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DAVID MINASIAN

Symphonic Prog • United States


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David Minasian biography

While there were a few members of the prog world who knew of David MINASIAN having produced and directed a number of DVD's for legendary English progressive rock band CAMEL, most were unaware of David's own musical background until it was announced that he would be releasing an album titled "Random Acts of Beauty" in 2010.

David had begun classical piano training at the age of five and by the time he was 15 was asked to turn professional. However his real interests lay in filmmaking and that is what he ultimately chose as a career path. After graduating with honors with a degree in film and television production, David began working freelance for a number of companies around LA as a producer, director, writer, editor, cinematographer and occasional soundtrack composer. But after hearing the song "The Land of Make Believe" by THE MOODY BLUES one day on the radio, his interest in progressive rock began to take hold and he started to record his own demos. Those tapes led to an offer of free studio time from pop act The Captain and Tennille at their state-of-the-art recording facility in the San Fernando Valley. Sessions yielded top quality masters, but no label interest resulted. Record companies in LA at that time were obsessed with disco, punk and New Wave. David's songs and image simply didn't fit in, and 'prog' was the last thing they wanted.

Undeterred, David embarked on the ambitious idea of recording his own album independently where he would serve as keyboardist, composer, producer and lead singer. The result was "Tales of Heroes and Lovers," a lush symphonic rock album which had little to do with the current trends of the 80's. With access to the latest film and editing facilities through his work, David was able to write, produce, and direct a music video for one of the album's tracks entitled "It's Driving Me Crazy," which soon began receiving airplay on MTV.

The video brought David to the attention of legendary group THREE DOG NIGHT who asked him to write and direct the video for their latest song "Shot In The Dark." The video was significant in that it would mark the last time the three primary members of the band would appear together - singer Chuck Negron would be asked to leave the band soon thereafter. At the same time David began recording and playing live with a local band called Influence which featured guitarist Jeff Burton, son of Rock and Roll Hall of Famer and Elvis PRESLEY guitarist James BURTON. Meanwhile, ...
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DAVID MINASIAN top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.13 | 9 ratings
Tales of Heroes and Lovers
1984
4.00 | 3 ratings
Minasian & Drews: It's Not Too Late
1996
3.89 | 154 ratings
Random Acts of Beauty
2010
3.92 | 71 ratings
The Sound of Dreams
2020

DAVID MINASIAN Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

DAVID MINASIAN Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

DAVID MINASIAN Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

DAVID MINASIAN Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

5.00 | 1 ratings
So Far from Home
2020
4.00 | 1 ratings
The Sound of Dreams (Third Movement)
2020

DAVID MINASIAN Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 The Sound of Dreams by MINASIAN, DAVID album cover Studio Album, 2020
3.92 | 71 ratings

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The Sound of Dreams
David Minasian Symphonic Prog

Review by lazland
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Sound of Dreams is David Minasian's follow-up to the lush and wonderful Random Acts of Beauty of 2010. Given that this is a release rate which plonks him firmly in the Gabrielesque category, the obvious question has to be; was it worth the wait?

Overwhelmingly yes is the answer. What stunned me upon listening to that masterpiece 10 years ago was just how gorgeous and complete the soundscapes created were, and Minasian has reproduced that unique ocean of sound again here, a veritable feast of what symphonic progressive rock should sound like.

There is a guest list here which can only be described as prog royalty. The wonderful Justin Hayward once again lends his lovely voice together with Julie Ragins who tours with The Moodies, but we also have Annie Haslam singing on two tracks, Steve Hackett playing guitar on another two, P J Olsson of Alan Parsons Project fame, and Billy Sherwood who seems to be on virtually every new release these days, but justifiably. We should also pay huge tribute to David's son, Justin, and Geof O'Keefe who form the core trio of artists here.

The album is bookended by The Wind of Heaven suite, Hayward singing on the first movement and Haslam on the finale. The opener is unashamedly reminiscent of Hayward's finest band moments without once descending into copycat tribute artist territory. Flute (lovely playing by the to me unknown Francesca Rapetti), guitars, piano, and gently rising keyboards back a melancholy vocal. Listening to the album for this review, I have played these back to back, and this creates an 18+ minute epic, and Annie's vocals on the main chorus Wind of Heaven blows are particularly lovely. The orchestration and wall of sound at the denouement back some fine guitar riffing.

