Reviewed By: Nicholas R. Andreas
Album: Building an Empire
Year of Release: 2008
On Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Building-Empire-Demians/dp/B001451GYO/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&s=music&qid=1219431286&sr=8-3
What is the extent of a single manís capabilities? Well, apparently one man can write and arrange music, sing, play guitar, bass, keyboards, and drums, and help mix and master an album. All of this was done by Nicolas Chapel in order to complete the debut work of Demians, Building an Empire. What is amazing about the album is how well Nicolas does everything. The saying often goes, ďA jack of all trades, master of noneĒ, however that is not the case here. The songwriting on the album is intricate and fresh. All the instrumental work is well done, as Nicolas shows proficiency at all the instruments he picked up or beat on for the album. And perhaps most shockingly, being as the album was recorded at his home, and it is a debut work, the sound of the album is fantastic! The many instruments Nic brings to the fold are all clear, and well heard in the mix, and the overall presentation of the album is that of a sonic masterpiece.
The music of Demians reminded me a bit of another up and coming InsideOut act, Frost*. There are poppier elements at time, with a lot of intricate songwriting and many minor prog movements that really define it as a whole. Only difference is that I believe Frost* never quite managed to make great songs start to finish when all was said and done, however Demians manages to bring everything home in the end. Building an Empire is not an album that I am going to break down track by track. It is an album that you can put on, sit back, relax, listen, and enjoy. Any time you close your eyes hidden beauty in the music and little subtleties jump out and give you new appreciation for the album.
All that said there are simply points in the album that no matter how many listens I just donít seem to ďgetĒ. Maybe one day they will, or perhaps theyíll always be black spots on the album to me. However they are still minor as they are a small part of an incredible experience packed into just under one hour. The album has been in the works for about half a decade; however that does not take away from how good this album is coming from one mind and body. It is also important to note that the album does not suffer from having only one input. One would not be able to guess that it is one person playing everything. In fact, it only helps that the album came from one man as there is cohesiveness in the piece, everything seems to fit together perfectly, and for good reason.
Letís hope we donít have to wait as long for the follow up as we did for the debut, as this was an excellent start for Demians. The level of intricacy and quality of sound were two things I did not at all expect in this album, and they with everything made this a fantastic album.
Nickís Rating: 9/10