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Wednesday, Sept. 17, 2008

Demians

Building An Empire (InsideOut Music/SPV)

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  Nicolas Chapel, a one-Frenchman band, lands somewhere between the progressive rock of Porcupine Tree and the alternative metal of Tool on Building An Empire, released under the moniker Demians. By adding color and depth to ambient electronica, he manages to sum up Demians' entire sound on the 16-minute track "Sand."

  But Chapel, who wrote and performed these songs at his home in France, offers listeners greater glimpses into his musical psyche on the album's (slightly) shorter pieces. "The Perfect Symmetry," for example, reveals his ability to build multiple vocal tracks against layer upon layer of melodic textures. And "Sapphire" and "Nave," with their soft-loud-soft arrangements and modern hooks, could even be hits. Chapel recently assembled three musicians to help him bring Building An Empire to life on the road. But it's unlikely he'll be in Wisconsin anytime soon-or ever.