Demian Heuke - Treumal

(CD 2014, 43:35, Independent Release)

The tracks:
  1- 30 Ballons (Featuring Dennis Hormes)
  2- This Is Now (Featuring Adrian Weiss)
  3- Jimmy
  4- Alive
  5- Iced Kingdom
  6- Funky Valentine
  7- Treumal
  8- Astronomy
  9- Just Breathing
10- Diminished Wind
11- Suffering
12- Daily Settlement

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Demian Heuke is a German guitar player that gathered a lot of experience by playing in several bands, The Aura, N-Jected and These Are The Days. For the latter he still is the main song writer. On the side he plays second guitar next to Adrian Weiss and contributed on his album Easy Game (2014, see review) as well.

With Treumal, Demian releases his first album under his own moniker and I have to say I really enjoyed the ride. One of the best things is the overall atmosphere as his compositions have a very positive vibe. Listen to the album's opener 30 Ballons and you will be pleased with the warm surroundings of this song. Here the guitar tells the story and although the composition is a fast and furious one, you still can imagine the guitar as a vocalist. As an influence I would refer to Andy Timmons or Mads Eriksen. During most of the compositions, this positive vibe continues, sometimes with a kind of grim and powerful edge. This Is Now sees a contribution of the aforementioned Adrian Weiss, completing the shred fest. Another impressive part is Lars Zehners' drumming part during the same song, ferocious footwork that backs both guitar players up. Jimmy almost has a kind of live feel, acoustically based with pleasing percussion and handclapping, lays down a solid base for a long melodic journey with Demian's guitar. Treumal sees a lot of variation, so Alive is a strong hard rock style song, while the following Iced Kingdom, due to its smooth opening that turns into a metal part, a display for the progressive side of Demian's music. Funky Valentine's title should cover the style of the song as bass player MF-C takes a leading role in this song that sees Steve Vai influences during the solos. The album's title track Treumal and Suffering and in a way the soul played Just Breathing as well are relaxed and intimate, more towards Joe Satriani's smoother parts, with an extra mention for the fine fretless bass during Suffering. Astronomy and Diminished Wind are not quite as heavy as the compositions we heard during the first half of the album and the whole atmosphere becomes a bit darker, doomy, but not less interesting nor impressive. Treumal closes with a short acoustic piece, Daily Settlement, smooth and passionate.

Demian Heuke has put his foot down-down on the map as a guitar player that stands for great craftsmanship and high quality compositions. His debut album has lots of variation and shows Demian has more to offer that speed and heaviness. Also by adding several guest guitar players to some of the songs, the combination of styles makes sure something special is added to the song. I see the point where Adrian Weiss asked him to join him to perform live together, both styles work perfectly together and by challenging each other, they climb to higher levels.

****+ Pedro Bekkers (edited by Robert James Pashman)

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