Khatsaturjan — Aramed Forces of Simantipak
(Musea FGBG 4464.AR, 2006, CD)
by Henry Schneider, Published 2007-03-01Listening to this new album by the Finnish band Khatsaturjan took me back to the 70s and mid-period Genesis. Aramed Forces of Simantipak is a rock symphony lasting almost 70 minutes. Though I am not exactly certain what it is about since the liner notes only provide the lyrics and not a story line. Khatsaturjan blends progressive rock with classical music in the best tradition of the prog pioneers. They even quote Handel’s “Sarabande” in one of their songs. However, the music is a bit sterile, lacking the warmth the music demands. All four band members sing, play keyboards, and an additional instrument (bass, guitar, drums, and cello). The orchestration and vocal harmonies, for the most part, are executed perfectly. In fact the harmonies conjure images of Queen. However, there times as the music fades at the end of a track where it is stripped bare isolating a single keyboard, which causes the music to lose some of its impact. In addition, the overall quality of the recording is a bit heavy on the treble thereby accentuating the sibilants in the vocals and other high frequencies resulting in tired ears. You can probably fix this problem through judicious use of the bass control to soften the sound a bit. To sum things up, Khatsaturjan is a capable band recreating the progressive rock of the 70s, but not extending it much.
Related artist(s): Khatsaturjan
Phil May of The Pretty Things RIP – We were saddened to learn that Phil May, lead singer and founding member of The Pretty Things, has died at the age of 75. The band's 1968 album S.F. Sorrow is one of the enduring classics of the psychedelic era, and the group existed in various forms until finally retiring in 2018. » Read more
Jorge Santana RIP – Jorge Santana, noted guitarist, leader of the band Malo and brother to Carlos Santan, died on May 14 at the age of 68. Jorge and Carlos worked together on a number of occasions, though Jorge's career was centered around Malo, solo work, and with Fania All-Stars. » Read more
Shindig Festival Goes Lock-Down – Here's what they're saying: It's A Happening Thing! The Shindig! Magazine Lockdown Festival. In our days of no large gatherings of people, maybe it's still possible to have a music festival. Shindig! Magazine is giving it a go with a multi-artist streaming extravaganza on Saturday April 25. » Read more
Bill Rieflin RIP – The sad news reaches us today of Bill Rieflin's death. Rieflin was best known as a drummer in bands ranging from post-punk to industrial to indie-rock to progressive rock, including work with The Blackouts, Ministry, Nine Inch Nails, Swans, Land, and King Crimson. Rieflin had been battling cancer for several years, and succumbed to it on March 24. He was 59. » Read more