Site Logo  Dogma
Armenian Rock Band
You might be familiar with the expression often used by people while in the throes of losing an argument that goes: that’s the exception that proves the rule. What? How can contrary evidence support an argument? The expression is in fact a misinterpretation of its French / Latin origin in which ‘prove’ actually means to test or try, which makes the whole thing clearer and should undermine anybody who clutches at it when not making their case effectively enough.
But does it have some substance otherwise? I mean, can there be benevolent politicians, ethical bankers and native Russian speakers who can use indirect questions in English?
And can I put a page on my website dedicated to a rock band?
Well, yes in fact, I can. Especially when it’s an Armenian band good enough to be described by Ian Anderson as ‘the best rock band this side of Mars’. The band was created in 2008 in Yerevan by two very famous musicians – bassist Vardan Grigoryan and guitarist Heno Grigoryan, who both played in the legendary Transcaucasia MDP band from 1994 to 2007. Joining them is the enchanting singer Zara who along with drummer Derik Vardumyan make up a four piece which defies its relatively small size with thundering music so potent it seems to come from an army of musicians. They are a very melodic balance of yin and yang, the fierce sound of the music punctuated by peaceful overtures and interludes, while the power and sensitivity of the vocals blend with the varied pace and rhythms of the guitars like water follows the terrain of a mountain valley, while never actually becoming the mountain itself.

Matchmaking at Youtube


They incorporate, whether intentionally or not, western influences and an ethnic flavour which reminds us that they are very definitely faithful to their own roots, while also offering a taste of today’s global sound making it even more of a surprise that, at the time of writing, they have not become better known around the world.

The sad thing about modern music is, in most cases, it seems to come out of a can. Half a century of modern music has left the singer-songwriters of today with less than a host of opportunities to actually write anything original. And while two guitars, a drummer and a singer is in itself typical of the composition of many bands, predictable is a word we could not otherwise use to describe Dogma, both in their style, and within the songs themselves.
The British probably gave the world modern music and still continue to make it better than most, if not all others, but the smugness this status inevitably entails should not become an excuse to see anything emerging from east of the erstwhile iron curtain as ‘Eurovision’ style tambourine-based polystyrene music served as a mere transient entertainment for one night in May.
All photos reproduced with permission from
Dogma are very far from cheesy, and very far from Eurovision. They are very far from X Factor and very far from average. If the western music critics put aside their ignorance they might be pleased to discover this gem of a band, and many people, rock fans or not, might in turn be pleased that the modern music industry broadened its horizons for once.

What PR I can do for them here might not amount to much, but they deserve the compliment all the same. And as all the Armenians I’ve met have been wonderfully warm and very intelligent people, maybe this band could fly the flag for the yet comparatively undiscovered beauty of another very magnificent former Soviet state.

Zara with Ian Anderson

Only the best can perform with the greatest musician and genius ever, this guest appearance by Zara at an Ian Anderson concert took place in mid-2010 and according to Zara herself was a great evening. I bet it was!