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Khatsaturjan - Aramed Forces of Simantipak CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

3.97 | 39 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
4 stars This is the second release by KHATSATURJAN from Finland, but the first official one since the self-financed Aramsome Sums (2002) is announced to be a demo. In fact, the band could have worked that one a bit more and have it released properly by Musea Records (who thought it to be slightly too short), but they decided to make a brand new album instead. Respect! Roughly a year was spent on mostly domestic recordings, without a producer outside the group. The album was finished in August 2005 and released by Musea the next summer.

"The classical influences still were an important starting point, and now we made bigger arrangemets, including also choir and strings", Atte Kurri told in his band biography. A prog magazine reviewer wrote of this nearly 68-minute work, that at times it sounds like early QUEEN, at times like FRANK ZAPPA, or ELP, Weather Report, Yes or Genesis. Yeah, the music is indeed bold and eclectic, loaded with delicious complexity and wide dynamics. The classically influenced details in both compositional structures and arrangements are skillfully stirred into the rock context. Listen to the harpsichord and violin in 'Advent Rise' for example. The massive epic titled 'The Mass' has a section in which harpsichord plays the tune of Georg Friedrich Händel, as if nodding to the band's beginnings when playing the classical music pieces was more central.

The vocals themselves (all four core members do them) may sound a bit amateurish, but the ambitious way they are used deserves applause. Khatsaturjan's adventurous prog combines some of the GENTLE GIANT eclectism, the playful wit of 10CC or KLAATU, and the pompousness of YES. [Sorry if I repeat myself from the earlier reviews.] The many-layered sound is quite keyboard oriented - but quite free of Emersonian bravado - and coated with vocal harmonies, but happily there are enough more peaceful and acoustic elements to avoid the sense of overload. Not a five-star masterpiece but an amazing and highly energetic prog album!

Matti | 4/5 |


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