DEMIANS - Building An Empire

Demians - Building An Empire

8 songs
56:43 minutes


Heavily mentored by Porcupine Tree founder Steven Wilson, it is clear from the beginning what to expect of French newcomers Demians. The eight songs on their debut Building An Empire offer nothing unexpected. You get modern progressive rock, sometimes on long tracks like the nine minute opener The Perfect Symmetry or the sixteen minute closer Sand, and more often on tracks with more radio friendly running times. But that doesn’t change much about their procedure. Even their longer material often takes too much time to build a climax, and their shorter songs are uneven. Naive for instance is an impressive rock song that stands out as the highlight on the album, but the slightly longer Empire feels insipid, to say the least.

The band, led by guitarist and vocalist Nicolas Chapel, never strays far from their mentors, only the vocals remind of Dream Theater in a mellower mood. And that’s just not enough to count as progressive anymore these days. Yes, Demians have recorded a professional, contemporary rock album with an impressive production, but when form becomes more important than content, then we are in for trouble. I strongly suggest Mr Chapel and his co-conspirators emancipate themselves from their roots, dare to experiment, because that’s what prog rock is all about, and then come back with a more mature album next time. Because I don’t doubt they have the talent for it.

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