By Metal Bulletin Zine
DemiAura The Ascendant Pavement Entertainment 16 July 2021
2. Heavy Skies
3. Between Two Fires
4. Through the Ages
5. The Dreaming
7. Escaping the Event Horizon
8. Shining Through
According to official sources, the beginnings of this entity seem to go back to the 1990s, and has had various phases, of which this is the most recent, now ready with their debut album finally to see the light of day in 2021. They call home the scorching-heat desert lands of Arizona, in the southwestern United States, bordering with Mexico. For years figuratively wandering in the desert, drummer Keith Heaney, guitarist Bobby Chávez and keyboardist Jonathan Gabriel, Jr. had been trying to find a singer. They have must tried to sing themselves. The drummer maybe found out that singing and playing drums live is not that much fun. The guitarist felt too busy playing guitar, perhaps, as did the keyboardist, who might not be a multitasker, anyway. Maybe they found other singers, but it just did not work out, obviously. They say that in 2017 someone auditioned and their singer had finally arrived in the form of vocalist Chelsea Wrathchild. Enter the 2021 version of DemiAura and their debut album.
DemiAura can be summarized in one word: quality. Some bands are funny, dexterous, fast, slow, heavy, weird, political, weightlifters, cape wearers, avocado aficionados or whatever else. However, the Arizonans have a passion for quality. That's their starting point. If these desert inhabitants could ask a question, it would be, "When you hear our music, are you able to hear the quality of it?" Their hope is that people who are music supporters will give them more than a few seconds to decide if they like it or not. As far the musicianship goes, not only does the album sound clear and professional, their skill and hard work is easy to hear. The music is mostly midtempo, melodic, and relatively mellow. Attention: As long as the listener is patient enough to let the music do its job in the mind, with time to unfold in one’s imagination, the music holds value for the audience. On the other hand, it is very possible that the band has a perfectionist streak in them, and they have carefully composed every note down to the second. Perhaps a bit too much. The music leans substantially on the progressive side, to the detriment of the rocking side. This makes the album an interesting listen to the audiences supportive of melodic prog, but it might be too anti-rocking or anti-fun for younger audiences or for the audiences that would like a bit more of a balance between rocking and prog.
To conclude, the audiences of melodic, pleasant, lighter prog with singing should consider giving their attention to this debut album. It is probable that the music will offer a fresher, newer presentation that will complement nicely the older and established traditional acts of the genre.
Original article link: https://metalbulletin.blogspot.com/2021/07/demiaura.html
By Bryce Van Patten at Metal Express Radio
Prog Power Trio Finds a Voice
Though they’ve been around since the 90s as an instrumental group, DemiAura are releasing their debut album as a 4 piece band titled The Ascendant on Pavement Records. Originally conceptualized by drummer Keith Heaney, guitarist Bobby Chavez and keyboardist Jonathan Gabriel, Jr., the trio had sought a vocalist for years without a finding the perfect fit. That all changed in 2017 when they teamed with singer Chelsea Wrathchild, completing the Progressive Metal lineup, and leading to this first excellent offering.
Melody Meets Math
As one would expect with a Prog Metal band, there are lots of tricky time signatures to twist the brain. The guitar work is phenomenal, The keyboards are epic while the drums are expertly played. DemiAura draws its influences from giants of the genre like Rush, Fates Warning, Tesseract, Periphery, Liquid Tension Experiment, and Opeth to name a few. Making the change from a purely instrumental band to having a lead vocalist is not an easy task, and they are on their way to perfecting that goal.
Final NotesThe music is well written on every track. The musicianship all around is fantastic. Chelsea Wrathchild has an excellent voice, and seems a great fit with the band. That said, the songs are a bit on the long side, and could use more vocal parts to break things up. This is a strong debut album, with many great atmospheric moments punctuated by heavy syncopation. Fans of Dream Theater, Sons of Apollo, DGM and Progressive Heavy Metal will certainly dig The Ascendant. Definitely worth having in your collection!
Chelsea Wrathchild – vocals
Keith Heaney – drums
Bobby Chavez – guitar
Jonathan Gabriel, Jr. – keyboards
The Ascendant – Tracklist
01 – Pleiadian
02 – Heavy Skies
03 – Between Two Fires
04 – Through the Ages
05 – The Dreaming
06 – Antikythera
07 – Escaping the Event Horizon
08 – Shining Through
09 – Perfidy
10 – Equinox
More Posts for Show: Daily Album Premieres
Original article link: https://www.metalexpressradio.com/2021/07/13/demiaura-the-ascendant/
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 Cynicto 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
DemiAura is a progressive metal band from Phoenix, AZ. The band shows influences from rogues and giants of the genre like Iron Maiden, Rush, Dream Theater, Tesseract, Periphery, Liquid Tension Experiment, Opeth, Cynicand many others. They play a lot like all of these bands and that’s what appears in their music.
DemiAura currently consists of three members:
The band’s tracks are sounds like those of video games and more precisely car racing games. They also sound like the soundtracks of hardcore movies, which is good… but it kind of gets boring after a while as most of the tracks share the same theme.