The title track is split into three concurrent movements. Haslam provides a haunting vocal on movement one. Throughout movement two, an instrumental passage, Sherwood shows to me that he has learnt a lot from his periods playing with both Yes and Asia, because his bass lead is stunning and is precisely the sort of turn Squire and Wetton would have been expected to put in had they appeared here. Hackett lends his talents to the third movement, another instrumental piece, which starts with some lovely orchestration before that ghostly guitar washes all over you. The interplay between him and the fine piano and orchestral keys shows that the debut album's delightful soundscapes were no accident.

The Ragins piece is Room With Dark Corners, and her pipes blast out a fine vocal performance. This track is perhaps the least complex, or rather the simplest, in terms of musical arrangements, and the most upbeat. Not a masterpiece by any stretch, but a very good folk rock track, with the participants clearly having a fine time of it. My only real minor gripe is that the overlong instrumental piece at the end seems rather out of place with what preceded it.

Olsson's contribution is the vocals on So Far From Home, and is the vocal highlight of the album to these ears. It is simply sumptuous, dripping with emotion, and pushes a symphonic arrangement which delights. Those who read and enjoy my reviews will know that when I say this deserves to be a worldwide hit single, this is meant as a compliment. Five minutes of intelligent, soaring, and emotional pop/rock music. David, send this track to every major radio station out there, please. Quite wonderful.

This is not all about the guest cast, though. Far from it. Minasian has a voice which can top that of many more well known lights in the prog world, and his arrangement skills are second to none. The soaring guitars and keyboards we loved on the debut are once more in evidence on All In, but are interspersed with some beautifully delicate acoustic guitar and piano prior to exploding into life once more.

Faith, Hope, Love is the shortest track on the album at a mere three and a half minutes, in which Justin's bass lines shine throughout, proving Sherwood has no monopoly in this department here. They underpin a lush guitar lead and orchestration. This is a wonderful instrumental track.

Road to Nothingness is a track I want played at my funeral. There is beauty in melancholy, and Minasian exploits it like no other I know. The guitar solo is a thing of wonder. Stressed? Out of your mind with worry? Watching too much COVID news? Get this on. Six minutes of utter delight.

Hold Back The Rain is a lovely ballad which combines again the lovely flute, aching guitars and keyboard arrangements with David's unique voice.

Twin Flames at Twilight is the longest continuous track on the album, clocking in at just short of fourteen minutes long. It opens with a fine 12-string acoustic guitar solo from David before segueing into a medieval folk sequence that a certain Mr Blackmore would have been more than happy with. The main body of the track kicks in at four minutes, and includes some interesting changes in mood. The guitar riff which follows the initial vocal is not melancholic, it is dark, as dark as anything I have heard in some time. This whole sequence of music is wonderful, proving that Minasian can rock with the best of them, and rather puts me in mind of Edison's Children. By that I don't mean the music itself, but the ability to provide the listener with varying moods at the touch of a drumbeat, because the almighty riff is followed by a beautifully arranged passage of music which really takes you back to that feeling you had when you first heard Wind and Wuthering. Again, I do not mean this in the derivative sense, but in the lovely feeling of being surrounded by lush and deep sounds. This is a marvellous track which captures the listener's attention throughout.

I am deeply grateful to David for sending me an advance digital copy to review. I have ordered the cd for delivery, because, at the end of the day, I am a fan more than anything else, and this music deserves our support.

There was a thread on this site's forum recently entitled "is prog dead?". No, it isn't. In 2020, it is alive and kicking, and albums such as this prove it. Exceptional stuff, with a cover to die for as well.

If we had such a rating, 4.5 stars. Top stuff, and extremely highly recommended. Let us hope it isn't quite so long before we get the next.

 The Sound of Dreams by MINASIAN, DAVID album cover Studio Album, 2020
3.92 | 71 ratings

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The Sound of Dreams
David Minasian Symphonic Prog

Review by tszirmay
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

5 stars Beauty, eloquence & pace. Three words that define David Minasian's new release, the long awaited follow-up to 2010's masterful and rather aptly titled 'Random Acts of Beauty', a work that met many standards of excellence, appreciated by critics and loved by fans of melodic symphonic prog. In fact, if he would have a magazine to his name, it would be called "Melody Maker". Ten years is a long time, but it was well worth the wait. The father and son team of David and Justin Minasian have beefed up the guest list (the previous opus had the great Andy Latimer on board) by adding names that might ring a tubular bell: Steve Hackett, Justin Hayward, Annie Haslam, Billy Sherwood as well as drummer Geof O'OKeefe, PJ Olsson (Alan Parsons) and Julie Ragins on vocals , among others.

