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AISLES

Neo-Prog • Chile


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Aisles biography
Founded in Santiago, the year 2001, AISLES represents the new generation of chilean prog. Provided of a style eminently neo symphonic, the band delivers a style of classic roots and influenced by the british school (groups like GENESIS, YES, PINK FLOYD and MARILLION). Their only album is "The Yearning", released in 2005. One of the dinstinctive aspects of this offer is the interesting formation, which nucleus is composed by the Vergara brothers (guitars, keyboards and vocals), that includes the interaction of two keyboardists; also the english lyrics, that gives them the opportunity to enter in bigger leagues of prog.

The AISLES sonorous landscapes are dominated by a melancholic and emotive air, where the melody and long instrumental developments cover all the near path of neo prog; you can hear nice melodies, not only that boring constant soloing we heard from almost all the bands nowadays.

This band, because it's in the frontier of classic and neo prog, is recommended to all fans of the two mentioned genres. Really the chilean prog scene is getting bigger every year!!

: : : David Gil, Stgo, CHILE : : :

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HawaiiHawaii
Import
CD Baby 2016
Audio CD$17.71
$37.50 (used)
In Sudden WalksIn Sudden Walks
Melodic Revolution Records 2009
Audio CD$14.47
$16.15 (used)
4:45 Am4:45 Am
Import
CD Baby 2013
Audio CD$12.00
$14.92 (used)
The YearningThe Yearning
Import
Melodic Revolution Records 2005
Audio CD$14.86
$24.88 (used)
The Yearning by Aisles (2005-10-12)The Yearning by Aisles (2005-10-12)
Melodic Revolution Records
Audio CD$58.40
4:45 Am by Aisles (2013-10-29)4:45 Am by Aisles (2013-10-29)
CD Baby
Audio CD$59.90
In Sudden Walks by Aisles (2014-08-03)In Sudden Walks by Aisles (2014-08-03)
Melodic Revolution Records
Audio CD$62.02
4.45 Am by Aisles (2015-09-21)4.45 Am by Aisles (2015-09-21)
Presagio
Audio CD$91.76
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AISLES discography


Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help Progarchives.com to complete the discography and add albums

AISLES top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.08 | 46 ratings
The Yearning
2005
3.70 | 58 ratings
In Sudden Walks
2009
3.36 | 41 ratings
4:45am
2013
3.65 | 29 ratings
Hawaii
2016

AISLES Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

AISLES Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

AISLES Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

5.00 | 1 ratings
Aisles Compilation
2015

AISLES Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

5.00 | 1 ratings
Live 2014
2015
4.33 | 3 ratings
Club Hawaii
2016
4.00 | 2 ratings
Upside Down
2016

AISLES Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Hawaii by AISLES album cover Studio Album, 2016
3.65 | 29 ratings

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Hawaii
Aisles Neo-Prog

Review by ProgShine
Collaborator Errors & Omissions Team

4 stars So here it is Hawaii (2016), the new Aisles album. Aisles is a band from Chile and Hawaii is their fourth album and it was released by their own label Presagio.

In their debut album The Yearning (2005) the band was pretty much shooting its bullets to every side, that album was lacking unity. In Sudden Walks (2009) they corrected that, finding their way. On their third effort 4:45 AM (2013) they left their Neo Prog influence behind and a new sound emerged. So, what about their new effort?

Hawaii (2016) is a double concept album inspired on a post apocalyptic world where human colonies were established in space after the destruction of Earth. But before the extinction of the planet Earth a project was initiated to make sure human race would survive. And this my friends is where Hawaii (2016) takes us in its almost 82 minutes: a sci-fi Prog adventure.

It is important to follow the lyrics and it's a delight to do that because the Digipak in which Hawaii (2016) is encased is just beautiful! Also, vocals are a very important part in Aisles' music so that's one more reason to follow the lyrics with attention.

Musically speaking, Aisles has grown a bit more since their last album 4:45 AM (2013) (the first with their new lineup) and although you can find many great and interesting instrumental passages (like in the opening duo 'The Poet', 'Upside Down') the melody is what strikes you. Hawaii (2016) is all about melody and the moods one can create with it. Sebastián Vergara pulls double duty in many moments where he lays different vocal tracks to create melodies.

