Recorded by 24 Black
As I have discovered in the last few years, there is a surprisingly substantial Armenian rock and metal scene in Los Angeles. Who would have thought it? The list consisted of VIZA, Blackmore, Serj Tankian, System of a Down, and The Dirty Diamond until about a month ago, when 24 Black joined the scene with the most outstanding album I’ve heard in months: Recorded.
Formerly under the name Mercenaries, 24 Black consists of vocalist and rhythm guitarist Harout Ichlokmanian, drummer Hovannes Dongelyan, bassist Sako Dovlatyan, and lead guitarist Michael Solis. Their music is a fascinating melodic metal mix with heavy ethnic and Klezmer-style influences.
Recorded starts out with an angry riff for several bars before introducing Ichlokmanian’s rich vocals in “All She Wrote.” After the bridge comes the musical guitar playing so prominently displayed in their music.
If the beginning of “Autograph” intrigues you, definitely take a look at the 10th track on Recorded, the instrumental-only feat called “Wedding Dance,” which I surmise to be loosely based off Jacques Press’ “Wedding Dance” from his symphonic suite Hasseneh. If there is no actual relationship, the melodies and style are strikingly similar.
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24 Black exhibits three sounds in Recorded: what I call “the Mediterranean,” “the ballad,” and “the metal.” Of course, each song is a swirl between all three, but listen to “Thou Shall Not Kill” or the addicting and beautiful “Cradled,” and you hear a distinctly balladic sound.
spinning every wheel within.
Saints and sinners share a mother,
all this sings my only dreams.
Zoe Adler is a music journalist from Long Beach, California. Besides her website, which is her pride and joy, she works with the GRAMMY Foundation and the Long Beach Independent. Additionally, Ms. Adler is a musician, spending half of her time playing the flute, piccolo, trombone, and marching baritone. She has been with TeenView Music since the very start and hopes to make something of it in the future.