This is symphonic prog at its best, featuring whopping melodies that inundate the stage with ornate piano, shimmering waves of mellotron, sizzling guitar interventions, as well as first rate vocals that underpin the beauty of the arrangements. This common theme envelops all 12 tracks here, even though they may vary stylistically but never in purpose. If you are a fan of melodies that grab your spirit and soothe your soul, look no further than this sublime work of art. The biggest impressions though remain the consistency, the pace, the subtlety, the variety and the excitement of the material presented.

Kicking things off with Justin Hayward is not a surprise as David has had quite a long career in dealing with the Moody Blues, and on "The Wind of Heaven (Prologue)", the mood (pardon the pun) is set for the entire album, a majestic 8 minute epic of grandiose proportions , carving out a flute, acoustic guitar and mellotron melody (never a bad combination) that showcases a typical Hayward vocal delivery, that unusual quality of strength and softness first heard on 1967's 'Nights in White Satin' (53 years ago, gulp!) . The symphonic aura presented here is purely breathtaking, never saccharine or poppy as the piano tingles the spine and the choir support the theme.

"All In.." is led once again by David's romantic piano, and enough pastoral twists and turns to keep the flow going, crested by a forceful and dramatic chorus led by his son's shivering guitar , a very obvious nod to early Voyage of the Acolyte Steve Hackett's style, where acoustic and electric guitars court the mighty mellotron swirls. Obsessively beautiful, utterly intense, totally seductive.

A brief bucolic instrumental, with flute and piano as leads, "Faith Hope Love" lays down another gem. David, Justin, bassist Kerry Chicoine and Geof have the time of their lives on their instruments, tight in unison.

As I stated earlier, the pace of this album is a remarkable attribute, as each piece has its own spine tingling attribute, no better example that "The First Movement" of the Title track, the microphone in the magnificent hands of Annie Haslam , who quite possibly delivers her finest vocal ever, ably supported by Mr. Hackett and his legendary sustain- laden electric guitar, the Sound of Dreams, indeed! She hits notes that are unfathomable, choir mellotron only adding to the grandiose nature of the song. Gulp! "The Second Movement" showcases the thick bass of Billy Sherwood, in a blistering and bombastic interlude that ultimately leads to the "Third Movement", where Mr. Hackett gets to let loose once again on his golden Gibson, the thin arc of light squarely on him and he just kills it, as one would expect from the legend. This is right up there with Firth, long, overwhelming and ravaging. And to think, we are only halfway through, I find myself already kneeling at the shrine!

David Minasian is a spectacular keyboardist, composer and arranger but he also is the owner of a hushed voice that can rival anyone, incredibly unique and expressive. "Road to Nothingness" offers up a slew of keys (even some harpsichord bits), slithering guitar interventions where Justin Minasian shines once again. but above all, a voice that was built for that melody, evoking the spiritual mood of the lyrics and the luxuriance of the arrangement.

Another melody from left field , the Julie Ragins-led "Room with Dark Corners" veers into a completely different realm, a classic prog-folk piece ( a la Karnataka, Panic Room, Mostly Autumn) that presents the contrast between loveliness with a more forceful passion, a wicked guitar solo and a grandiose chorus. She belts it out with conviction. Fine piece of work.

The melodic recipe keeps giving, as piano, mellotron and David's whispered voice exults on "Hold Back the Rain" , a gentle and poignant breeze that features a Justin Minasian guitar slice, all wrapped up in elegant simplicity. The rain finally does arrive.

The massive and highly symphonic 13 minute+ epic "Twin Flames at Twilight" is ushered in by a delicate acoustic guitar, weaving a tight, almost medieval tapestry, garnished with woodwinds as it progressively morphs into huge squalls of mellotron that yearn to define the main melody. If one would replace David's voice with Dave Cousins of the Strawbs, it would sound like something right out of the Hero & Heroine /Ghosts era. But then, something truly unexpected kicks in, a raunchy, distorted guitar onslaught that sizzles like some incendiary device, Justin Minasian displaying his considerable axe skills? Oh dear! The fury stops on a dime, before the acoustic charm resurfaces, windswept keys in tow, as the main pastoral theme returns, a luminous lead guitar soaring high into the Twilight. A final vocal sets this one to bed. Simply wonderful exit on the acoustic guitar. Bravo!

