Monday, January 2, 2012

Oaksenham - Conquest of the Pacific (Armenia 2006) [ProgRock] @320

Seems like a long time since we reviewed this Armenian band’s previous 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.
of GG, Gryphon, Snow Goose era Camel, Mike Oldfield, and other ambitious progressive rock works will definitely find this disc to their liking.
-Peter Thelen-

01. Anthem: The Unseen Land
02. Water Spark
03. Elfy
04. The Way Back Home
05. Talybont
06. On Reflection
07. Time-Out
08. Jester’s Pipe
09. Merlin’s Jig
10. Across the Atlantic
11. Ocean ’s Web
12. Golden Hind

Vahagn Papayan: bass
Anna Adamyan: keyboards
Valery Tolstov: flute
Bobikyan: violin
Vardan Gasparyan: guitar
Ashot Korganyan: drums


  1. Forte Abraço..aproveitei fazer uma visita...grato por este post..maravilhoso..
    JF-Série Echoes

  2. Oi JF. Abraço para vc também.
    Esses caras são bons mesmo.

  3. Bought this from synphonic based on your recommendation.

  4. Muy buen albúm, sorprendente influencias del rock progresivo de los 70's, muchas gracias por compartir buena música.

  5. Acabo de escuchar este album... ¡maravilloso!, te agradezco infinitamente tu generoso trabajo.
    ¿Hay mas de este grupo?
    Osvaldo, de Argentina.

  6. Olá Osvaldo.
    Só conheço esse album. Até onde eu sei não há outros.

  7. Gracias igual, este blog tuyo tiene el tipo de música que estaba buscando, abrazo agradecido.

  8. Probably the album I've liked the most from your two blogs, CK. I'm surprised the Jethro Tull influence is not mentioned (I personally find it quite obvious). Also, the song Jester's Pipe is based on JT's Velvet Green. Absolutely amazing album.

  9. Hello Aqualung.
    Besides Gentle Giant, it is clear the influence of Jethro, no doubt. A great album.


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