Rise of an Empire

If your idea of prog music is wonderfully layered music, with many textures that reward the listener with something new on each listen then prog heaven awaits you with this wonderfully superb debut from our friends across the Channel, Demians. Brainchild on one Nicolas Chapel, who has committed the proverbial blood, sweat, tears, and now musical genius to acetate in the form of ‘Building An Empire’

All of the music, lyrics and arrangements were conceived by the very talented Monsieur. Thankfully his project has spawned and evolved into a real band. Nicolas has teamed up with drummer Michael Roponus, bassist Antoine Pohu, and keyboardist Anthony Broggia and will hopefully be coming to ply their wares at a town near you sometime soon

I don’t know how Inside Out manage to do it, but they just do it. They seem to find diamonds when other labels are introducing us to pap. It is yet another band, another great release from this never ending conveyor belt of great sounding bands both old and new.

You are immediately drawn to the similarity of wonderfulness that was one of 2007’s best releases in Porcupine Tree’s ‘Fear Of A Blank Planet’. Delightfully performed • one minute restrained, the next unleashed with a wondering approach of a band with no preconceived ideas of what path it was going to take. I’ve heard the album a couple of times now, and it is just as effective when played at any level of volume (quiet background music, full on, and is great with the headphones on).

The cd for review has eight tracks, but I understand the retail version has a ninth bonus track. The eight songs take you on a ride, morphing into each other, to make one great listening experience. An IMAX for the ears! ‘The Perfect Symmetry’ draws you in to the textures and dynamics within the music, Chapels vocals both mellow and soothing in the process. It builds to a pulsating atmospheric crescendo which will be a similar trait of what is to follow on. ‘Sand’ a short much heavier track follows before seamlessly becoming ‘Sapphire’ a track with underlying string section used often in the process. On and on it goes to the end, with the final track ‘Sand’ an epic of epic proportions. You get the lot, acoustic, theme and mood changes, light and heavy guitars, differing vocal styles.

The album is a mix of may influences from obviously Porcupine Tree, Pink Floyd, and Spocks Beard to name but three. Of Demians, the term ‘one man band’ never been used so aptly. It could probably be described as a solo project. ‘Building an Empire’ is an apt title for a band who will undoubtedly grab the paying public by the throat and make them listen, taking on the world, hopefully turning themselves into one of the best bands of the year. Make no mistake about it this album is awesome, and I don’t say that lightly