Semantic Saturation Featured on Noah’s Arkhive

Noah, my neighbor is studying journalism, he wanted to interview me last week and write a piece about me and Semantic Saturation on his blog.

Thank you Noah, I wish you the best of luck in your studies; and after reading the article you wrote I can already tell you are on the right track.

 

Shant Hagopian, syrian rock superstar!

Screen Shot 2015-11-15 at 5.35.18 PMMy father introduced me to Shant’s album last summer, and it was within the first five minutes of listening to “Solipsistic,” his latest album, that I knew that this guy had something special. On election day, I was lucky to get a hold of him, as he happened to be standing behind me in line; generously, he agreed to an interview

“He’s obsessed with Pink Floyd,” told me Shant Hagopian’s wife as I noticed a painting made out of guitar picks of the legendary guitarist David Gilmour of the band “Pink Floyd.” My walk here from home was under 1 minute, I live across the street. As I sat on the couch and asked his wife, Nanor, a few questions, she served me a glass of water. After a few minutes of finding out about how they met and what their first date paintballing was like, Shant came upstairs from his hard work looking exactly like what you would think a metal guitarist would look like. From the long hair and scruffy beard to the casual t-shirt and jeans, this guy says rock’n’roll from head to toe. We had a small chat about his life and career as a musician.

It all started because of bands like Bon Jovi, Aerosmith and Pink Floyd that Shant got into the rock world and began playing guitar at the age of 15 later going to music school.

“Nobody told me I was going to freeze my ass up here,” Shant explains. Born in Syria, he first created the band named “Nu.Clear.Dawn” in his youth while studying music. The band became popular in Syria after doing many cover shows, and a few years later for being the first metal band in Syria to release an album, but it did not come easy. “It’s a lot easier to build a house in Canada than it is to play a rock concert back in Syria, it’s almost impossible to release a rock album”IMG_7979s

But they did it, and the band grew and gained more and more recognition. Unfortunately Shant felt conflicted with the fact that there was no way the band could really take off from Syria. So he moved to Canada, one of the safest and most peaceful countries in the world. Honestly, who could blame him after all the conflicts, wars and explosions in the Middle East. “I consider myself very lucky for moving out of Syria before the revolution started which eventually led to the current horrible situation.”

But while Shant moved to Montreal, his other band mates fled Syria to move to different parts of the world. Shant used the incredible technology of today’s world to create his album through the Internet. He would write the songs, write down how he wanted them to be and then he would send them to different musicians around the world to add their touch and combine their talent creating an incredible piece of art. In 2013 the band he named “Semantic Saturation,” released the album “Solipsistic.”

“Semantic Saturation” and “Solipsistic”, two names I found extremely fascinating after he explained to me what they meant. “Semantic Saturation”, was the term used to describe the moment when you say a word over and over until it begins to lose meaning and starts being funny. The choice of the album name was a reflection of how the media causes us to become desensitized to the events revolving around us. Considering all the shocking things happening in Syria it’s easy to see why he would pick the name. “Solipsistic” on the other hand is the theory in which only you exist and everything and everybody around you is an illusion created simply for you. He chose the name, because it reflected the way he worked, he was reaching out to all these people through the Internet and it felt as though he was the only real person in his music-making world.

Look at the album artwork and you’ll see a girl representing “the listener” facing a metropolis of fake buildings, facades are what you see and with incredible detail you’ll notice some construction workers building everything for no one but her . Open up the CD pack and you get a 360 view of this “false reality” the girl is seeing.

After reading the reviews of the album it seems as though the album was quite a success especially since I did not notice a single trace of negative criticism. Getting to know Shant was great and I could truly say that this guy is the definition of cool.His laidback attitude and the detailed description of his life allowed for the opportunity to see how much he must have worked hard for what he’s accomplished.

If you want to get to know Shant Hagopian a little better you can either follow him on bandcamp, or you could check out his latest video on YouTube, believe me you won’t regret it. (Links Down Below)

Screen Shot 2015-11-15 at 5.34.52 PM

Www.Facebook.com/semanticsaturation

Http://semanticsaturation.bandcamp.com

www.semanticsaturation.com

 

Source: https://noahsarkhive.wordpress.com/2015/11/15/shant-hagopian-syrian-rock-superstar/

Ages of Rock Best Albums in 2013 includes Solipsistic

Italian review web ‘zine Ages of Rock picks Solipsistic as one of the best albums in 2013.