Bobby Chavez’s guitar riffs are superb. He’s flaming the tracks with his heavy tones and he delivers the energy and action he needs to deliver.
What actually gets to me is the cohesion between the double base and heavy riffs. It sounded great, so blended together and so fast that it gets you going all the way till the music stops.
Even though it’s the band’s debut, it’s a promising start for DemiAura. But, I think they still made a couple of mistakes in this album like:
Unifying the rhythm and theme of songs. The tracks were so related in a way that makes you feel lost because you can’t recall a unique tone in a specific track.
Also, I think DemiAura irrationally doubled their tracks’ duration. Some tracks didn’t need more than 5 minutes while others did. But, as a whole, I think they should’ve cut some time off their long duration tracks. However, DemiAura did more than good on this album. They just need to focus on the excitement factor concerning their music so as to not be boring to some people.
And I think if that album had at least 2 tracks with vocals, it could’ve changed a lot.
In my humble opinion track #10 ‘Troll’ needed some vocals to turn it into a hit.
Written by: Amged Mahmoud
Edited by: Ahmed S. Khalil
Revised by: NJ Bakr
“New Cinematic Progressive Metal act DemiAura releases first full-length instrumental album, debuts show with Fates Warning” Innovative new Cinematic Progressive Metal band DemiAura recently did a digital release of their very first full-length instrumental/soundtrack album on October 13th, 2015, and is now available on their website at: http://www.demiaura.com/product/demiaura/ The album also features a dynamic show of multi-instrumentalism amongst the group, prominent in drummer Keith Heaney’s Octapad piece “Astral World,” lead guitarist Bobby Chavez performing all bass parts in the recordings, and keyboardist Jonathan Gabriel Jr. writing and performing all instruments in “Wind Of Deliverance.” The band has debuted their first show with ProgMetal icons Fates Warning on October 29th, 2015 at Club Red Theatres in Mesa, AZ. Together with local Progressive Rock/Metal pioneers Materium and Phoenix & Dragon, as well as Oklahoma’s Vangough, as they represent the rapidly growing Arizona Progressive Metal scene. The event was presented by 13th Floor Entertainment (www.13thfloorentertainment.com) and hosted by Heavy Metal Television.
When DemiAura keyboard player Jonathan Gabriel Jr. mailed us if we could review the first album by his new band, he mentioned that there was a possibility that vocals were added to the final mix. We replied that he really had to be sure it was done, before the recordings and he replied that the instrumental version would be the final one. Now, after releasing their debut album ‘DemiAura’, I’m curious if that was the right decision.
DemiAura from left to right: Keith Heaney (drums), Bobby Chavez (guitar) and Jonathan Gabriel Jr. (keyboards)
Because meanwhile, the band states that they are looking for a vocalist. The, already very talented, core exists of Bobby Chavez on guitars, Keith Heaney on drums and Gabriel Jr. on keys. It seems the three of them are ready to expand with someone behind the mic, a bass player and a second guitarist. Together, this trio claims to make “progressive metal fusion soundscapes”, whatever that turns out to be.
What I do know is that writing a completely instrumental album isn’t easy at all. Sometimes you have these moments in which the band desperately keeps switching pace, which is pretty annoying as a listener. That’s something which stood out to me at first, but after listening a couple of times, it occurred to me that the record is much more balanced than I first thought.
But the question remains, did the band make the right choice releasing this album without vocals? As a matter of fact, I think they did. The album’s absolutely enjoyable the way it is and every track seems to feel as if it’s different from the others. All kinds of music come along and ‘DemiAura’ really feels like it unwinds slowly while you listen to it.
The heavy approach on tracks like ‘EntheoGenesis’, ‘Pleiadian’ and ‘Metempsychosis’ is completely different form the atmospheric, relaxing tunes that ‘Wind Of Deliverance’, ‘The Dreaming’ and ‘Astral World’ deliver. The latter of them sounding pretty oriental at times. Every single one of these tracks sounds different from the ones before and after and that’s a compliment DemiAura absolutely deserves.
As good as this first album sounds without vocals, I do think there are possibilities to explore and grounds to be won if these guys manage to find the right singer. Whether it be male or female, a vocalist creates the possibility to fill some of the gaps during somewhat repetitive riffs or enrich the beautiful, slow keyboards with some spoken or sung words.
It’s up to the band which path they will take in the future. For now, the highly talented trio is absolutely moving into the right direction. Even without a vocalist ‘DemiAura’ manages not only to impress, but it also makes you want to finish the entire album at once. As the progressive work slowly unwinds as you listen to it multiple times, the tracks become more than “just” a track. This is progressive, instrumental music of a very promising quality. I’m looking forward to a very bright DemiAura future.