Like with many of its contemporaries, Aisles bet on the electronic side of the Modern Prog in some moments (like 'Year Zero', 'Upside Down' or 'CH-7'), but always focusing on melody. But my favorite tracks on the album, however, have to be 'Terra' with its acoustic and melancholic mood and 'Pale Blue Dot' with its melodic Prog feeling (in a way, the 'old' Aisles sound). 'Still Alive' has that same 'old Aisles' feeling and it's a very good track. 'Club Hawaii' has a voice intro that could have been used more throughout the album and it's one of the few that really sounds like a Neo Prog song.

All in all Hawaii (2016) is a very solid effort from this talented Chilean band. And it was deserved that they just got back from an European tour, one of the few South American Prog bands to be able to do that. Of course it may be a daunting task to sit through all of the 82 minutes in one sitting and if your favorite kind of Prog is not the melodic you may find yourself asking 'why?', but if that's your sound you're going to find many moments for your ears pleasure.

I believe that if you're fan of bands like A.C.T (for its melody) or Ayreon (for its concept) you should definitely give this album a spin, I would do that if I haven't already.

3.5 stars

 Hawaii by AISLES album cover Studio Album, 2016
3.65 | 29 ratings

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Hawaii
Aisles Neo-Prog

Review by b_olariu
Prog Reviewer

3 stars Aisles is again on the map of art/progressive rock scene with their forth album, a double CD issued this year 2016 named Hawaii. Another worthy release from this chilean band who delivers only the good things here even quite slowly because this album was released after 3 Sears from previous offer. Art rock with progressive rock elements thrown is to be found here, melodic arrangements, nice warm vocals, Vergara brothers are quite great not only here but aswell on previous albums. The passages are emotive and well compose higlighted by CH-7 very nice piece with top notch passages, another intrestig one is The Poet part I and II. As I said the music is well crafted, elegant interludes between musicians bordering neo prog in parts but with a good doze of art rock elements added, no unnecessary noodlings here for the sake of it, melodic and pleasent melodies. Definetly another good album comming from Chile, Aisles is for sure one of the most talented bands ever from South America who needing a wider recognition, they are now a mature band for sure. A special mention is for the art work and whole package, absolutly great, digipak format. I personaly like a lot this band for some years now and because this is another well produced , played and performed release, Hawaii deserves 3 solid stars rounded to 3.5, a good one.
 Hawaii by AISLES album cover Studio Album, 2016
3.65 | 29 ratings

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Hawaii
Aisles Neo-Prog

Review by Rivertree
Special Collaborator PSIKE Team & Band Submissions

4 stars Well, already three albums in the back since 2005, the band knows how to make it big! Hence they decided to publish the shiny gem (and title track?) Club Hawaii as an initial appetizer, some weeks prior to the officially scheduled release date. The song features versatile vocal moves by Sebastian Vergara, where I was at first inclined to think of more than one lead singer in a row. Yeah, that surely will make you hungry for more!

In November 2015 they went to a local beach house, spent a week together, writing music the whole time. It must have been an amazing experience for them, with the final result of this successful double LP resp. CD. Obviously designed as a concept album "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".

Mysterious business this, contradictive, so much lovely music dedicated to such a catastrophe? For example practically set into operation on Year One? Sorry, I know, I'm sure, this is placed as a warning to the human race, and all that is more than necessary, so much the more it's pointing to a direct duty. Hereby I really don't know what meaning the label 'Hawaii' bears for them, either within the current context, or even in a wider sense, since they already had a single named like this on their 2009 album 'In Sudden Walks'.

Okay, it's time to leave this highly speculative territory, while concentrating on the most significant, what we're able to hear. At first, the sound mix is out of the question, perfect! What also strikes overall are the fine (eclectic) touches due to the tricky implementation, which will unlock its potential after several rounds well and truly. In general, as this is offered like a concept album, it's recommended to listen in one go. Alternatively, if you will pick up some excerpts explicitly, this won't evoke a problem neither.

Just por ejemplo to notice the terrific CH-7, I'm really flabbergasted! Twelve and a half minutes of real beauty! However, this is also accurate regarding the whole production in principle. And so, consequently, AISLES are another strong contender for a 2016 Prog Award of course. Issued via Presagio Records 'Hawaii' is a very entertaining blend of neo and art rock, which I would mark as a real breakthrough, at least their best (so far) with ease. 4.5 stars, with conceivable tendency to a masterpiece ... time will tell.

