Another chapter has been added to the Big Book of Prog with the sophomore release of Paradigms. Semantic Saturation rightfully takes its place at the table with many other forward-thinking musicians who keep the progressive music fresh and alive.
Semantic Saturation – Paradigms Review
Where does instrumental music fit into our society these days? Especially if it’s not jazz or classical, both styles typically noted for not really having a voice (yes, I am aware that both have vocals at times as well. Just going with the predominant thought pattern on both.) The day of the shred album has long since gone, though some of those guys and gals from back in the day (and a handful of notable newbies) still keep that flame burning. I’m talking straight out instrumental songs, not designed to feature crazy solos, but music… songs that could’ve had someone singing throughout, but the band opted to stick with just the instrumental voice. Bands like Scale the Summit and Animals As Leaders create some brilliant stuff but haven’t much of a chance of becoming the next summertime hit with the Pop loving bunch. As a former guitarist, I adore instrumental work, though I don’t often find myself so inclined to listen to it much on a regular basis. With a band Like Semantic Saturation it’s refreshing to hear a band not afraid to go strictly musical, and do it while at the same time not having it spiral into some self-absorbed show-off fest.
Their second album, Paradigms, is a tasty ten-course meal that serves up some truly delectable treats. Guitarist and mastermind behind the project Shant Hagopian has constructed a brilliant line-up of ultra-talented musicians to bring his vision to life. The guitar work alone on this album is enough to keep ones rapt attention for years to come, but there is also some divine keyboard work from guys like Derek Sherinian and Alex Argento, bassist Kristoffer Gildenlöw creates a pulsing, vibrant flow with his skills, and drummer Craig Blundell keeps everything in perfect time. There is a brief bit of vocals from Houry Dora Apartian that is mostly jazz riffing or scatting. Even though there are times throughout this album that you get that whole Prog battle between the musicians there is plenty of space in those notes too. The frenzied chaos of “Ulterior Harmony” is juxtaposed by a bouncy “Carousel of Death” and then brought to a close by the epic “Where Dreams Have Died.”
Another chapter has been added to the Big Book of Prog with the sophomore release of Paradigms. Semantic Saturation rightfully takes its place at the table with many other forward-thinking musicians who keep the progressive music fresh and alive. Hagopian has certainly got enough talent and ability to keep this project going for a long while, and creates soundscapes worthy of any musician to want to join him in the future based on the two albums thus far.
Written by: Chris Martin