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Khatsaturjan - Disconcerto Grosso CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

3.92 | 40 ratings

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4 stars This is one of the better albums I've heard from 2010--IMHO, definitely better than SKY ARCHITECT, HAKEN, DISTRICT 97, and BUNCHAKEZE. The songs are fuller, more interesting and melodic, very tightly performed, and more diverse, if sometimes familiar, with some exceptionally nice (and unusual) vocal work. Also, this music has enough unusual originality to it to make it much more interesting than the above-mentioned artists 2010 albums.

1. "A Rhyme of a Dime" (4:33) is a very theatric/Broadway-feeling song with multiple singers, many mood, instrumentation and tempo changes. Comparisons here to QUEEN are fitting and deserved. I like the flat, natural sounding NEKTAR/JAN AKKERMAN sounding electric guitar. The TERRY KATH-like vocalist takes a little getting used to, but overall, a decent song; "Bohemian Rhapsody"-like. 6/10

2. "Reality Escapade Saga" (6:07) begins like a very pretty STYX-song--guitars a bit simplistic, before they begin to show their true WISHBONE ASH-like fire at the 1:11 mark. Then to some post "Tormado", 90120-like YES vocal sections. So many shifts and changes! Yet, it still manages to come out a pretty decent song. I like the vocal harmony work here--as good as those of MOON SAFARI, IMO. Nice twin lead guitar work and bass solo. 7/10

3. "Herculean" (18:32) begins with soft piano arpeggios being gradually joined by several other instruments--some soloing--until the two minute mark introduces a complete shift in tempo and mood--very YES-like with its fast-paced melody lines, starts and stops, all being played by the band as a whole. Vocals don't enter until the fifth minute, while the song retains its YES-GENTLE GIANT pace and structures. Nice guitar and synth soli in the sixth and seventh minutes. Treated vocal adds to a frenzy feel before a SAGA-like rap introduces a shift into a jazzy interlude. 8:00 sees a return to GENTLE GIANTness, this time with some really melodic vocal lines. 9:10 sees the music drop out leaving a plaintive vocal playing over some slow minor key SATIE-like piano arpeggios. Things pick up again at 10:25. Nice music! A very cool, entertaining song--not unlike some of YES' early epics. 9/10

4. "Present Here and Now" (4:11) begins with a very MARC ALMOND-like sound and, yes, has a definite pop structure and orientation--a lot like early TEARS FOR FEARS. KEN HENSLEY-like organ work unfolds into a song that could have come from any early URIAH HEEP album. 7/10

5. "Dusk" (5:46) is a very nice song that begins in another early TEARS FOR FEARS feel before unfolding into more of a MOODY BLUES and YES song--all the while retaining some kind of originality. 7/10

6. "Claims of 'No Can Do'" (4:02) uses a very interesting unusual vocalist--kind of like PETER HAMMILL. At first he sings over some pretty piano arpeggios but when the band joins in it makes for a very pleasant, cohesive, if short, progressive rock song. 8/10

7. "The Tunnel" (16:02) is a little syrupy and simple (kind of STYX-ish)--again quite theatric as if meant for a Broadway musical--but is still a good song. Nice harmonized vocals to open the second section at the 2:45 mark. Guitar leads are much more interesting when doubled (two guitars soloing at the same time). Section 3 begins at the 4:05 with several layers of unusually combined themes and sounds: chant-like choral vocals, snaking minimoog, galloping electric guitar bass chords, electric lead soli. Reprise section 1 before the a very unpredictable and constantly shifting GENESIS section beginning in the seventh minute. Upon repeated listenings I get the feel as if this song is almost a mini-opera version of "The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway"! (Not lyrically but musically.) Interesting! And, in the end, intricate. Just not cohesive or engaging enough to warrant more praise. 6/10

8. "Travels Led by Chance" (4:19) is a beautiful little pop song--almost JIMMY WEBB-CHICAGO style. Lovely! 8/10

Overall, a very nice collection of songs--one whose idiosyncracies and subtleties bring me back for repeated listenings and which makes me want togo back to check out the band's back catalog. 4 stars: not essential, but really an excellent addition to any prog music collection. One of the most interesting albums of the year; in my top 10 for 2010.

BrufordFreak | 4/5 |


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