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TRACK LIST: 1. A Night on a Bare Mountain 2:44 2. Of Her As Light 3:51 3. The Ultimate Nocturnal Transmission 7:56 4. Cover up the Overcup 3:12 5. Ballad of Defector 4:55 6. A March to the Scaffold 4:31 7. Astral Cycles in Motion 9:28 All tracks: by Khatsaturjan, except 1: by M. Mussorgsky, 6: by H. Berlioz. LINE-UP: Jaakko Koikkikalainen - basses; vocals Atte Kurr - guitars; keyboards; vocals Iikka Saarikivi - keyboards; backing vocals Iikka Piispala - drums; backing vocals Engineered & produced by Khatsaturyan at Piispala's studio.
Prolusion. "Aramsome Sums" is the debut album by the band named in honor of the most well known soviet classical composer (Aram) Khatchaturjan.
Synopsis. Well, it was clear from the outset that these Finnish guys are classically influenced, which is just great, of course. Three out of the seven tracks on the album are instrumental pieces, two of which are the renditions of classical compositions: A Night on a Bare Mountain by Modest Mussorgsky and A March to the Scaffold by Hektor Berlioz (1 & 5). Stylistically, both of them are certainly the pieces of Classical Music performed by dints of Symphonic Art-Rock, though there are also the elements of Prog-Metal on the first of them. Both of these compositions are great by all means, though the full version of A Night on A Bare Mountain presented on > Mekong Delta's "Dances of Death" (1990) is in my view a bit better. Although the title of the remaining instrumental: Cover up the Overcup (4) has some hint to the unoriginal nature of this piece, the authorship of Focus's Thijs Van Leer isn't alluded to in the CD booklet. Nevertheless, this composition is also outstanding, as well as all of the other tracks here, though. All the lead vocals, chorals, and the instrumental arrangements on all four of the songs on the album are completely original and are just fantastically progressive and inventive. Each of the songs: Of Her As Light, Ballad of Defector, The Ultimate Nocturnal Transmission, and Astral Cycles in Motion (2, 5, 3, & 7 respectively) is done in the vein of 'classically' vintage, both intricate and very warm, Symphonic Art-Rock, which is like honey to my soul. Both of the latter of them, and these are the longest tracks here, are the absolute winners. All four of the band members are the possessors of beautiful, almost operatic voices sounding especially impressive in chorals. The active use of the Hammond and Church organs, acoustic piano, and strings, including a real violoncello, apart from the traditional Rock instruments, is another central hallmark of "Aramsome Sums", though in all, this album features too many merits to list them here.
Conclusion. Khatsaturjan's debut is arguably the most amazing album of vintage Symphonic Progressive released since the heyday of this genre. This brilliant, flattering, and very nostalgic music will bring many wonderful sensations to any true connoisseur of progressive music. To order the CD directly from the band, please use the e-mail below.
VM: June 4, 2003
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