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Khatsaturjan: Aramed Forces of Simantipak

With all the earmarks and wounds of progressive metal, the bellow of baritones and the now automatic anguish of the form, Aramed [armed?] Forces of Simantipak captures the surface but little of the depth while trading in drama for a cheaper night out with melodrama. The good news is that at the least Khatsaturjan's reach exceeds its grasp.

Operatic in inflection, long Roman Numeral'd suites are strung together with amalgamated licks that connect less with each other than with the more fervent entreaties of rock's earliest and often unconsummated conjugal visits with the smooth and dazzling flesh of the symphonic form. Like Amon Düül II, Khatsaturjan does the listener the kindness of identifying two tracks as instrumental, and in the overall structure aims at the fluent wackiness of Tanz der Lemminge, only this time wearing lead shoes. The emergent lyrical themes all batter 'round the beaten bush of the self with Khan-like echolalia – "I have been told that I am Me"; "The times they are all deviced [deceived?] and we are adviced [advised?] : One shall find no redeemer". Clearly, we shall find ourselves on an extremely well-worn path, by now paved, lit up at night and sporting strip malls. As an alternative muzak, this is still fairly ostentatious stuff for hanging out at the ideological Gap.

You will recognize all the sounds, most of the changes. You will experience a sense of the familiar about the voice and what is being sung. There will be a kind of faux legitimacy lent by the occasional deployment of 'cello or violin or a snippet of Handel. And while there's no reason to question the sincerity of the musicians there is a single, enormous problem with this genre and its execution. Whenever you start singing about self-awareness, the burden you place on the music and on the work settles its bulk into the enormity of the Western canon and the subsequent centuries-long grappling with the slippery question of individuation. Before entering that debate, be sure you're up to it.

Track Listing
1. Prelude
2. The Grand Pariah Lament
3. Oh, Cosmic Pearl
4. Advent Rise
5. Scenario Triangular
i. No Integrity
ii. Babylon Taxi
iii. A Short Dance With The Melodyman
6. The New Masters of My Body
7. I've Got Your Daddy's Phonenumber
8. Guidance of Blinded Light
9. Chromatic Movement
10. The Mass
i. Self Prior To Insight
ii. Qualm / To Measure The Given
iii. Venture My Own Road
11. Upon the Plummeth

Added: June 18th 2007
Reviewer: Kerry Leimer
Related Link: Musea Records
Hits: 2507
Language: english

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