Here’s the list:

COSMOGRAF – The Man Left In Space

AEON ZEN – Enigma

COMEDY OF ERRORS – Fanfare & Fantasy

SEMANTIC SATURATION – Solipsistic

Intronaut – Habitual Levitation

DAYS BETWEEN STATIONS – In Extremis

ANVISION – Astral Phase

ARLON – On the Edge

KINGBATHMAT  – Overcoming the Monster

MASCHINE – Rubidium

DEAD HEROES CLUB – Everything Is Connected

PERSON LATTICE – Reaching High Places Above

PROSPEKT – The Colourless Sunrise

source: http://agesofrock.wordpress.com/2013/12/20/playlist-2013-bands-emergenti-2013-emerging-bands-playlist/

The Dutch Website ProgPraat.com Reviews Solipsistic

One late review for Solipsistic has surfaced on the dutch prog web ‘zine ProgPraat.com (Prog Talk)

Without further due, here’s the review (hey! that rhymed)
Edit: English translation below the original article is provided by Peter Degreef. Thank you Peter!

Semantic Saturation – Solipsistic

Posted on  by Rinco Ennema

Voor de liefhebbers van instrumentale progressieve metal hebben we toch iets lekkers voor onder de kerstboom: Semantic Saturation, en dan wel hun debuutalbum ‘Solipsistic’.

Muziek zonder grenzen, dat is wat ik erover kan zeggen. Het volledige album staat op de bandcamppagina van de band, maar wie de muziek in de hoogste kwaliteit wil horen koopt ‘m natuurlijk gewoon. De opbrengsten gaan voornamelijk linea recta naar de band aangezien ze alles in eigen beheer doen en dus niets hoeven af te dragen aan een maatschappij of label. sem

Het album is door meerdere (buitenlandse) recensenten al positief beoordeeld en ik kan me daar slechts bij aansluiten. Ik ben nog geen Nederlandse reviews tegengekomen, wat me verbaasde aangezien het album al in januari van dit jaar uitgekomen is. Uiteraard kan ik eventuele reviews gemist hebben.

Er zitten wat bekende namen bij dit project. Initiatiefnemer is Shant Hagopian die de gitaarpartijen doet, hulp krijgt hij van drummer Virgil Donati en bassist Ric Fierabracci. Als speciale gasten deden mee ex- Dream Theater-toetsenist Derek Sherinian en Vanden Plas-zanger Andy Kuntz. Niet dat er veel wordt gezongen, maar de laatste track, ‘What If We All Stop’ breekt de muzikale ban een beetje. Zeker te weten een heerlijk album!

http://semanticsaturation.bandcamp.com/album/solipsistic

source: http://progpraat.com/2013/12/16/semantic-saturation-solipsistic/

English translation by Peter Degreef

For lovers of instrumental prog metal I have found something nice for under the x-mas tree: the debut album by Semantic Saturation. Music without borders, is what I can say about it. For the best listening experience: buy the record. All benefits go straight to the band. Shant Hagopian plays guitar, Virgil Donati drums and Ric Fierabracci bass, with special guests ex- Dream Theater-keyboardist Derek Sherinian and Vanden Plas-singer Andy Kuntz. Not that there is much singing going on, but the last track ‘What If We All Stop’ breaks the spell al little. A wonderful album for sure!

The Scene Magazine Features Semantic Saturation

We’re featured on the homepage of the Canadian music and entertainment website “The Scene Magazine

The article features the track Stardust from the debut album Solipsistic, with a short review and a rating of??4/5 ???Too Hot to Trot

The new single Stardust from Montreal based Semantic Saturation is a fabulously produced track that evokes strong imagery in the listener.

Fantastic musical sensibility provided by a stellar line up including Derek Sherinian (ex-Dream Theater) help to make this track a stand alone masterpiece.

