Monday, May 19, 2008
Demians - Building an Empire
k..so yeah, this is it. What all can I add to the below notes/simul-observations other than the fact I wrote that like 2 weeks ago I think either my 3rd or 4th time hearing it. Well for 1 just, that it has been like 2 or 3 weeks and I probably haven't invested enough time with this album yet to get a fully-formed opinion on it. But what I can conclude right now is, I like every song on it, 'Sand" is a classic progressive/art rock epic and I suppose I will stand by still that it supports the quality and depth on this album. "Temple" I still love after a long time listening to it. I get why "Sapphire" made sense as a 2nd sampler track off the bat. Suppose this is one of those albums that may get better with a lot more play. The atmosphere and textures kind of are distinct for Demians, even though one could point to other artists like Devin Townsend or Peter Gabriel..even the Porcupine Tree one does make some sense. I also think it could be stressed more the fact this not only is a DEBUT album, but it was all written and performed as I understand it, by Nic himself. Plus, to my knowledge, the material on BaE is a few years old, and there are already some plans for the next record. Kinda reminds me of artists like The Dear Hunter/Casey Crescenzo and even Pain of Salvation/Daniel Gildenlow..always thinking ahead. Very much looking forward to that.
The Perfect Symmetry - clean, crisp acoustics..gradual build..symphonic elements work well with the vox..'you let me drown, just one more time...i wear my crown"..nice use of samples..tone of the power-chords works well..eventually double-bass..middle gets quite epic..ambience..ethereal synths
Shine - message..acoustic beginning..powerful rhythm from the guitars..transitions to Sapphire
Sapphire - epic..been up for quite awhile..I often remember the vocal distortion part in this one. 'See the man I've become"..personal song for Nic?..'follow me here on my back"..character-driven like a dialog and narrative lyrically?..dynamics.."memories and expectations"..warm vocal doubles..like the vox harmonies later..intense build
Naive - starts out acoustic..kinda poppy ballad..gets layered and complex in the 2nd half "thank you for making me feel so real"
Unspoken - whispers at the beginning..ballad..vocal doubling again..slower..beautiful "silence means so much more"
Temple - great use of MLK samples..'We shall overcome"..dreamy mood..a song to escape..'imagine now"..is later repeated..warm..mystical..transitional..like something's changing
Empire - looping synth opens..the lyric "remember now" is repeated.."contemplate now, this temple in your " is brought back also at a different tempo..so Temple and Empire are connected in that way in the concept..really like how big the ending gets
Sand - long epic..drums sound jazzy toward the beginning..brushes?..'fasten seatbelt homeward bound"..like poetry..'swore on the downside"..the grinding..chugging guitars are a tm of Demians and this record with the soft-synths in the background."she was drawing lines in the sand...that I was holding in my hand..holding in my haaaaaaand"..the 3rd movement..awesome section where the synth gets mixed higher..then its gets rather emotional and heavy..driving vox and guitars..soul-bearing....complex vocals..".in the outside world" segues into a brighter section "everything that we have been..we were holding in our hand..now we can hold it in our hand"
and #3 on my top albums for 2008 currently. Only behind Ours and another record that is released on 5/20/08, King's X - XV.