Prog Magazine Reveiws Solipsistic

It’s really a great honor to be reviewed in the classic Prog Magazine (issue #36) which is out today.
Special thanks to Grant Moon for all the help and amazing support.

All-star calling-card from talented Canadian fret-wrangler.

Enterprising Canadian/Syrian guitarist Shant Hagopian brings us a work of mind-blowing complexity and technical proficiency.Solipsistic features prog-metal keyboard maestro Derek Sherinian (ex-Dream Theater) and monster drummer Virgil Donati (Planet X). That title is perfect for this work – a convincing stall-setter like this comes only from relentless self-belief and focus. Hagopian takes his thick-toned, solo metal guitar on a dizzying lap of the musical labyrinth on nine intense tracks with titles such as Ambivalence, Make Believe and Lost And Found: Insanity. There’s something earnest and affable in his
expression throughout, even in the knottiest moments of workouts. Stardust and Point Of
Singularity, while in parts there are shades of Joe Satriani, our My Prog Hero guest this month. Ballad Blessing in Disguise and feelgood jam Armchair Activist in particular evince a lyrical ear, elevating his fretwork above the many wannabes launching themselves daily over the Prog ramparts. Vanden Plas’ Andy Kuntz gives an impassioned performance
on What If We All Stop, the sole vocal number on this pleasingly nerdy, dazzlingy proficient record. -GRM

Here’s an extract from the magazine.

Prog Magazine #36 - Semantic Saturation Review
Prog Magazine #36 – Semantic Saturation Review

Dutch Progressive Rock Page reviews Solipsistic

Here’s a quick review of Solipsistic by the Dutch Progressive Rock Page (

Semantic Saturation – Solipsistic

Solipsistic Album Cover
Solipsistic Album Cover

Tracklist: Ambivalence (6:33), Make Believe (5:06) Lost And Found: Insanity (5:26), Stardust (6:49), Blessing In Disguise (4:48), Armchair Activist (4:10), Point Of Singularity (3:50), Time Is An Illusion (5:43), What If We All Stop (8:44)

Shant Hagopian is a songwriter and guitarist best known until now for founding the prog rock/metal band Nu.clear.dawn. Hailing from the currently war-torn city of Aleppo they raised attention for having the first officially released metal album from Syria. Their 2003 disc Poem of a Knight won positive reviews and got the band slots on several big Middle Eastern festivals.

Shant moved to Canada in 2005 and began work on his first solo project. Featuring progressive musical gurus drummer Virgil Donati (Steve Vai), bassist Rick Fierabracci (PlanetX) and ex-Dream Theater keyboardist Derek Sherinian, Semantic Saturation is a highly polished debut album.

It consists of nine tracks; the first eight are instrumental with a heavy influence of Dream Theater, Vai, Rush and SymphonyX while the final track features the signature vocals of Andy Kuntz. The involvement of the Vanden Plas singer will further widen interest in this disc.

I’m no musician myself but Shant is clearly a highly talented composer and guitarist. Most of the songs here rock, but unlike many “guitarist” albums this is no shred-fest. Hagopian knows the meaning of restraint. His music has colour, textures and great variations in pace, with a melody central to every composition. These are real songs.

Considering the abilities of the musicians he has assembled, that alone is no mean achievement. His early career as a jazz guitarist comes out clearly in several tracks especially the sparkling Stardust and Point Of Singularity.

Two tracks (Ambivalence and Stardust) are currently available free from Shant’s website. They give a good flavour of the album and I’d heartily recommend this to anyone who enjoys instrumental progressive rock. An album you will come back to again and again with relish.

Conclusion: 8 out of 10