Review online: January 20, 2016
Reviewed by: MetalMike
DemiAura is a Progressive Metal band based in Phoenix, AZ that was formed in 2013. 2015 sees the release of their debut, self-titled album (only available digitally at this time) and I have to say I’m not the Progressive fan I once was so when I see “progressive” and multiple songs regularly topping seven minutes my eyes start to roll back in my head. Color me pleasantly surprised with DemiAura’s music. Comprised of just a guitarist, drummer and keyboardist currently (all handle multiple instruments and electronics) the album features no vocals but is nevertheless an engaging listening experience. Maybe it’s that they hearken back to the Prog/Space/Folk Rock of the 70s on songs like “Astral World” and “Wind of Deliverance,” evoking bands like Yes, Starcastle and Jethro Tull while others channel Dream Theater, Anubis Gate and the like that has me intrigued. It’s probably just that the guys in DemiAura are good songwriters. Information on their website and Facebook pages is scant though they appear to be looking for a vocalist (among other musicians) so who knows what they may be capable of with a more complete lineup. Either way I found this album to be rather enjoyable and encourage Progressive Metal fans to give it a whirl.
The trio from Phoenix, Arizona plays melodic, instrumental progressive metal. Mood music created through improvisation.
This is basically music in the outskirts of the core area of my taste-buds, so lower any irrational expectations of a meticulous in depth analysis.
It’s pleasant background music the trio has created. With clean and clear sound and descent dynamics, mellow guitar tones flutter off in a leisurely manner. Acoustic guitar picking smells of woods while the sun’s rays are fragmented between the treetops and a dimmed by its leaves. Synthesizer creates ripples in musical waters while jazz-influenced drumming floats lazily on the waves.
With expert instrumentation from three competent gentlemen, this sounds very good.
The downside is that this appears, as already mentioned, as background music. Even if I ain’t got the biggest interest for progressive music, I have no trouble enjoying some Pink Floyd or Rush. With these one finds meticulously constructed songs with direction and depth. A good song is often presented as a story, it needs a starting point, a plot, a little action and drama along the way before the ending collects these threads and leaves the reader satisfied.
In DemiAura‘s case I feel the threads diverge, tangled and generally lack a strategic direction. It’s quite possible that I just do not “understand” this form of music. It may well be that the goal simply is to create pleasurable and dramatic moods that could have served as a film score. I, however, prefer something that poses a greater entity, a big picture, capable of standing on its own feet. Soundtracks without movies is like movies without background music, rather tame.
That the creators of such music is able to distinguish their compositions apart impresses me a bit. For me, this emerges as fairly random. At the same time, after quite a few hours in the company of DemiAura, I thrive surprisingly well with their music in the background. It’s like lying unwinding in a hammock between the trees on a nice summer day while Cumulus clouds floats calmly over the blue canvas.
Gently and slowly, beautifully and leisurely, but not specifically purposeful beyond just that.
That the band is instrumental might be nothing but a temporary solution. The trio is on the lookouts for vocalist, bassist, second guitarist and someone to handle violin/cello. Thus, the band, started under the moniker Organism in the late nineties, might quickly develop in some way or the other.
The band’s logo is an ambigram, which is a graphical representation of a word that is the same upside down. See for yourself! (hover your mouse over the pictures). Stylish!
Have a look at the EntheoGenesis video, which can also be heard right here, and watch the band play through
Escaping the Event Horizon and Metempsychosis.
DemiAura is an all-instrumental prog metal band from Phoenix. Instrumental bands seem to fall into 2 categories for me: bands that should never get a vocalist and bands that could stand to have one. DemiAura fall into the latter category.
First off, the band are amazing players. The reason I think they could use a vocalist has nothing to do with their abilities. This band can fucking play. However, there are parts of the songs that often have space where it seems like a vocal should be. The lead track “EntheoGenesis” is a perfect example. It’s a very heavy, riff but repetitive track. There’s clearly a verse, chorus, verse pattern here. The solo section is the highlight of the song, for sure but there’s something missing otherwise.
The second track “Pleiadian” has a similar vibe but not as obvious. The sections on this song are a bit more riffy but still, something is missing. “Escaping the Event Horizon” is another song with great riffs which benefits from more soloing which fills those gaps that the first 2 tracks have. Elsewhere, the one song that bugs me is “Metempsychosis” which probably could have been titled “A Parade of Arpeggios.” I don’t mind it but sometimes the band does fall into an overly repetitive pattern and this song really shows it more than the others. The closing track “Troll” is my favorite track. The band really harness their power and energy on this track.
After listening to this album a few times, it didn’t really hit me. The production is impeccable so that’s not the issue. Instead, I found my mind wandering when it should have been locked into the music. DemiAura are far too good of a band to allow that so clearly I need something more than this album has. There needs to either be more “what the hell was that” moments or maybe a vocalist is what’s needed. The potential here is limitless.
3. Escape from the Event Horizon
4. The Watchers
5. Astral World
6. Intelligent Design
8. The Dreaming
9. Wind of Deliverance
DemiAura – “DemiAura”
Progressive Instrumental Metal Fusion (debut EP from this Arizona heavy instrumental band. Great mix of heaviness, prog fusion and crazy rhythms. Strong focus on keyboards too which makes for some great textures. Solid stuff for fans of dynamic instrumental progressive music.)