At the risk of coming off as a softy giving the last few albums I’ve reviewed a perfect score, it was hard for me to not love Demiaura’s self-titled instrumental album from start to finish. You can hear a sample with the opening track titled “EntheoGenesis” here, and I highly recommend you do – especially if you’re a progressive metal fan (their influences include, but are not limited to: Iron Maiden, Rush, and Cynic to name a few). There’s a lot going on in this song in particular, with catchy riffs, keyboard “ahhh” breaks as I call ‘em, and tones switching up to keep the brain stimulated and ears perked. Yet, that’s only the beginning of this ten-track album.
Forming in the late 90s and hailing from Phoenix, Arizona, these cats are mad tight (due to years of experience, no doubt). With only three members, Bobby Chavez (lead guitar), Keith Heaney (acoustic/electronic percussionist), and Jonathan Gabriel Jr. (keyboard and programming) their sound packs a punch that sounds like there should be many more members.
With tracks averaging a length of five minutes, this album just flew by and I found myself absorbed in every minute. The song “Escaping The Event Horizon” is the stand-out track of the album for me; I adored the piano infused with metal so much. It was so well infused that it took me awhile to go, “Wait a sec…there’s piano here, sweet!” I appreciate the video and being able to see the boys in action, although the recorded sound isn’t the greatest, it’s worth a watch/listen. (I’m a HUGE fan of comedian Tim Minchin, who gave me a greater appreciation for piano through his acts – although yes, in this case it’s via keyboard but great nonetheless.)
Arriving mid-album to the song “Astral World” was a lovely pause with its atmospheric vibe and a few subtle guitar plucks. I don’t know if this was placed in the middle on purpose, but it’s very well timed in the flow of it all.
I absolutely adored the song “Wind Of Deliverance.” I’m a sucker for hearing “squeaks” as fingers strum an acoustic guitar, and this one gave me a desire to be by a camp fire with friends, enjoying the sound. It’s a really beautiful song; the plucking tugs at the imagination and has an immediate calming effect. The keyboard adds a nice breeze, resembling a musical wind while letting the guitar steal the spotlight.
This album is like a metal spa for the ears – if only for an hour or so, I felt at peace and able to ignore any woes of life. I highly recommend this for fans of instrumental metal, and anyone needing a brain massage…I know I sure did! I certainly hope they hit my town, Montréal sometime – I’d love to catch this live and take it in raw. Speaking of raw, I’ll end with a link to this video, which shows the band working on new material, and it’s just cool to watch brains churning out music in my books.
Written by Angie Radczenko
*edited by Kate Erickson