 4:45am by AISLES album cover Studio Album, 2013
3.36 | 41 ratings

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4:45am
Aisles Neo-Prog

Review by aglasshouse

3 stars This is an album from a band that arises from the less complex side of the neo-prog genre, and features callbacks of vocal-fronted pop rock circa very late 70's progressive rock akin to material by Kayak or Styx. Atypical of most well- known prog bands Aisles (or I guess AISLES as they stylize it) has an aforementioned heavy emphasis on vocal work performed by Sebastian Vergara, which depending on who you are, could spoil most experimentation or improvisation present on 4:45. Guitar work and overall use of flashy, echoing effect-laden playing style is very similar to music you'd find on late-career material from Pink Floyd (Division Bell mainly). To me this is a bit disappointing because it has that sense of a band who used to play extremely well on their own but due to age they had to rely on background ambiance and soundscapes to make up for any emptiness they would have been able to kill in their heyday. This does not at all apply to Aisles, who has been around only since 2001, but is forgivable because, surprise, they aren't Pink Floyd. Variation is mostly present towards the end of the album, but retains mainly the same style, tempo. This causes a bland factor for most of the tracks on the album, making them forgettable for the most part- that is but for the finale epic Melancholia; a song where this style of Aisles actually works as well as has equal balance between the vocals and the instrumentation. This song demonstrates creativity that I do hope to see on upcoming albums from the band.

Unfortunately 4:45 as a whole is humble but also doesn't quite cross the threshold of skill that I expected. Compositions are not unique, lacks a unique style, and overall is not played quite to snuff as I think it could have. Like most of Aisles' releases up to this point, this is another step up the proverbial rung for the band's rising potential. An album doesn't quite satisfy but also makes me expectant for a followup.

 4:45am by AISLES album cover Studio Album, 2013
3.36 | 41 ratings

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4:45am
Aisles Neo-Prog

Review by kenethlevine
Special Collaborator Prog-Folk Team

3 stars Chile's neo prog/crossover band "Aisles" would appear to be adopting the philosophy of the proverbial tortoise, marking a slow and steady improvement with each release, and a maturation that comes with watching the world pass by at half speed. "4:45 AM" channels this philosophy, the hour at which one can simply roll over or opt to savor the crepuscular serenity and put the hurly burly in its place.

The style remains as before: a refreshingly uptempo, at times even pop inflected delivery that thankfully splashes about a romantic Latin flair in its more acoustic textures, as well as in its vocals, which tower above the meager standards of most prog rock. The prog quotient remains high throughout, quite an achievement given the lightness of some of the moods. It is reinforced by several instrumentals, with "Gallarda Varura" and "hero" being the most enjoyable, the former possessing a sweet melody and the latter all the bombast of recent NICK MAGNUS instrumentals via STEVE HACKETT. The more accessible songs are the title cut, the power ballad "Back my Strength" reminiscent of the better offerings on the prior albums, and the remarkable "Shallow and Daft", which achieves its stated objective of emulating 1980s synth pop, with meticulous arrangements, irresistible synth hooks and spoken parts that warn of the dangers of charismatic media overlords the world over. But all in an uplifting way!

The mellow "The Sacrifice" and "Sorrow" incorporate fluid acoustic guitar passages that hint at the group's lineage without insisting upon it, and the result is congenial. I may be giving the impression that the music of "Aisles" is too "safe" for the more demanding progressive rock listener, and I suppose that's true to an extent. I might argue that distinguishing oneself in this realm is no easier than in the cumulus clouds of 11/8 time signatures and virtuous solos, and AISLES performs admirably well in a more crowded field by playing to their strengths. Prior albums revealed that epics were not their trump card, and the closer here, "Melancholia" does not really buck the trend, although its monotony of languid vocals and ponderous guitars is not without charm.

I have to resist grading "4:45 AM" as a schoolmarm might assess a student whom she believes to be underachieving, in the hopes of motivating said student. In a recent discussion about "Aisles", I confronted the reality that, while I really like the group, I find their output doesn't quite do them justice. Still, this is their best album to date and, like the title hints, it's still early in the grand scheme of things. 5 stars by 2020?

 4:45am by AISLES album cover Studio Album, 2013
3.36 | 41 ratings

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4:45am
Aisles Neo-Prog

Review by Windhawk
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars Chilean band AISLES was formed back in 2001, and came to some prominence when they released their debut album "The Yearning" in 2005 through Mylodon Records (South America) and Musea Records (Europe). Since then they have set up their own label, Presagio Records, and released a further two albums. "4:45 AM" is the most recent of these, and was released towards the tail end of 2013.