Perhaps a change of pace is in good order, especially after that mammoth extravaganza, so a more accessible song is next up. PJ Olsson has an expressive voice (He has worked with Alan Parsons Band), that works well on ballad -paced material and this certainly fits the bill.

So how do we end this colossal work, you ask? How about a reprise of the opening track but replacing Hayward with Haslam! Place the microphone within a 10-minute package and hear Annie just modulate that magical voice, there is a reason why she remains the undisputed 'grande dame' of female sung progressive rock. It helps when the melody kicks royal behind, as a slippery guitar lead clears the road ahead, keyboard dynamics ever-present.

The attention to detail in creating an exhilarating set-list, the consistency of the melodies within a symphonic framework, adorned with occasional diversions are the hallmarks that make this such a consummate work. The guests shine like the sun at zenith and the listener gets to hear the "Sound of Dreams". What more can you ask in this dreaded year of the Silent Nightmare?

5 Echoes of Aspirations

 The Sound of Dreams by MINASIAN, DAVID album cover Studio Album, 2020
3.92 | 71 ratings

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The Sound of Dreams
David Minasian Symphonic Prog

Review by Vishnu690

5 stars This album, folks, is a masterpiece. David has labored for years to achieve the release of this album and it is worth every minute of the wait. With stellar compositions and a supporting cast of luminaries, this is a must have album for 2020. While I'm not, in any sense, a music critic and I'm often confused by the multitude of music genres, I'm a HUGE fan of what is being called Neo-Prog and Symphonic Prog. The majority of this album is filled with delicate keys, soaring melodies and lyrics that move me. As David writes in his liner notes "At the very least, this album should serve as an inspiration for everyone to follow their dreams."

If you're going to purchase only one new album in 2020, I recommend it be this album!!!

Tracks:

01. "The Wind of Heaven (Prologue)"...featuring Justin Hayward on vocals, this track has all the beauty of a Moody Blues song. This track was released as a single with video in 2016.

02. "All In"...featuring Justin Minasian, David's son. Another beautiful track, with David's strong and soaring keys, along with a glorious vocal chorus.

03. "Faith Hope Love"...featuring Geof O'Keefe (who handles drums on most of this album), this track is a simple, yet poignant instrumental.

04. "The Sound of Dreams (First Movement)"...featuring Annie Haslam. Who doesn't know and love Annie's voice?

05. "The Sound of Dreams (Second Movement)"...featuring Billy Sherwood. Having seen Billy Sherwood with the "Royal Affair" tour (honoring the Moody Blues, ELP, Yes, Asia) I am again impressed by his versatility.

06. "The Sound of Dreams (Third Movement)"...featuring Steve Hackett. The guitar work on this track moves my soul.

07. "Road to Nothingness"...featuring Justin Minasian. I had to check the liner notes, these are David's vocals, the range and beauty of his voice is equal to Justin Haywards.

08. "Room with Dark Corners"...featuring Julie Ragins. Another killer guitar solo that fits beautifully inside the vocal and keyboard arrangement.

09. "Hold Back the Rain"...featuring Justin Minasian. More gorgeous vocals and keys from David, an inspiring track. Buy this album and read the lyrics...it is worth every penny. You won't regret it.

10. "Twin Flams at Twilight"...featuring Justin Minasian. At 13:42 this could be the "true" prog track on the album. Opening with woodwinds and transitioning into a tempo that I associate with early Yes albums, then back to vocals and keys, this track stands out on the album.

11. "So Far From Home"...featuring PJ Olson who is perhaps best known by me for his work with Alan Parsons, another beautiful track full of melody.

12. "The Wind of Heaven (Epilogue)"...featuring Annie Haslam. A fitting, and superb, closing track. Annie's vocals are as strong as ever, bringing life to the lyrics.

Be well, stay well...these are challenging times. Never Let Go...

