Building an Empire

Demians is a one man band from France, Nicholas Chapel being the man behind it. I’m really struggling to come up with the words to describe this album, other than this really reminds me of a post-metal Tool. This is not just because Chapel’s voice reminds me quite a bit of Maynard James Keenan, though lacking in venom. All of the heavy parts could be taken straight off of Undertow, and even some of the drumming reminds me of Danny Carey. However this album lacks the lunacy or the heaviness that caused me to fall in love with Tool so many moons ago. This is a damn shame because when they do get heavy they do it very well. The ending of “Sapphire” is devastatingly heavy and enjoyable. Sadly he keeps going back to the softness all the time which weighs down the album. There is no way I can knock him on technical know-how, but the feel just isn’t here for me. If the ratio of heavy to light was skewed towards the heavy a bit more I could probably love this.

Unfortunately all post-metal means to me is that everything is soft and ambient. There is no threat of heaviness to be found in most of the post-metal landscape. That said Demians has a tendency to keep things acoustic, or at the very least the music is rather soft. I would say that this is almost a compilation of all of Opeth’s lighter passages stapled together, with the occasional outburst of heaviness. He does this a bit too much reminding me of the last few Isis albums which frankly bore the hell out of me. I think that’s my big problem with this album to be honest, there is no pain here. I keep waiting for it to get heavy and it steadfastly refuses. The lyrics are also lacking any real emotional punch which leads to this being rather dry for me. That’s my big problem, it’s not that this is bad musically, it just fails to connect with me on any level. The music itself is very well done, it’s just not particularly my cup of tea.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Kyle Huckins
October 8th, 2008


  1. Commented by: ceno

    Good review, man. I heard this album a couple of times, mostly because it’s on the Inside Out roster and Steve Wilson of Porcupine Tree made some rave comments about it. I quite like it but not enough to keep it in constant rotation. I don’t have any problems with lack of heaviness, it’s a prog rock album after all, but what it’s really short of is some really interestinf ideas that would let it stand out among other bands ploughing this field of prog. For that matter, I would strongly recommend an Israeli band called Ephrat. They do it way better imo.

  2. Commented by: Kyle

    It doesn’t help that this really isn’t my cup of tea. It’s by no means a bad record but I just couldn’t really get into it.

  3. Commented by: Staylow

    Some comparisons to older/heavier Tool? I’m gonna have to look into it. Tool was among my very first metal bands, and I still love the old stuff, even if their newer stuff is kinda weak.

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