Semantic Saturation – Paradigms

coversmall.pngI’m new to Semantic Saturation so I dove into this one without knowing anything about them. Figured I would give it a full, fresh, blind listen. And I enjoy what I hear.
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The band is made up of creator Shant Hagopian and the featured musicians on this album are: drummer Craig Blundell (Frost* / Steven Wilson), bassist Kristoffer Gildenlöw (ex-Pain of Salvation) along with guests Derek Sherinian (ex-Dream Theater), Alex Argento on keyboards, and jazz vocalist Houry Dora Apartian. A whole different set of musicians this time out (except for Derek). It seems Shant wants to change things up from album to album. Neat concept. The best I can do to describe this album is: imagine if Satriani joined up with Liquid Tension Experiment. A little simplistic of a summation but that it is what I hear for the most part.
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Mirrors of Confusion, the first track, pretty much embodies that. Nice rocking track. And then we roll into Carousel of Death, the Satch sound takes a break and we go full on LTE. Pretty cool little big band breakdown, but the main theme gets a little repetitive for me. I do dig the heavier parts, though. Alex Argento is the guest keyboardist on this one. Video is below.
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Pareidolia shifts the gears down a bit and gives us a very melodic track. But really they all are. Semantic Saturation puts a heavy emphasis on melody. As they state, they don’t try to play all the notes really fast. They try to let the songs flow where they will. And they usually succeed!
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Empty Whiskey Jar is next and we have reached the first track I really can’t stand. I am no fan of slow, bluesy, wahwah. But that is just me. You may like it. We are joined here by nice sounding, wordless female vocals, provided by the aforementioned Houry Dora Apartian, as well as some soulful guitar solos. YYMV on this track but my car broke down.
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The Stranger from Andromeda brings us back into rock territory. Another like you would expect if Satch was part of LTE. Good song. Until We Meet Again offers up a nice laid back tune with a tinge of blues. One of those perfect for sitting outside one evening with you favorite beverage to relax. I really need to make a playlist of these types of songs as I find them. Love these.
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A rollicking piece is served up in Ulterior Harmony. Great solos and I love what the keyboard adds to the mix, brought by none other than Derek Sherinian. Another very LTE piece. There is an ethereal segue into Disturbance Within that transitions into a nice mid tempo rocker.
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Universal gives us a TSO like feel in the intro. Can’t remember the song it reminds me of at the moment. One of those slow keyboard solo numbers. Then it kicks into another mid-tempo rocker. More of that Satch feel coming at ya.
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Where Dreams Have Died is the mini epic of the album and it travels a great distance through many styles with that ever present Satch style. Love the bells on the close of the track. Reminds me a bit of early David Arkenstone.
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And we close out with a short little reprise of Carousel of Death. Then it’s game over. Inside joke here. Join me, will you?
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Over all, this is a really good album. If you like instrumental progressive rock/metal albums you should check this one out. The special edition CD/DVD, includes play-along tracks, so that is a neat feature.
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Rating: 8/10
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Tracklist:
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  1. Mirrors Of Confusion 4:41
  2. Carousel Of Death 4:54
  3. Pareidolia 4:52
  4. Empty Whisky Jar 3:40
  5. The Stranger From Andromeda 5:06
  6. Until We Meet Again 4:18
  7. Ulterior Harmony 6:58
  8. Disturbance Within 4:36
  9. Universal 6:41
  10. Where Dreams Have Died 10:33
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Label: Self Released
Release Date: 20 August 2018 (Though I am seeing word that it is out now).
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One Response to Semantic Saturation – Paradigms

  1. Pingback: Paradigms Review on Progressive Music Planet – Blogging in Disguise

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