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Khatsaturjan - Beast, Machine & Man CD (album) cover

BEAST, MACHINE & MAN

Khatsaturjan

 

Symphonic Prog

3.63 | 18 ratings

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Matti
Prog Reviewer
4 stars In the spring of 2014 I came across the 'demo' release by this Finnish band and wondered why such a skillful group has remained so unnoticed. Also I was almost certain that they had called it a day. Happily I was wrong! It just took a longer time to record their latest album. I was kindly given all the missing albums, and I'm indeed glad to have the opportunity to spread the word. While KHATSATURJAN's earliest recordings may have more elements from the world of classical music, now it seems that with this 61-minute album they have searched for sonic perfection. And probably conceptual perfection as well, but the textual level hasn't fully reached my mind yet.

The ambitious prog of this band is, in my honest opinion, very close to the highest international level when speaking of the more or less symphonic prog drawing influence from the 70's classics. The fact that all the three core members sing and play several instruments is actually very revealing. First, the vocal harmonies are an important part of the sound, and second, the music is very flexible in arrangement and in compositions. You can try and imagine a modern prog group in the vein of TRANSATLANTIC, BEARDFISH or UNITOPIA, with a pop-flirting, whimsical mentality of bands such as KLAATU and 10CC and the fast-turning eclectism of GENTLE GIANT.

Piano, organ and synths are all well present in the sound, which is coloured by cello and violin. The constant change between the acoustic and the electric concerns also the guitars. The individual vocals are good and clean, perhaps one reason for me to think of 10CC. They blend together marvelously, it's not the case of deep contrasts like with Gentle Giant's Derek Shulman vs. Kerry Minnear (of which the latter is happily closer to what you hear in Khatsaturjan).

The tracks are mostly around 6-8 minutes in length. The weakest song is without a doubt the shortest one, 'Wrong Kinda Socks', a rather banal rocker that could have been left out of the otherwise thoughful album. Nearly 12-minute 'In Pursuit of a Haunting Singalong' is a fine epic, but I feel that in the end it just fades out all of a sudden, making a slightly nuisant pause to the music's flow. Perhaps without these two negative remarks I'd be tempted to give this album a full rating.

Anyway, a truly recommendable album deserving international recognition. Check it in youTube or elsewhere, and be impressed!

Matti | 4/5 |

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