Exposé Online banner

Khatsaturjan — Disconcerto Grosso
(Musea FGBG 4843, 2010, CD)

by Alan K. Lipton, Published 2011-06-01

Disconcerto Grosso Cover art

Named after the famous Soviet composer (spelling may vary), this Finnish progressive quartet exudes classical ambition carried by formidable chops that many prog bands can only dream about. It’s the usual guitar-keyboard-bass-drums lineup, yet the guitarist and drummer also play keyboards, the principle keyboardist also plays cello, and everyone sings. Sometimes they trade verses just as their instruments trade solos. Sometimes their harmonies create the same effect (not sound) as Yes – peculiar individual voices merging in an oddly satisfying whole, whether on the church choir ending of “Dusk” or the Slavic circus choral punch on “A Rhyme of a Dime.” English lyrics deal with pompous, gothic, dramatic, obscure subjects, dense verbiage, and forced rhymes filtered through non-Anglophone thinking with sometimes surprising results. Khatsaturjan subscribes to the prog strategy of cramming musical ideas into extended suites, to varying effectiveness. Take the album’s two opuses. “Herculean” contains enough material for a half dozen songs, all slotted together in jarring transitions. Pastoral piano trio, angular guitar metal, walking-bass swing, synth solo piercing thick organ surface – these sections are grouped by a sense of operatic dialog rather than songwriting cohesion. Conversely, “The Tunnel” seems to have been written by a single pianist, the tempo and style shifts flowing more smoothly, often with stronger melodic development. Disconcerto Grosso ends with “Travels Led by Chance,” samba-flavored acoustic guitar, hand percussion and violin keeping it light and breezy even when the full band joins in, cleansing the palate after a heavy meal.


Filed under: New releases, Issue 39, 2010 releases

Related artist(s): Khatsaturjan

Latest news

2018-11-16
The Seventeenth Dream of Dr Sardonicus Festival Tickets Now Available – Fruits de Mer Records and their merry crew of psychedelic explorers are getting set to present the next The Seventeenth Dream of Dr. Sardonicus Festival. The dates are set for August 2-4, 2019 at The Cellar Bar in Cardigan, Wales. They've also announced that the legendary Groundhogs will top the bill. » Read more

2018-11-02
Charles O'Meara (C.W. Vrtacek) RIP – A true musical original has left us. Charles O'Meara, who recorded under the name C.W. Vrtacek, was a wild-card musical talent, ranging from complex progressive rock to introspective modern compositions, with stops at many places inbetween. » Read more

2018-10-17
Eurock Documentary Seeks Funding – We've been fans and fellow travelers with Archie Patterson and his Eurock project on the journey to discover great music. After many years of promoting and trying to spread the word,a new phase is beginning: a documentary film. Things like this don't just happen, and money does not magically appear to make it happen, so it's up to the fans to get it done. » Read more

2018-09-29
Marty Balin RIP – One of the architects of the 60s psychedelic sound of San Francisco has died at the age of 76. Marty Balin was a singer, songwriter, and guitarist who was one of the founders of Jefferson Airplane. After the split of the original Airplane, Balin went on to form the highly successful Jefferson Starship. » Read more

2018-09-25
Help the Psychic Equalizer Avoid Extinction – Last year we reviewed the debut album by Psychic Equalizer, a musical project of Hugo Selles. He's now working on the ambitious follow-up to that release, and is seeking funding from listeners around the world. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Asgard - Imago Mundi – This, Asgard's fourth album, covers plenty of new territory, recaptures some of the lost ground from their original sound, and offers a quite a bit more accessibility - while maintaining a generally...  (1994) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues