ARTSRUNI : CRUZAID (ARMENIA 2002)
Middle Eastern Folk-Prog/Ethnic-Jazz/Metal?????
Composer, guitarist and vocalist Vahan Artsruni is leader of this impressive Armenian folk prog outfit that came to life with the new millennium. They are a group of six highly accomplished musicians whose sound could be described as smooth, easy-jazz fusion with middle-eastern accents. Far from simply imitating their American and English counterparts, they draw on their own cultural background to give their music a genuine local flavour. The 'nervous' flute play will inevitably remind some of Jethro Tull, but the pervading acoustic guitar also gives their material an early-Camel feel. Lacking a keyboard player, their music comes across as somewhat jazzy, being devoid of that 'filler' effect usually brought on by keyboards.
Their only studio album to date, "Cruzaid", features some energetic interaction between the flutist and the guitarists, who alternately play together or off each other. The incredible bass playing is nothing short of spellbinding, infusing each piece with cutting-edge rhythmic sections. Indeed, each track allows all instruments plenty of room to shine individually.
So take a bit of Jethro Tull, some jazz-fusion, some heavy metal (yes metal, expecially for the electric guitars) and surely some folk music, and you'll obtain a very well played set of mostly instrumental pieces.
Here's the Deal :
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