As of 2013 Aisles comes across as an accomplished art rock band, a unit that manages to incorporate synthy pop into their sound with the same ease as they incorporate melodic and neo progressive rock, but who appear to be at their best when exploring moods of a more tranquil nature, using vocals and rhythm details to very good effect in creations that revolve around careful, frail guitar motifs and unobtrusive keyboards and strings to create strong and distinct moods with a lot of nerve, despite their overall delicate and careful nature. A production that merits a check by those intrigued by bands described as art rock as well as by those who tends to enjoy music that merits a description as sophisticated rock.

 4:45am by AISLES album cover Studio Album, 2013
3.36 | 41 ratings

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4:45am
Aisles Neo-Prog

Review by Angelo
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin

4 stars Night is full of emotions

Sometimes, you wake up in the middle of the night, and go out to see what is going on in the world - or just lay on your back and fantasise about it. That's what Aisles' album 4:45AM is about: a man doing just that, get up and stroll through the city, soaking up all the emotions he feels. Each track on the album fits an emotion he may encounter, from melancholy to sorrow, but also the feeling of strength to correct past mistakes.

All of these are different emotions, and that explains why all tracks on this album are so vastly different, despite the idea of it being a concept album. This also makes it in hard to grasp the album at first - but by the time you reach the end, you just want to listen again. My review notes show this - usually I listen to an album 'on the fly' a few times, and then over time I start taking notes as input for a review. Even after playing the album 10 times, my notes still showed doubt about the first few tracks, and more and more curiosity near the end. And I'm playing it yet another time while writing this...

The opening (and title) track 4:45AM opens with a catchy guitar riff, which makes you expect a straight forward rock song. Nothing is less true, this is a full blown, varied neo-inspired track with a lot of very nice guitar and keyboard work. The instrumental Gallarda Yarura that follows is a very well done instrumental piece. At first I found it just a bit too long, but after some time you start realising that more is happening than you hear when listening to casually - a sin when listening to this type of music any way. Now the real confusion of the first few listens starts right after this, with the 80s pop alike track Shallow and Daft, which according to German Vergara in an interview is exactly that - an 80s pop alike track with a message about the shallowness of commercial radio. It grows on you, despite not being the most complicated track on the album.

After this, there's a lot more on offer, and my personal highlights are The Sacrifice, Intermission and Sorrow.

The Sacrifice is a beautiful acoustic guitar and vocal track, in which SĂ©bastian Vergara shows what he can do (with his brother on backing vocals), and the addition of a string quintet at the end to complete the feeling of the sacrifice being made.

Intermission is a very surprising and addictive instrumental. With it's pulsating rhythm and the guitars sounding almost as if being produced by a synthesizer, it is an almost psychedelic rock track that stays with you.

Sorrow is the highlight of the album altogether, with a varied mix of melodies, instrumentation and great vocals. It also shows the one weakness of this album: the balance between highs and lows in the mix. It's not only because my own main instrument is bass that I feel the bass side of the sound spectrum is lacking on this album, only Sorrow seems to be more balanced in this respect.

The two remaining tracks Hero and Melancholia I will not describe in full detail here, but they are of the same quality as the other tracks.

This album is really what some would call a 'grower' - and exactly why I never would write a review based on a single play of an album.

Thanks to German Vergara for providing a review copy of the album.

 4:45am by AISLES album cover Studio Album, 2013
3.36 | 41 ratings

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4:45am
Aisles Neo-Prog

Review by Progulator
Prog Reviewer

2 stars Hailing from Santiago de Chile comes Aisles, representing the genre of neo prog since 2001 as led by brothers Germán and Sebastián Vergara. Their third album, 4:45 AM, represents a variety of songs that are for the most part vocally driven, tightly arranged, and composed with focus. Like many neo prog bands, this is not strictly for the progressive fans; lovers of pop rock, especially of the 80′s variety will certainly find much to love here just as fans of bands like Marillion and Saga will likely embrace this album.

