Building An Empire
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Top Customer Reviews
The debut consists of eight tunes which clock in at almost an hour of running time. Starting with the ambitious "The Perfect Symmetry", one will immediately notice the huge sound Chapel has constructed. Mainly composed of crytalline acoustic guitars and rich shades of synthesizers, the song boasts a curious mix of spoken parts underscoring Chapel's mellow, laidback singing and the occasional rhythm guitar crunch. The song mostly moves in a midtempo pace, but it is littered with dense sound experimentation, where bleeps and static protrude amidst weird radio excerpts and a steady, monotonous drum workout. Towards the end, the tune takes on a cinematic bent thanks to the rising guitar crescendo and varied synth harmonies.
The acoustic guitars of "Shine" and "Naive" somewhat recall Blackfield, each starting out really mellow and building to an intense finale. The former gets really going halfway through with cascading keyboard melodies and its staccato rhythm guitars while the latter stands out for its dynamic song structure. The uplifting vocals also bring to mind Peter Gabriel (think "Solsbury Hill"). Also there is the beautifully produced "Sapphire", with its subtle bass tones and symphonic textures. The way the heavy synth tones keep overlapping each other at the end is sublime.
Chapel has achieved the juxtaposition of dark and light perfectly on Building An Empire, as the second half of the album is more psychedelic and darker toned. Cuts like "Unspoken" contain Porcupine Tree-like atmospherics and guitar elements stretching into white noise.Read more ›
Many will rank songs individually and give descriptions of each in an attempt to review an album, but this format does no justice to Building an Empire. This record is an holistic entity unto itself, and really must be taken as a whole from beginning to end. The emotional journey that the music will take the listener on mirrors that of Nic with every passing incredibly personal minute of music.
The music is acoustic and mellow; the music is heavy and bludgeoning. The must is absolutely beautiful with its sweeping string arrangements; the album is eviscerating at its harshest. The music is absolutely moving. I've long described Chapel's music the following way: listening to Demians is like that first moment of realization after an incredibly heavy burden has been lifted from you-- that moment in which you realize that you are free of your blight and can do anything you want to do if you just put your mind to it. Those are the moments in which I, personally, have felt happiest in my entire life. It is for that quality in this music that I find myself smiling like an idiot and wondering what the other people on the train think of me.
I have recommended this album to everybody I know and love. Those who don't buy it for themselves will be getting it for the next viable gift-giving occasion. Building an Empire somehow exceeded every incredibly unrealistic expectation I had for it and has completely taken over my life since I first heard it as an Amazon mp3 download a week ago.Read more ›
From the very beginning, the listener will know that he/she is hearing someone who is set to make his mark on the music world. Whether you like intricately-woven musical tapestries or prefer a driving guitar attack, there is something for you here. My favorites are The Perfect Symmetry, Sand, and Earth.
The CD comes with a booklet containing lyrics, album info, and "thanks" to everyone under the sun. Perhaps your enjoyment will be enhanced if you read the very literate and intelligent lyrics while listening for the first time so you get an idea of what Chapel is about.
InsideOut Music has a history of finding and promoting promising new acts in the worlds of metal and prog. With Demians, they have found another winner. If you are musically adventurous, give Building An Empire a listen and hear what I mean.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Cover is hideous. But I gave this album a chance as it was recommended to me by last fm. I listened to one song and it seemed pretty good but it turns out that's the only one worth... Read morePublished 1 month ago by owen
Still listening, did not come out and leave an impact. Will give it more time. Not sure if I like it.Published on April 5, 2013 by Amazon Customer
Amazing artist, Nicolas Chapel is not human! You need to a give a listen this and not just one time. The more I listen to this cd the more I love it. Read morePublished on March 22, 2010 by T. Perry
I took a chance on this album after I was referenced to the music through a Porcupine Tree blog. I am very impressed. Read morePublished on December 18, 2009 by B. Crawford
This is one of my favorite 2008 albums. These French guys (it looks like Nicolas Chapel composed it mostly alone) where able to present us with a heavier rock sound with a soul. Read morePublished on October 14, 2009 by Deven Gadula
I believe most of the reviewers have captured the essence of Building an Empire.
Just when I get depressed about the state of the music industry something like this... Read more
Having posted on numerous music forums over the years, I have been fortunate enough to get to know Nicolas Chapel. Read morePublished on January 23, 2009 by Marcus Giegerich
After seeing Demians in Utrecht this year (2008) as support act of Anathema I immediatly bought the CD. Read morePublished on November 28, 2008 by J. Banninga
What an amazing album. As all great albums (well almost all...), the sound is familiar and refreshing at the same time. The music is complex yet very accessible. Read morePublished on August 21, 2008 by Itzik Hagoel