Looking forward...Chris Winkley

 Random Acts of Beauty by MINASIAN, DAVID album cover Studio Album, 2010
3.89 | 154 ratings

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Random Acts of Beauty
David Minasian Symphonic Prog

Review by Anon-E-Mouse

4 stars Hearing this album for the first time left me somewhat floored. I would have sworn that Minassian was a British artist. I would have been wrong. My experience tells me that American prog performers in general find it near impossible to avoid a bit of Country, Honky Tonk, Yee-Haa, Shuffle, some aggressive Metal coupled with bad Fusion and maybe a touch of Jazz. None of that had crept in here. Phew!

First impression was that this work was very much like one of those melancholic and somewhat mediocre Latimer's Camel with a bit of latter day's Gilmour Pink Floyd thrown in. Melancholic stuff doesn't rate very highly with me. Good enough in the background while chopping onions, or dusting the lamp shades, also a surefire way to spoil a romantic dinner on a first date.

Still, I couldn't write this album off as mediocre as there was an incling that it may eventually grow on me. And it has. There are classical elements that invoke some works of often excellent Hungarian band After Crying, also some mellotron lines remind of classic, early King Crimson.

Latimer fans will love this work, one that deserves general attention from those who don't mind cliched Prog of the better kind.

 Random Acts of Beauty by MINASIAN, DAVID album cover Studio Album, 2010
3.89 | 154 ratings

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Random Acts of Beauty
David Minasian Symphonic Prog

Review by b_olariu
Prog Reviewer

3 stars Random acts of beauty from 2010 is the second solo album of David Minasian, a musician known more for his collaboration with famous Camel, producing and directing Coming of Age DVD aswell as other 50 film and DVD projects. He release his first solo album in 1984 named Tales of heroes and lovers, but was almost unnoticed back then as know , being issued in the dark period of prog. The second album appear after 25 years Random acts of beauty, a symphonic prog album clearly similar towards Camel fame or in places reminescent of smooth The Moody Blues. The music is pretty much more then ok, with elaborated pieces, nice passages, all is good, we even have famous Andy Latimer on first track Masquerade doing vocal and guitar lines, nice piece. Another top ones is Blue rain or Frozen Time. Not much to add, a good symphonic prog album, nothing is groundbreaking here but the music is pleasent most of the time, the production and overall sound is little flat, otherwise no bif complains from me. Nice cover art aswell. 3 stars maybe 3.5 stars in places.

 Random Acts of Beauty by MINASIAN, DAVID album cover Studio Album, 2010
3.89 | 154 ratings

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Random Acts of Beauty
David Minasian Symphonic Prog

Review by Subterranean

5 stars WAOUH !! .... How could I have waited over two years to discover this album. To me, this one is certainly a prog's top5 for the year 2010.

David Minasian is known as producer of some of CAMEL's DVD and when listening to the album you can't avoid to state that the guy has lot in common with Andy Latimer. Especially the two first tracks of the album (Masquerade & Chambermaid) reminds me Camel's work of the 1990s (Dust & Dreams, Harbours of Tears, Rajaz) which is certainly not a negative critic in my view. If Camel would have released a record in 2010 it might have sounded like this.

You can't of course reduce David Minasian's work to some clone of Camel as he brings his own elements in it. The disc gives a proheminent place to piano, which is no surprise given Minasian's background. There is also an intelligent use of cello, violin, flute,... At this point, you may think the result is a smooth and warm album, this is true (some passages reminds me David Lanz and Yanni). But, there is also a more rock side in it. Best example being "Storming the caste" track which include some great electric guitar riff. But along the whole album, Minasian finds the right balance between acoustic and electric, between soft and energetic.

Production is brilliant (no surprise again given Minasian's background) but this allows to fully enjoy the album.

To conclude, the album's title is fully right: this is an "act of beauty". Just run to get this album, this is a must have (certainly if you appreciate Symphonic prog in general and Camel or Jadic especially... but also if you just want to discover something worth it).

Hope their will be another Minasian album soon !!

 Random Acts of Beauty by MINASIAN, DAVID album cover Studio Album, 2010
3.89 | 154 ratings

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Random Acts of Beauty
David Minasian Symphonic Prog

Review by tszirmay
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

5 stars Well, it took me long enough to get this one, after a fair amount of hesitation mostly due to a slew of 'need to haves' before taking the plunge. The generally glowing reviews have helped as well as listening to a few samples on the artist's website. I, like my esteemed colleagues Lazland and Tarcisio Moura, really didn't expect this album to be as rewarding as it is. While I unsecretly enjoy 'beautiful' music, I am always leery of too much mellow saccharine in my sympho-prog, so I did hesitate a bit after seeing the corny artwork. Lazland's recent evaluation pushed me over the edge and I am really glad that I read other reviewers opinions and let myself be influenced by them.

