From the opening bars of this album, Hawaii, an intro called “The Poet, Pt.1”, you know that you are in for a prog listening experience. There is no mistaking the prog sound, and I intend that statement as a compliment to Aisles, they nail it in a good way.
Aisles are a six-piece progressive rock band originally from Santiago in Chile, started by Germán Vergara(guitar) and Luis Vergara (keyboards) in 2001. The brothers were joined their childhood friend Rodrigo Sepúlveda on guitar. Eventually, lead singer Sebastián Vergara, Alejandro Meléndez (keyboards), drummer Felipe Candia and bassist Daniel Baird-Kerr rounded out the band.
This is a bit of an odd review, this album was released in July of 2015 and Aisles are currently working on a new release. Nevertheless, I will soldier on and give this music a review because it was new to me when I was recently given a copy by the band.
I don’t know which grabbed my attention first, the sound or the lyrical content. The sound is pure prog with Aisles adding their own twists and turns that keep it fresh. The lyrics tell a science-fiction tale of resettling a new world after Earth is destroyed, a classic theme that appealed to the sci-fi fan in me.
There is, in my opinion, a masterful mix on this album. The sound ping pongs between speakers, and there are some fascinating new sounds such as those heard on the track “Ch-7”. The lyrics dance in between the notes and weave the tale of “The Poet”. The band tells us, “all the music was written with our hearts and minds, set on the idea of these human colonies – a small group of people who are able to preserve some of the heritage of mankind after Earth is destroyed”. I highly recommend following the storyline with the lyrics in front of you.
This double CD concept album arrived in a sweet three-panel case with a lyric sheet in a pocket in the middle panel. The artwork is nicely done and the lyrics, as per all CDs, are small and difficult for old eyes in dark rooms to read. I cheated and used iTunes to follow the songs lyrical motif.
In summary, I liked this musical adventure. It required about a dozen listens because there is so much going on both lyrically and sonically. Due to the album’s strength, it was still as enjoyable on the last listen as on the first, maybe even more so. The twelve songs on Hawaii span 1 hour and 22 minutes so, settle into a comfortable listening repose and prepare for the launch of a musical odyssey.
I look forward to their new album, which will introduce us to a new lead singer, Israel Jil. This album is due in 2021, and if “Hawaii” is a measuring stick, this new album should be a stellar success.
Happy listening and play safe.