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Artsruni - Cruzaid CD (album) cover




Prog Folk

3.68 | 38 ratings

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Prog-Folk Team
3 stars After listening to Cruzaid about 5 times in a row I decided that Artsruni really suffers from the lack of a keyboard player, or at least this omission exposes some weaknesses in the group's sound. It contains WAY too much muscular demented lead guitars that the band seems to view as de rigueur, and that appear when they needn't, when perhaps a keyboard fill might work better. I'm not saying they couldn't have succeeded using this ensemble, but that their formula and arrangements accentuate what they are missing. If you are familiar with Kollar Atila's album "Musical Witchcraft", you have a sonic picture of what is going on here, and can perhaps make a judgement based on your own specific tastes.

The very opening track, "Adition", is Artsruni in a nutshell, a sprightly melody beginning on acoustic guitar with luscious flute and heavy bass and drum work, and a generally jazzy vibe, but once that is explored, the raunchy lead guitar steps in. Well played yes, and good for maybe a surprise or two on a 50 minute CD, but this motif just keeps reappearing and loses all novelty halfway through the disk. Nonetheless, some of the material is so strong that I am forced to hold my nose during a few of the solos and just appreciate everything else that is going on before, during and after. And on "The Lost Symbol", the standard approach actually works, thanks to stellar rhythm and judicious progression of the piece, such that when the insanity intrudes it is completely in context. While the title tracks exhibits all that is worst about Artsruni, even then admittedly not without merit, "Barev" escapes the rut and the two vocal tracks, "Im Sir" and "Call of the Wind" both benefit greatly from the additional instrument of voice, presumably in a very musical sounding Armenian.

While this CD won't send me on a crusade, it appeals enough to avoid sending me on a tirade, in spite of some weaknesses that can be corrected with a little more imagination and a little less machismo.

kenethlevine | 3/5 |


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