One only has to wait a few seconds before guest guitarist (and Minasian friend/idol) Andy Latimer unleashes one of the most inspiring axe solos on recent memory, a soaring, emotive and trembling execution of spiritual guitar bliss. 'Masquerade' is a dozen minutes of unpolluted symphonic gratification, expertly structured with a transcendent middle section where the piano, the cruising guitar and stocky rhythmic riffs collide in unanimity, all propelled by a sturdy bass and drum foundation. Added ornamental oboe increases the pleasure multi-fold. Andy also supplies the distressed vocals throughout, a profoundly sensitive expression of melancholia that truly is overwhelming.

'Chambermaid' is a tender ballad that is the only slightly weaker moment here, a nice song and pleasant playing throughout that reek of the Moody Blues style, saved by some dual guitar work that is clearly out of the norm and some effective lyrics. The loopy synthesizer also duels nicely with the fret boards, the melody is fabulously animated.

The two-faced track 'Storming the Castle' is a precise portrayal of underlying value of this artist as his luminous piano playing throughout elevates the material beyond the superficial and the bland, providing the ideal foil for blood relative Justin Minasian to scour the guitar horizons with a multitude of inspired solos. It starts out tranquil, pastoral and medieval, suddenly evolving into a harder/hyper climate full of conflict, contrast and delirium. The fear of new age Kitaro-style pap flies right out the window!

The subdued 'Blue Rain' certainly is a perfect case in point, metaphorical ivories coating the cerulean arrangement, anchoring a gorgeous sequence of guitar leads, enormous orchestrations and celestial vocals of the loftiest caliber. If audiophiles seek out impeccable sonic splendor in a quixotic setting, this track will do it, an achingly suggestive musical exploration that numbs the senses. A tremendous cello addition finishes off this amazing and uplifting track.

The ambitiously symphonic and all-instrumental 'Frozen in Time' dishes out the entire gamut of implements in David's arsenal, from lute to flute, from clarinet to cornet and adding church organ strategically only to stamp this with complete prog authority. All the usual suspects play an equally important role with thrilling piano parts, excited guitar explosions, rumbling bass throttles and punchy accentuating drums. The arrangement ebbs and flows accordingly, with darker organ swaths morphing into a breathtaking acoustic guitar section that is to expire over, the underused beauty of the glorious harpsichord seeping into the fray with ease. The pace explodes into a raunchy riff that has uncanny hints of Gentle Giant's classic 'A Cry for Everyone', a bruising, oily and gritty guitar rant that is excruciatingly aggressive under the unexpected circumstances. Flailing drums and haunting mellotron provides the 'coup de grace'. The next immediate segment has an almost country/pastoral feel, with ostentatious oboe musings amid piano caresses and synthesized wisps.

The luscious 'Summer's End' continues the glorious forlorn melody carved out on 'Blue Rain', a deeply sorrowful lead guitar appears relentlessly out of the indigo hurting but the acoustic guitar weaving merges with the flamboyant piano, the howling mellotron and the grandiose synths.

The amazing 'Dark Waters' conjures aquatic images of power and serenity, the ocean's yin and yang imagery perfectly expressed by rivulets of oboe and woodwind that collide with gales of mellotron, guitar whitecaps and waves of rhythmic fury.

While there are many who prefer a harder edged type of symphonic'prog a la Anekdoten, Anglagard and Porcupine Tree, there is always a time and a place for gorgeous arrangements that have substance and emotive power. Yes, this stuff is romantic, prosaic, dreamy, surreal and melancholic but its chock full of eye-brow raising moments that are frankly unexpected. The piano playing alone is worth the effort to add this into one's collection but the quality is definitely there in terms of sympho-prog standards. This is one of those albums that has a definite feminine appeal, ideal to cuddle up with and have the little lady in your life tell you that its very beautiful music! Now how can THAT be bad?

