BUY THE NEW ALBUM

Paradigms

Written and Produced by
Shant Hagopian
Featuring
Craig Blundell
Kristoffer Gildenlöw
Special Guests
Derek Sherinian
Alex Argento
Houry Dora Apartian

Paradigms

Menu

Latest News

DPRP (Dutch Progressive Rock Page) Reviews and Rates Paradigms 9/10

Jan Buddenberg, who is clearly a grand whisky connoisseur, reviews Paradigms in style and special aromatic flavor on DPRP.net

An outstanding album, which grows on you on each turn. Highly recommendable for progressive guitar lovers


*****



Rating: 9/10

The art of blending is a craftsmanship one tastefully encounters in luxury drinks like whisky. Imagine what is to be done for one brand to make every bottle of precious liquid exactly the same; for people expect the same quality, not only in their own country, but across the border it should look, feel and taste the same as well; repeatedly over and over and over all the time. Choosing from all those casks of whisky; all different in age, taste, impregnation and maturation is not an easy task and hence the term master-blender is frequently used as appraisal in the industry.

In slightly higher regard stand those who are able to play freely in the cask-field by not only harmonizing up to explicit quality, but also essentially add a signature to the already perfect drink, thereby creating more depth, stunning flavours and long lasting lingering finishes. On top of this there are a few instances where the master-blender is the master-distiller as well, able to control the whole process from start to finish in the end creating the loveliest of spirits; precisely the circumstances in which Shant Hagopian operates with Semantic Saturation when compared to the musical equivalent of it.

Paradigms is the second release by Semantic Saturation, the first being Solipsistic from 2012. On his first album he used the talented skills of Virgil Donati (drums) and Ric Fierabracci (bass) to present highly entertaining instrumental progressive metal, with guest appearances on one track by Andy Kuntz (Vanden Plas) on vocals, and Derek Sherinian (Sons Of Apollo) on keyboards adding signatures throughout. For Paradigms the base-field has been altered completely resulting in an more than satisfactory versatile form of Shant on guitars and keys, Craig Blundell (Steve Wilson, Frost) on drums and Kristoffer Gildenlöw on bass. With some extraordinary supportive appearances, Shant has surpassed his own standard and raised the bar, subsequently nourishing our senses.

A creative and artistic insight into the mind of Shant shows on the lovely self-designed artwork in which the album is presented. Production by Shant is handled extremely well, for the album is impeccably vivid, harmonious, balanced, vibrant, tight when it needs to be, yet playful when called for; and above all a treat to listen to and enjoy.

Most tracks are based on instrumental jazzy progressive rock fusion structures and melodies, leaving lots of space for the three cornerstones to fill in the blanks when necessary to make it all sparkle. Each member knowing their instrument by heart shines through in their performance, without ever feeling the need to outweigh the other. Genuinely guitar driven, there’s still ample of room for variety, flashes of keys, subtle or hard hitting drums, firm and tight bass and the occasional solo (be it keys or guitar) as perfectly demonstrated in Mirrors Of Confusion and Pareidolia.

Universal and Until We Meet Again showcase a softer touch with more melodic rock whereby acoustic guitars add character and keys giving refinement, often reminding me of Dixie Dregs and Steve Morse. The heavier full bodied tracks like The Stranger From Andromeda and Disturbence show signs of brilliance with influences by Dream Theater reminiscent of their instrumental work during the Images And Words and Awake era.

The support by guest artist lifts the intensity of the music and generates a whole different level in which to play. Short but rounded Empty Whisky Jar starts of bluesy and changes towards jazz thanks to the vocals by Houry Dora Apartian, effectively depicting images of a Mike Hammer Private detective set in the 30’s to me. Carousel Of Death features Alex Argento on keyboards (also responsible for mixing and mastering) and Squiggy McFlannel on Trumpet, whom together with the base three stir things up, resulting in a rather complex heavy dynamical progressive track full of 1950s swing and burlesque. Lastly, Derek Sherinian adjusts the controls towards extraordinary progmetal on Ulterior Harmony, leaving the levers open to maximum extend results in a pure cask strength version of Dream Theater.

Even the best master blenders have to make a judgment call now and then when there’s an exquisite and flawless cask that just is too good to be used in a blend, so it becomes a single cask whisky; a whisky-lovers dream with exceptional aromas, flavours, divine taste and a long everlasting finish. Last track Where Dreams Have Died is the exact equivalent: initially smooth, it changes to heavy progressive Pink Floyd and Dream Theater, giving of bursts of explicit guitars reminiscent of John Petrucci and Joe Satriani. Temporarily softening in the middle it slowly evolves into a dazzling exhibition by Shant on guitar, as if to say you don’t need words if your guitar can do it’s singing for you (ironically this being the one track with actual lyrics); ending with a relaxing silky smoothness.

A special mention has to be made to the exemplary bass-work by Gildenlöw which is some of his best I have heard up to date. Combined with the intricate, energetic and refined drums by Blundell and the inspiring guitars by Shant has resulted in an outstanding album, which grows on you on each turn. Highly recommendable for progressive guitar lovers, and for now I’ll savor an established 20 years old Dutch Single Cask 1998 Millstone whisky and listen to it again; though I think the complexity and finish on the drink might take a while so more turns are needed... Let’s hope actual semantic saturation doesn’t happen.