4:45 AM comprises six vocal pieces and four instrumentals, but despite the fact that there are nearly as many instrumentals as vocal tracks, the overall feel of the album is a song- oriented, vocal driven direction. Among these, the songs "4:45 AM," "Sorrow," and "Melancholia" stand out as my favorites. While I've never been much of a Rush fan, "4:45′s" distinctively Rush meets neo prog feel caught my attention. Everything from the vocals to the drumming and guitar transitions reminded me of Rush, but extremely well executed so as not to be cheesy and always containing a certain amount of distinctiveness in the way they meld hints of jazz fusion throughout. Furthermore, the instrumental interlude is fantastic, featuring blazing guitar runs and great energy from the whole band. "Sorrow" shines with it's catchy groove in 7, gorgeous classical guitar playing, rich tone, and smooth feel. Reminding me very much of some Riverside ballads this piece has killer atmosphere and features a powerful climax where a violin weaves powerfully through dueling vocals and soloing drums. Also noteworthy would be "Melancholia," whose guitar riffing is the true standout factor. From the first moments of the track you'll pick up on a powerful melding of chords, texturing and lead to make for some cool riffs. Rounding out the vocal tracks on the album are pieces like "Shallow Draft," representing the 'Saga'-like 80′s pop rock side of the band, a power-ballad in the form of "Back My Strength," the quiet piece, "The Sacrifice." While I wasn't fond of these three pieces, those who are into more popular styles should dig them and they might even be a good way to ease your friends into some prog.

On the instrumental field of 4:45 AM there were some great things going on. "Hero" delivers lots of tasty drumming and percussion, light keys, and solid guitar playing overall. I'm hearing everything from bits of fusion to a brief shredding, spacey keys solo, to some mega Steve Vai influenced guitar runs that made me grin from ear to hear. Combine that with a sort of dark new age meets film score section in the middle and you've got a tastefully varied track on your hands. "Intermission" shows a very different side of the band with the instruments imitating electronics. From the guitars reproducing an arpeggiator feel to heavily processed drums and ambient leads, this is certainly a contrasting piece for this album. The instrumental that blew me out of the water, however, was "Gallarda Yarura." This is an evocative song with bits of folk, a stunning groove in 3, fantastic atmospheric changes, and loads of subtlety in the arrangement. One of the most beautifully melodic pieces on the album, "Gallarda Yarura" is delicately crafted and makes every musical line meaningful and consciously emotive. These Chilenos know how to deliver the instrumental goods and I would like to hear more of from them in the future.

Overall, Aisles produces a solid album and shows potential for the future. I am impressed by their melodic sensitivity, which is especially clear on tracks like "Gallarda Yarura" and the title song. In the future I would like to see them take more of a focused direction and establish a firm musical identity that could be a launching point for a distinctive sound. That said, they're going in the right direction and will surely produce more quality music in the future.

 4:45am by AISLES album cover Studio Album, 2013
3.36 | 41 ratings

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4:45am
Aisles Neo-Prog

Review by Conor Fynes
Prog Reviewer

3 stars '4:45 AM' - Aisles (55/100)

Aisles guitarist German Vergara introduced me to his band's music a few years ago, when I received a pair of their albums in the mail. The Yearning and In Sudden Walks offered a more melodic approach to progressive rock that I was used to hearing, but the Chilean act soon grew on me. I still have fond memories of hearing In Sudden Walks for the first time and being taken aback by how beautifully Aisles had managed to incorporate vocal melody and harmony with the progressive mainframe. Not surprisingly, I was intrigued to hear where Aisles had gone thereafter. 4:45 AM is a quasi-concept work of sorts, inspired by the emotions and thoughts one might feel at that time where a new day begins. I'll say outright that Aisles' third album hasn't initially impressed me as much as the first two; even so, their efforts to innovate and expand their sound haven't gone unnoticed.

I don't think a review of any of Aisles' albums could go without bringing up their focus on melody. Historically, Aisles have always built their songs around emotive vocal melodies, a trait which will either attract or dissuade a progger outright, depending on their taste. Even if the human voice is the most potentially emotive musical instrument our species has at our disposal, I don't think the potential is often unlocked in prog or rock. In Sudden Walks was one such album that fulfilled that promise; Sebastian Vergara's voice complimented the atmosphere beautifully there. In comparison, 4:45 AM is less successful. The excellent acoustic piece "The Sacrifice" is reminiscent of the vocal success on In Sudden Walks, but the integration isn't handled so well here. In fact, many of Aisles' best successes on 4:45 AM are of the instrumental variety. "Gallarda Yarura" is a great instrumental that, surprisingly enough, offers some of the album's best melodies. "Intermission" is the album's darkest, most experimental track, based around the repeating motif and a bevy of soundscapey effects atop it. Sebastian Vergara's brooding voice is still in sharp form, but Aisles' vocal-based tracks aren't quite so dynamic this time around.