The band released their debut Solipsistic in January of this year to rave reviews:

??? If you are an instrumental Prog Metal lover, this is the first masterpiece of 2013 and a real must! ??? ??? Power Prog

??? The music will come to you and slap you hard in the face,
a sweet punishment, painfully delicious. Music that goes beyond magic and reality, a prog-fairy-tale.
Passion, wisdom, crazy theory??? Solipsism. ??? ??? Lady Obscure

??? I can verify right now that ???Solipsistic??? is the epitome of progressive rock/metal. The album is boundless, and will forever stand the test time. Absolutely brilliant and well worth the wait. Do not let this one slip by. ??? ??? Metal Buzz

The sheer brilliance created by this unique line up make Solipsistic an album that should be on your radar.

Shant Hagopian (guitars)
featuring:
Virgil Donati (drums)
Ric Fierabracci (bass)
special guests:
Derek Sherinian (ex-Dream Theater ??? keyboards)
Andy Kuntz (Vanden Plas ??? vocals)

source:??http://www.thescenemagazine.ca/semantic-saturation-stardust/

Solipsistic Reviewed on Danger Dog

Joel Rittberg from “Danger Dog Music Reviews” published a review about Solipsistic yesterday July 29, 2013. Joel loved the album so much he gave it a score of 5 out of 5!

Here’s the full review.

Solipsistic Album Cover

Semantic Saturation: Solipsistic
Instrumental Progressive Rock/Metal
5.0/5.0
Website Facebook
by Joel Rittberg, 07.29.2013

Semantic Saturation is the project of Shant Hagopian. He is a guitarist from Canada, who has played with other musicians throughout other parts of the world. What we have here is his self-produced debut.

Shant Hagopian (guitars)
Shant Hagopian, guitarist

Ambivalence starts off this disc, with a very heavy groove riff, that leads into an awesome melodic lead, that becomes an instrumental version of a verse. The entire song builds upon this melody, and each time leads itself into a new part of this six minute plus opener. Make Believe, shows off Shant’s amazing melodic songwriting skills. This song feels part-Rush, part-Dream Theater in its ability to change tempos. A great keyboard/guitar trade off at the two and a half minute mark, showcases the extremely talented Derek Sherinian (ex-Dream Theater and many others) on keyboards. Sherinian and Shant go at each other, like its a heavyweight boxing fight, trading blows.

Lost and Found Insanity has a very cool keyboard melody that repeats throughout this intro, that reminds me of an old eight-bit video game. With a very warm guitar lead that joins the song a minute in. Around the minute and a half mark, Shant shows you his project is not about how fast he can play, but how great of a songwriter he truly is. The next song Stardust shares the same common melodic sensibilities as Lost and Found Insanity. Blessing in Disguise will remind listeners of John Petrucci from Dream Theater, especially the 2000, Metropolis Part 2, Scenes From A Memory. Its a truly beautiful melodic piece of instrumental progressive rock. The last twenty seconds again, showcases his idea of less is more, substance over quantity of notes played.

Armchair Activist, has a very Surfing with the Alien Satriani meets Passion and Warfare-era Steve Vai, a solid rocker, that showcases Shant’s abilities. This is probably the most technical song on the disc so far in my opinion and it also showcases a short break between drummer Virgil Donati and bassist Ric Fierabracci. Point of Singularity is a beautiful clean guitar and atmospheric keyboard piece that introduces a melodic guitar solo near the last minute of the song, that takes the song to new heights. This song would not be far out of place in an old sci-fi movie, with its keyboard tones.

Time Is An Illusion, is another masterpiece like Make Believe, without writing the same song twice. The last song, What if We All Stop, is the only song that features vocals. Those vocals are provided by the very talented Andy Kurtz of the German band, Vanden Plas. The open features a beautiful melody with Kurtz’s vocals coming in. The song turns into a full on prog-a-thon halfway through, and its definitely a welcome addition, to the instrumental tracks before it.

Solipsistic is an amazing piece of art. It’s a journey of musical emotions that reaches amazing heights, that brings us back down to earth when its ready too, not any sooner. Easily recommended for fans of Derek Sherinian’s music, or for those who appreciate instrumental guitar music, that isn’t about how fast you can play through every song.

source: http://www.dangerdog.com/2013-music-reviews/semantic-saturation-solipsistic.php