*****



Source: http://www.dprp.net/reviews/2018-069#semantic-saturation

Free Shipping This Week

Get any item shipped anywhere free. Exclusively from the band store.

Visit the online store

Both Albums on Bandcamp

You can now listen to both Semantic Saturation albums in full on Bandcamp here https://semanticsaturation.bandcamp.com/music

Paradigms on ProgRock Radio

DJ Peter O'Neil will air a couple of tracks from Paradigms on Progrock.com radio today.
Tune in at 7pm UK time 1pm CST to 2pm EST to listen.


Paradigms Goes Streaming

You can now stream Paradigms on all major platforms: Spotify, Deezer, Bandcamp, TIDAL, Apple Music, Google Play, Amazon... You name it.



A compact page is also launched where you can listen to the album, watch our music video and leave us comments and/or mini reviews. Check it out here.
More news here...

Discography

Solipsistic Album Cover
Solipsistic (2013)
Solipsistic Album Cover
Paradigms (2018)

Solipsistic

Solipsistic Album Cover

Solipsistic is the debut album for Semantic Saturation. The album features world class musicians and progressive rock gurus; such as drummer Virgil Donati, bassist Ric Fierabracci, and guests Derek Sherinian (ex-Dream Theater) on keyboards, and vocalist Andy Kuntz from Vanden Plas. Solipsistic was released physically on CD and digitally on January 21, 2013 after two long years of hard work and coordination between the featured artists working on the album. The album is available for sale in both formats on the Semantic Saturation store and on other online stores like Amazon, iTunes and others.

On the album, Bassist Ric Fierabracci says:
It was a great pleasure for me to play on Shant’s new CD. He is an extremely gifted writer, guitarist and producer as well.

Solipsistic consists of nine tracks, the first eight of which are instrumental, with the final track titled “What if We All Stop” bearing Andy Kuntz’s signature vocals. The epic song spans over 8 minutes, transitioning from a calm, mellow beginning towards an eagerly-anticipated heavier mid-section, before it reaches a grand finale capturing the essence of prog-rock along the way.

Vocalist Andy Kuntz follow up saying:
I’m very proud to be part of a new project with my precious friend Shant Hagopian. He is such a great composer and a very unique guitar player with his very own fingerprint.
On the process of creating the album Shant comments:
There’s this moment of transition during the recording process, when you put all the ideas together like pieces of a puzzle, and only then the bigger picture takes shape and you clearly see what the end result is going to be.
Virgil Donati - DrumsVirgil Donati
Ric Fierabracci - BassRic Fierabracci
Andy Kuntz - VocalsAndy Kuntz
Shant Hagopian - GuitarsShant Hagopian
Special Guests
Derek Sherinian

Paradigms

Paradigms Album Cover

Paradigms is an honest attempt to expand musical horizons, capturing the essence of the unique prog vibe by focusing on the genre's most important aspect: variety. Featured musicians on the album include drummer Craig Blundell (Frost*/Steven Wilson), bassist Kristoffer Gildenlöw (ex-Pain of Salvation), guests Derek Sherinian (ex-Dream Theater), Alex Argento on keyboards, and the lovely jazz vocalist Houry Dora Apartian.

PARADIGMS is now available for pre-order in CD, Special Edition CD&DVD, Vinyl and digital formats through the brand new Semantic Saturation online store. Pre-orders come with a postcard including a personal message, and signed by Shant Hagopian. The online store also hosts a selection of T-Shirts, bundles and other merchandise featuring PARADIGMS artwork. The digital album will also be available on Apple iTunes and others.

The laudable array of ten compositions conveys a multitudinous variety of changing moods, while inventively preserving the album's grand paradigm of musical intrigue and astounding mastery. Shant's musical ingenious is rendered crystal clear in “Mirrors of Confusion” where funky grooves and heavy riffing intertwine seamlessly, and his academic foundations in Jazz are evidently traced throughout the exciting track of “Carousel of Death”, while Craig Blundell’s insane drumming techniques and Kirstoffer’s transcendent bass lines are conspicuous throughout all ten tracks. Furthermore, Shant’s masterful and peculiar cover painting resonates radiantly with the music.

PARADIGMS is Shant's second Semantic Saturation album after Solipsistic, demonstrating his ever-evolving musical writing abilities, and on this long-awaited production he says:

To me, the process of creating an album has always been like giving birth, you carry it within you for several months until it's *released*, and then you show the world what you've made. Minus all the crying and the ugly baby pictures.
Drummer Craig Blundell says:
I was deeply honoured when I got the call to play all the tracks on this project which features some insanely talented people of which I'm fans of too. Every track is a real challenge but extremely rewarding when it comes together, the whole album is staggeringly good.
And Kristoffer humbly said:
The basslines I recorded did not do justice for the album, so I've asked Shant quietly to hire guitarist Steve Lukather to re-record the basslines for all ten tracks.
Kristoffer has since retreated to his cabin in the woods of northern Holland, after selling his entire career on ebay for as close to nothing.

