After the positive acclaim of 2008's Building an Empire, formation of a live band, and subsequent touring around Europe, Nicholas Chapel returns with his Demians project and sophomore effort Mute. Returning to the solitude that created his first work, Chapel again remains principal composer and musician throughout. He invoked a simple alteration to his technique: opting for only real instruments and rejecting sampling of any kind.
This time around Demians' Mute sounds more like tripped out U2 wrapped in a heavier ambience smacked around at times by ample riffage (Feel Alive, for instance). Chapel's introspective lyrics remain giving every song an undercurrent of melancholy. While Mute once more shows his skills, Chapel seems to put more effort into being intentionally dreary. Porcelain and Black Over Gold show Chapel's compositional mastery and foggy melancholy. But what context would listen to this music except a rainy day? Yet, the short Tidal finds Demians gearing up heavier modern rock, and nearing some form of elliptical accessibility. Then Hesitation Waltz finds similarities to his debut work, which might make this work succeed for his fans.
Demians' Mute is as obtuse as it is ambitious, with author Nicholas Chapel once again inviting us on a journey to the center of his musical mind. It's interesting and disturbing, but hardly a soundtrack for your next lively activity.
Demians' Mute is as obtuse as it is ambitious, with author Nicholas Chapel once again inviting us on a journey to the center of his musical mind.
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