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progVisions

progVisions is a progressive rock e-zine, published in English and made by an international group of members. Our objective is to become a centre of information that contributes to the knowledge, growth and development of progressive rock.

album reviews

album review

Aisles - Hawaii - 2016
albumcover

    
“Periodically, select volunteers from the colonies are chosen
for an interstellar journey in search of a new Earth ...”

March 2014 I wrote the following in my review of the third Aisles CD “4:45 AM”:

For me the third album “4:45 AM” of Aisles is an album with two faces. After the first four songs, which have some Neo-prog, AOR and Pop influences, the album becomes more adventurous and progressive. I hope that the band will develop this further into an unique own style. You will get a fusion of Art-rock, classical music, jazz and progressive rock. The use of the String Quintet in combination with the acoustic guitars works very well. It makes the music even more diverse. I also want to mention the beautiful vocal parts of this album. Aisles is a band with a lot of potential. I hope that the band musically can develop to the next level. The band has the potential for this.

Two years later now, the band comes with the 80 minutes concept album “Hawaii” pressed on two CD's. On the beautiful artwork of Omar Galindo the concept is explained as follows;

“Before the final extinction off all the life on earth, a secret project was mobilized to ensure the survival of the human race and other species. A group of scientists, technicians and philanthropists successfully completed several colonizing missions into space. Within decades, a number of habitants had been established between Mars and the Her belt. The last launch occurred at a time referred to as year 2300 in the archaic year numbering system. Colonists named the beginning of the new era Year Zero.”

Felipe Candia - drums and percussion; Sebastián Vergara - lead & backing vocals; Rodrigo Sepúlveda - electric & 12 string acoustic guitar; German Vergara - electric & acoustic guitar, vocals, piano; Daniel Baird-Kerr - bass guitar; Juan Pablo Gaete - keyboards & synthesizers, piano

And indeed with their forth studio album “Hawaii” the band managed to develop that unique own style further to a next level. The band from Santiago, Chili surprised me in a very positive way and I can tell you that the band sounds more mature and “Hawaii” is absolutely their best album so far. I read in another review that was published recently in an English Prog magazine that the band was referenced to a lot of well known Prog bands. But I completely disagree. In my opinion the band has developed their own unique style.

The story starts at 15 BSE (“Before Space Time”). The first thing that I noticed when I listened to the first track “The Poet Part I - Dusk” is that drummer Felipe Candia is doing a great job on this new album. I am impressed with his progression. The strong opening of the track has some jazz fusion influences before the music becomes more mysterious in the middle section. In the last and instrumental section the band goes full throttle. The first ten minutes of this album are sounding great ... Amazing opener.

With “The Poet Part II - New World” the band slows down and you can enjoy the nice melodies of the delicate sung vocals. Of course “Year Zero” starts with the sound of a rocket launch. Beautiful and delicate guitar work accompany the first vocal lines. Then the tension of the music is slowly building up with mysterious synths and the song ends with a beautiful piano part that flows into the next track “Upside Down”. In this track we hear some nice vocal harmonies and attractively electric guitar parts. The last song of the first disc is called “CH-7” and is about the mining years of 63 SE (“Space Era”). “A period of Intensive mining of asteroid and moon resources to support the construction of the first space habitats.” A long (12:39) and diverse piece of music with nice vocal melodies. Keyboard player Juan Pablo Gaete plays a big role to integrate his attractive space sounds into the music. I also like the jazzy bass playing of Daniel Baird-Kerr.

The second disc opens with the beautiful song “Terra”. Acoustic guitars accompany the delicate sung vocals and precious keyboard playing. The vocal harmonies in the last part of this song are very beautiful. Mysterious synths brings us to the song “Pale Blue Dot”, a wonderful track with nice keyboard parts and great melodic vocal parts. “Still Alive” and “Nostalgia” are bringing us to the next highlight of the album “Club Hawaii” In which the bands proofs hat the compositionally skills of the band has grown. “Club Hawaii” was the name of a club that existed on earth and was also a famous jazz record. In “Falling” the vocal part is accompanied by a piano and brings us to the last song of this album “In The Probe”;

“Periodically, select volunteers from the colonies are chosen for an interstellar journey in search of a new Earth. They are sent in different directions, traveling for centuries in suspended animation until conditions likely to sustain life are detected. They embark on this mission knowing that they will not return.”

So the music in this last song slowly fades away and extinguish into nothingness ...
The music evokes a feeling of drifting off into space.

With their forth studio album “Hawaii” Aisles proofs that the band has developed their own unique style to the next level. The musically and compositionally skills of the band has grown. The only change in the line-up of the band is keyboard player Juan Pablo Gaete, and he is doing a wonderful job here. “Hawaii” is absolutely their best album so far. The double album is packed in a digipak with beautiful artwork of Omar Galindo that illustrates the concept of the story. The progressive sound of Aisles has some jazz fusion influences on this album. This is also illustrated by great drumming of Felipe Candia. I also would like to mention the beautiful vocal parts, well done. Progressive Rock from Chili ... Highly recommended!

Douwe Fledderus - September 2016
rating - Presagio Records

 

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