While the new album by Opium Denn, Demarkation, introduces him as a potential guitar virtuoso, much of the raw talent and decent song composition gets lost in a persona which neither fits nor adds anything to the music. Opium Denn is tough to track or figure out because of an odd mystique which he has felt the need to build around himself, calling himself an “entity” and claiming he uses Health-Science Enhanced Vibrations (HEVs) in his music. The first single off of Demarkation is “I am a Feeling #1” and it is probably the most true to Opium Denn’s vision while also showcasing his actual musical skill.
HEVs are an interesting concept. The idea that certain vibrational tones in music can cause different moods or cause a kind of buzz or euphoria has been researched and played with, but few artists have claimed to use them in their music in the way Opium Denn. To be sure, there is a distinct difference in the sound between the HEV and non-HEV versions of all the tracks on Demarkation including “I am a Feeling #1,” but with no further explanation, we can only guess what this artist is talking about beyond that.
“I am a Feeling #1” was released as a video on Opium Denn’s Youtube channel along with two other tracks, “Leaf” and “So Many Faces”. While many of the tracks on this album are, to the objective observer, standard 80s-style rock with the echo effect pumped up and good guitar playing, “I am a Feeling #1” hints more at Opium Denn’s potential, if he would only stick to one concept at a time. The song opens with an ambient, prog rock-like guitar and drum track which follows the action in the equally trippy video, directed by Jon Jones. Opium Denn’s unfortunate-bordering-on-destructive voice is limited in this song as well, which is a plus. A unique choice for a track with which to open an album, “I am a Feeling #1” connotes strong feelings along with its video of a need for connection while loneliness and solitude presses down. Easily the best track on the album, there are three versions of this song taking up three of the nine spaces on the album, and that’s a good thing.
Each track from Opium Denn’s Demarkation will be released with a corresponding video, purportedly building a story which, hopefully, will reveal a bit more about the artist’s motivation and what his intention is with the HEV project. In the meantime, it’s not a lost cause to give the album a listen and watch the videos. If nothing else, they’re different. The non-HEV version of Demarkation can be streamed on Opium Denn’s Soundcloud page, and all the videos released so far can be seen on his Youtube channel (these are the HEV versions, and the artist recommends not listening to them whilst driving, whatever that means). The full HEV album can also be purchased on Opium Denn’s CD Baby page.