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Artsruni - The Lost and Found, Live Album CD (album) cover

THE LOST AND FOUND, LIVE ALBUM

Artsruni

Prog Folk


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Steve Hegede
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars The thing that I love most about underground prog rock is how fans encourage bands to mix in their own unique culture into the music. So, instead of having thousands of groups that ape popular English and American styles (usually sounding weak compared to the great English and American bands, thus continuing the myth that non-English speaking rock bands suck), you get bands that take English and American musical influences, and mix it with a nice dose of their local culture. The music created by these bands usually bursts with integrity, warmth, and charisma. I think these days, thanks to the internet really, it shouldn't be surprising that progressive rock is played almost everywhere in the world. ARTSRUNI is a 6-piece band consisting of flute, guitar (both electric and acoustic), bass, drums, and percussion. "Lost and Found, Live Album" is a 7-track demo CD to help promote the group and an upcoming studio album. Their sound is a bit hard to describe, but I'm mostly reminded of a few of the modern Italian prog bands (FINISTERRE especially). Most of the tracks emphasize energetic melodic interaction between flutist and guitarist. Some of those melodies are played in unison, while others feature both musicians playing off of each other. The flutist's style reminds me a bit of the Brazilian group BACAMARTE (or if you will a more exotic Ian ANDERSON). The guitarist has a metal-ish influence to his sound, and likes to weave in jazz-fusion and Armenian scales into his solos. The band, overall, enjoys playing some rather busy grooves that feature quick twists and turns. Many compositions also left me wondering if these guys were into BELA FLECK and the FLECKTONES? There is, of course, a noticeable Armenian influence in the music that spices things up. According to the bio that I received with the CD, many of the themes are based on traditional Armenian songs (some over 200 years old). The Armenian influence is especially noticeable during the vocal passages. I must say, I love the vocal sections. Since this is a live album, they come off slightly unpolished (lack of strong reverb), but I can just imagine what they will sound like in the studio. The vocals are warm, with a sound unique to the region. In all, I'm really looking forward to a studio CD from this group. Hopefully, they will push their prog influences further and stay away from commercial pressures.

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Send comments to Steve Hegede (BETA) | Report this review (#28993)
Posted Sunday, March 21, 2004 | Review Permalink
erik neuteboom
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars Artsruni is a six piece Armenian formation that was founded by Vahan Artsruni. Originally he was destined to become a doctor in medicines after his masters degree but music turned out to be his first love. From 1984 he was involved in lots of musical activities and he developped himself into a skilled and experienced musician.

The first five songs on this live album sound like studio- sessions or jams: the melodic music is build around flute/electric guitar interplay and soli, mainly by guitar (with echoes from Ritchie Blackmore but less heavy) or flute and at some moments the bass guitar. The use of (twanging) acoustic guitar gives the music a warm and folky atmosphere. My highlights are Aditon (obvious Jethro Tull climate), Anush Garun (dynamic with hints from the embryonic Solaris) and I m So (beautiful twanging acoustic guitar and flute but with the foucs on a long and sensitive electric guitar solo). The other two deliver a folky atmosphere (similar to Dutch folk band Flairck) with violin, acoustic guitar and pleasant Armenian vocals.

A fine album, not with keyboards but it sounds very warm, prog folk fans wil be pleased.

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Send comments to erik neuteboom (BETA) | Report this review (#127117)
Posted Friday, June 29, 2007 | Review Permalink

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