Album Line-up

Craig Blundell - DrumsCraig Blundell
Kristoffer Gildenlöw - BassKristoffer Gildenlöw
Shant Hagopian - GuitarsShant Hagopian
Special Guests
Derek Sherinian - Alex Argento - Houry Dora Apartian

Music Videos

Loading Semantic Saturation Online Store...

Who is Semantic Saturation?

Semantic Saturation is a progressive rock/progressive metal project founded by Canadian guitarist Shant Hagopian. The foundation of the project is based on the idea to work with a different set of musicians on every album. Today, playing prog music is regarded in the eyes of many as being a feat. It should not be like that. Listeners do not enjoy music anymore, they're only trying to find bands that can play a million notes per minute. Although we do that too occasionally, but Semantic Saturation is not an impressing machine, it's a single note at the right place and the right time that will give you chills.

Musicians

Craig Blundell - DrumsCraig Blundell
Kristoffer Gildenlöw - BassKristoffer Gildenlöw
Shant Hagopian - GuitarsShant Hagopian

Virgil Donati - DrumsVirgil Donati
Ric Fierabracci - BassRic Fierabracci
Andy Kuntz - GuitarsAndy Kuntz
Special Guests
Derek Sherinian - Alex Argento - Houry Dora Apartian

What is Semantic Saturation?

Semantic Saturation also known as ‘Semantic Satiation’ is a psychological phenomenon where repetition causes a word or phrase to lose its meaning temporarily; words are then processed in the mind as meaningless sounds. This idea, of course, goes much deeper than that, it doesn’t just stop there. Even though unapparent, our brains are being saturated on a daily basis. It may seem slow, but the effects are significant on the long run.

Oftentimes, we hear people repeating a set of clichéd words or phrases without any perception, and completely indifferent to what they really mean. Some of these words have become saturated in our minds, as a result of overhearing the same phrases over and over. Until it becomes a habit; a bad one.

Saturation is a disease; and it’s viral. it is being streamed to us through multiple channels, it’s on the news, it’s in the paper, and words spread mouth to mouth. Once you’re in the cycle, you’re inside a black hole and there's never an escape. You overhear a few people talking about the latest trend and you start mentioning it to everyone you meet, fearing of being left behind, in fear of complete disconnection, and being left all alone in some dark corner of our imaginary realities.

We’re losing our communication skills, in this age of technology. Almost all of us on our planet are interconnected, the whole world is in our palms; just a few clicks away; under our fingertips, yet we struggle to connect mentally. When was the last time you had a REAL conversation with somebody? I fail to remember. Communication is key, but we've already been over-saturated, and words have become meaningless sounds.

When I look at the social media today, I don’t see people. I see emotionless by-products, mind-controlled nincompoops, narcissist lunatics. Everybody’s trying to sell something, including myself, and we’re all busy consuming and boasting about the latest toy we bought, a “be-the-first-or-be-nothing” mentality that is killing our motivations; our desires; our dreams and our creativity.

This is the new norm.

Contact

Please use the form below to contact me.
I read all emails.

Privacy Policy

What information do we collect?

We collect information from you when you register on our site, place an order, subscribe to our newsletter, respond to a survey or fill out a form. When ordering or registering on our site, as appropriate, you may be asked to enter your: name, e-mail address, mailing address, phone number or credit card information.

What do we use your information for?

Any of the information we collect from you may be used in one of the following ways:

  • To send periodic emails, special offers and newsletters.
  • To administer a contest, promotion, survey or other site feature.
  • To process transactions and orders.

Your information, whether public or private, will not be sold, exchanged, transferred, or given to any other company for any reason whatsoever without your consent.
Note: If at any time you would like to unsubscribe from receiving future emails, we include detailed unsubscribe instructions at the bottom of each email.

How do we protect your information?

All supplied sensitive/credit information is transmitted via Secure Socket Layer (SSL) technology and then encrypted into our Payment gateway providers database only to be accessible by those authorized with special access rights to such systems, and are required to keep the information confidential.

Newsletters

Like everyone else; we hate spam email too, so we don't like to spam your inbox with daily or weekly newsletters. We send very few newsletter emails, once a month, sometimes even once every two months. These emails will give you the inner scoop, the latest news or projects, free songs, promo codes or special offers that we don't advertise anywhere else.

How Do I Opt-Out of Your Email List?

Please don't click the Spam or Junk button of your email client, instead to Opt-Out, all you need to do is click the “Unsubscribe” link at the bottom of any email you receive from us and we won't bother you anymore.
You can also contact us and request to be removed from our mailing list.

Do we disclose any information to outside parties?

We do not sell, trade, or otherwise transfer to outside parties your personally identifiable information. This does not include trusted third parties who assist us in operating our website, so long as those parties agree to keep this information confidential.

Your Consent

By using Semantic Saturation Website, you consent to our website's privacy policy.

Changes to our Privacy Policy

If we decide to change our privacy policy, we will post those changes on this page, and/or update the Privacy Policy modification date below. This policy was last modified on 04/06/2013

Contacting Us

If you have any questions regarding this Privacy Policy, you may reach us through the Contact page.