5 arbitrary steps

 Random Acts of Beauty by MINASIAN, DAVID album cover Studio Album, 2010
3.89 | 154 ratings

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Random Acts of Beauty
David Minasian Symphonic Prog

Review by kev rowland
Special Collaborator Honorary Reviewer

4 stars David Minasian is a well known composer and video director who actually released his debut solo album as long ago as 1984, but it is this 2010 album that has made many progheads stand up and take notice. Of course many Camel fans know of David as he directed their 'Coming of Age' DVD and here Andy Latimer has repaid the favour by providing guitars (and vocals on one number) on his first outing since 2002. David's son Justin also provided guitars, with Guy Pettet on drums and David everything else. This is classic prog, steeped in the early Seventies and the sounds of The Moody Blues, Al Stewart, Camel, BJH and Renaissance. In many ways it is a very English sounding album, and with the liberal use of mellotrons it does sound as if it comes from that time as opposed to the present day.

This is music that makes me smile; it may not be earth shatteringly original, but it is a real delight. There is just enough use of acoustic instruments and even a harpsichord to take away from the saccharine that at times almost envelops the listener, with some great guitar cut throughs. Latimer was having fun no doubt, while there are enough Hackett stylings and orchestration to please even the most hardened cynic. If you enjoy prog music then you will love this album, it is as simple as that. It isn't challenging music, but rather something that the listener can put on and relax into like a well-worn armchair. Layered and delicate, full of harmonies and melody, who could ask for more? www.progrockrecords.com

 Tales of Heroes and Lovers by MINASIAN, DAVID album cover Studio Album, 1984
3.13 | 9 ratings

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Tales of Heroes and Lovers
David Minasian Symphonic Prog

Review by apps79
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

3 stars American native David Minasian is mostly known as being responsible for the production of several CAMEL DVD'S.He was born in Los Angeles and started playing the piano at the age of 15 and later he developed his film-making skills.At the early stage of his career he worked for a number of production companies around LA as a producer/director and occasional soundtrack composer.His long-time love for Progressive Rock though forced him to record and self- release a solo output in 1984 under the title ''Tales Of Heroes And Lovers'', where he sung and played keyboards with a great number of session musicians helping him in guitars, vocals, bass, drums and keyboards.

Undoubtfully Minasian was strongly influenced by the CAMEL period between ''Breathless'' and ''The Single Factor'' and actually ''Tales of Heroes and Lovers'' could have been easily a lost CAMEL effort from the mid-80's, especially on the first tracks, where the combination of sensitive vocals, light keyboards, soft pianos and smooth electric guitars stand somewhere between late-70's semi-commercial prog and AOR, yet they are always played with an artistic approach and with the music coming from the heart.Short tracks with catchy arrangements and a slick production, typical of the age, but the emotional content is deep and welcome.On the later tracks Minasian leaves his commercial side apart and begins developing a bit more adventurous compositions, sometimes reminiscent of late-70's YES and GENESIS (and of course CAMEL) with more dramatic keyboard and piano parts, a good number of sudden breaks, a more energetic guitar delivery and even some nervous sax performance and choirs appear in some tracks.His Classical education becomes apparent and the arrangements still are striking and well-executed.

Of course we are talking about mid-80's here and this album was destined to be buried in the sands of time due to its limited promotion and semi-progressive approach.A good work of Progressive/Art Rock with some commercial hints, which is in a need for a CD reissue.Recommended if you are a fan of CAMEL and late-70's prog, if you find a vinyl copy at a reasonable price.

 Tales of Heroes and Lovers by MINASIAN, DAVID album cover Studio Album, 1984
3.13 | 9 ratings

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Tales of Heroes and Lovers
David Minasian Symphonic Prog

Review by Marty McFly
Special Collaborator Errors and Omissions Team

3 stars After discovering beautiful second album by David Minasion (it was a bit of a grower, but finally I succumbed to its beauty), I was left out craving for more of the same. I did reach out to seek this previous installment and, well, it's a precursor for sure, but except plagued by few 80s symptoms, worse production, it simply sounds like demo version for the later "sequel". It is still beautiful (don't forget it goes in the same vein, only this one is unpolished diamond, yet to be carefully crafted), but still an enjoyable album. If would be hypocritical to drown this album too low when I rated Random Acts so highly.

3(+), almost four, but let's be fair.

Thanks to atomiccrimsonrush for the artist addition. and to Quinino for the last updates

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