Exposé Online banner

Oaksenham — Conquest of the Pacific
(Musea FGBG 4727.AR, 2006, CD)

by Peter Thelen, Published 2007-03-01

Conquest of the Pacific Cover art

Seems like a long time since we reviewed this Armenian band’s debut live release Woden’s Eve Live; in fact it was 2002, and since then the band has been diligently working on this, their ambitious studio follow-up. Again, the six-piece of acoustic and electric guitars, bass, drums, violin, keyboards, and flute go the instrumental route, augmenting their already rich sound with guest players on string harp, english horn, bassoon, oboe, clarinet, cello, french horn, bagpipes, and orchestral percussion, all track depending. These compositions stand strong as instrumentals, rich in melody and counterpoint, blazing with guitar, keyboard, and violin solos, with plenty of twists, turns, and complexities to keep them interesting from beginning to end. The warmth and range of emotions encompassed within the scope of their music is nothing short of stunning, and these are all exceptional players. Make no mistake though, even with all those orchestral instruments at work, these folks can and do rock with the best of them. Their spirited instrumental arrangements of two Gentle Giant classics back-to-back (“Talybont” and “On Reflection”) give away one of their apparent influences, though this writer is more often reminded of Red Queen era Gryphon in Oaksenham’s overall approach and instrumentation. The 26-minute five-part title suite closes the disc nicely, summarizing everything this band is about. Fans of GG, Gryphon, Snow Goose era Camel, Mike Oldfield, and other ambitious progressive rock works will definitely find this disc to their liking.


Filed under: New releases, Issue 34, 2006 releases

Related artist(s): Oaksenham

Latest news

2021-04-01
New Aristocrats Live Album on the Way – No foolin'! These supreme musicians toured Europe early in 2020, just before touring ceased to be a thing musicians could do, and there were some hot performances captured. On May 7, some of these will be releases as Freeze! Live in Europe 2020. » Read more

2021-03-25
Return of Jerry Lucky's Progressive Rock Files – After much consideration and surprisingly, positive feedback, Jerry Lucky is announcing the launch of the progressive Rock Files podcast, featuring the latest progressive rock music from around the world. » Read more

2021-03-14
Jewlia Eisenberg RIP – The sad news has come out that Jewlia Eisenberg has died. As a founding member of Charming Hostess, Eisenberg changed the face of music, bringing together Balkan klezmer, American folk, and experimental rock in a distinctive blend that garnered much praise. » Read more

2021-03-11
RIP Roger Trigaux – The sad news has come to our attention that Roger Trigaux, the guiding force of Present and former member of Univers Zero, passed away on the evening of March 10, 2021 after a long ilness. » Read more

2021-02-14
SoundQuest Fest 2021 – SoundQuest Fest, first experienced as a live festival in Tucson Arizona in 2010 was created by ambient music pioneer Steve Roach. This 2021 event will unite a worldwide gathering of artists and audience members together for a 3-day online event unique in the realm of ambient music. From March 26-28th a continuous flow of streamed performances, audio-video wonder worlds and deep immersion zones will burn bright on Roach’s YouTube channel. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Percy Jones - Tunnels – Jones, who is probably best known for his impeccable and highly energized fretless bass work in Brand X, brings that pedigree to this, his newest project band. Also featured in the lineup are drummer...  (1994) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues