prog rock experience yet ;-).
A few of my favourite moments along the way are; the opener Perfect Symmetry with itís wide plains clear guitar march weaved with sparse samples, percussive elements & ambient keyboard swoons that builds in bass, string and drums groove before building up more power and epic grace. Sapphire with it's strange discordant tinkling keyboard intro that jumps into a mix scratched electronic elements and a highly memorable mix of guitar, synth and strings- as the track soars through a bombastic chorus and all manner of sonic dips and soars. The epic near on twenty minutes of the exit track Sand which starts from a soft electronic led pittter-patter and shifting Faith No More type percussion moves and soars to chugging yet epic heights- managing to build great atmospherics, sound contrast and make a true epic. But really most of the album work's well with only the odd element sounding a little too samey, but hell itís the guys debut- so you can forgive most of this.
A highly enjoyable, epic and tuneful debut that mangers to tie so many musically treads together in effortlessly and highly convincing manner. So if your looking for a modern prog rock album thatís fresh, creative yet still full of memorable and well written songs look no further than Building an empire.Roger Batty