Another Review was published by Ken from metalbuzz.net yesterday January 30, 2013
Here’s the full thing …
Semantic Saturation is a progressive metal project founded by Shant Hagopian. Shant is a Canadian songwriter/guitarist of Syrian/Armenian heritage. He has specialized in Jazz guitar studies and in ’97 founded the progressive metal band Nu.Clear.Dawn with “Poem of a Knight” being the first metal record released in Syria. Touring throughout the Middle East and performing at large festivals like “Rock the Nations” 2004 in Istanbul and rubbing shoulders with the likes of Pain of Salvation, Epica, Sentenced, Vanden Plas and more, the album received positive reviews from acclaimed webzines such as Metal Storm and The Metal Observer.
Shant moved to Canada in 2005 and started working on his solo project. Fast forward to 2013. This project, which is now a reality, features well-seasoned musicians Virgil Donati (Steve Vai), Ric Fierabracci (Planet X), along with guests Derek Sherinian (keyboards/ex-Dream Theater) and Andy Kuntz (vocals/Vanden Plas).
I have to say this. The term “super group” gets thrown around way to much these days, but if there ever was a perfect time for it to be used, that time would be right now in reference to this collaboration.
“Solipsistic” marks the band’s debut, and what a wonderful one it is. From the opening monster riff of “Ambivalence”, I was immediately pulled in and held captive, but not against my will. I wanted to be there, waiting for more as each track faded out and a new one began. Never once was I disappointed. The musical transitions are flawless and unforced. I’ve listened to the album three times now, and each time I am treated to something new that I didn’t hear the first time. For example, check the bass fills near the end of “Armchair Activist”. The first eight tracks are instrumental, while track number nine, “What if We All Stop”, contains the guest lead vocals of Andy Kuntz.
I can verify right now that “Solipsistic” is the epitome of progressive rock/metal.
I believe in giving musical credit where it is due, and in the case of Semantic Saturation, the influences of such heavyweights as Rush, Dream Theater, and most definitely Porcupine Tree seep through onto “Solipsistic”. At some point during the course of the record, each instrument gets time in the spotlight. Check “Ambivalence” for the incredible drum work of Virgil Donati, “Stardust” for Derek Sherinian’s keys, “Armchair Activist” for Ric Fierabracci’s bass and all nine tracks for Shant Hagopian’s masterful guitar work. From picking to tapping to strumming, it’s all in there, and its all done very well.
“Solipsistic”, or (solipsism), defined is “the theory that the self is the only thing that can be known and verified.” Well, I can verify right now that “Solipsistic” is the epitome of progressive rock/metal. The album is boundless, and will forever stand the test time. Absolutely brilliant and well worth the wait. Do not let this one slip by.
1. Ambivalence 6:34
2. Make Believe 5:07
3. Lost and Found – Insanity 5:27
4. Stardust 6:50
5 .Blessing in Disguise 4:48
6. Armchair Activist 4:11
7. Point of Singularity 3:51
8. Time is an Illusion 5:44
9. What if We All Stop 8:45
Released on January 21, 2013
The first 50 CD orders include free guitar picks and posters autographed by Derek Sherinian and Shant Hagopian. Pick up your copy at http://www.semanticsaturation.com.