I once pegged Aisles as a band training from under the shadow of Marillion. Neo-prog was the surefire label for this band on the first two albums, but no I'm not so sure. The title track sounds like they could be drawing from dredg or The Dear Hunter. "Shallow and Daft" sounds like New Wave or 80's pop. The instrumentals have also added unprecedented variety to Aisles' music. Yet, for an album that sports such a variety of sounds and styles, 4:45 AM feels very subdued. The Floydian "Hero" is a welcome exception to this rule, but on the whole Aisles sound a little too restrained for their own good here. Even "Shallow and Daft"- Aisles' satirical love letter to pop excess- sounds relatively somnolent. I do suppose it makes sense given the album's theme revolves around "an hour shared by a soul in decline and one ready to rise" (according to the band) but the constant mellowness can make 4:45 AM frustrating, especially when the band clearly has the potential for a more energetic performance. If you need any evidence of that, you need look no further than the opening of the title track. Though it picks up on a characteristically mellow note, the way the drums pick up pace and lead into the first verse is brilliant. Aisles have always opted for the more laid-back side of the spectrum, but more often than not on 4:45 AM, I'm left feeling like a lot of the music is in need of some early morning caffeine.

Although part of it may be attributed to a natural shift of tastes over time, I don't find myself as engaged by 4:45 AM as I did with the first two Aisles albums some years ago. It feels like a well-intentioned transition between their neo-progressive roots and a yet- undetermined point of destination. In offering such an attractive variety of prog and pop styles, Aisles haven't done quite enough to link it all together; each song offers some sort of promising identity, but there's little indication that the tracks are working together as a whole. It's an unfortunate side-effect of the album's promising variety that 4:45 AM ends up feeling disappointingly indistinct. Even if I don't find it as enjoyable as In Sudden Walks, I still think that Aisles' third album is a step in the right direction. Whatever weaknesses 4:45 AM has suffered over its predecessors is simply a result of Aisles' bold attempt to expand their boundaries and evolve musically.

 4:45am by AISLES album cover Studio Album, 2013
3.36 | 41 ratings

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4:45am
Aisles Neo-Prog

Review by Aussie-Byrd-Brother
Special Collaborator Rock Progressivo Italiano Team

4 stars Chilean band Aisles have one thing that instantly makes them stand out amongst progressive rock bands - a main emphasis on vocals - wait, don't run away just yet! There's still plenty of exceptional musical displays from the band throughout their third album `4:45am', a energetic, brooding, yet frequently joyous work, but the instrumental passages often take a back seat to a strong focus on vocal prowess, both of lead singer Sebastian Vergara and the whole group. We're not talking lazy frontman-focused AOR or straight-forward rock, instead the band has gone to great effort to deliver a huge array of vocal variety and complex harmonies, which is very admirable and quite daring. Prog rock is a genre known for sometimes treating vocals as an unimportant afterthought, so this makes the band stand out even more. There's no doubt about it, Aisles are a very confident band, totally sure of their abilities, and they've delivered a strong, melodic and distinctive work here.

Despite not a proper concept album with a connected narrative, the individual pieces often share a similar theme. According to the band, "4:45 is about pain, blood, resilience and strength. It's the most extreme hour of the day, the time in which you either get up or get completely lost, an hour shared by a soul in decline and one ready to rise". To realize this idea, Aisles chose an interesting selection of influences to incorporate into their sound. Everything from Rush and Coheed and Cambria-style intricate heavy prog, Spock's Beard cleverness, 80's accessible Genesis, the stadium rock excess of `The Wall-era' Pink Floyd and even new wave synth/poppers Duran Duran (not as bad as it sounds!) emerges throughout the album, but never in a lazy and uninspired way. The band twist subtle touches of those artists to their own unique vision. There's also lengthy and thrilling instrumental passages that only hint at directions the band may choose to guy in the future.

The band go right for the throat with the gutsy title-track opener, Coheed-influenced delirious vocal intensity (as well as similar female backing chorus spots), spiky electric guitar runs and some very upfront drumming. `Shallow and Daft' is an impossibly catchy yet lyrically dark synth-popper in the manner of 80's Genesis and Duran Duran that is perfect for what is a scathing observation of vacuous and empty celebrity culture, and it's truly one of the best examples of a catchy pop format working seamlessly with progressive intelligence. The harder sections of `Back My Strength' have a `Wall'-era Pink Floyd thickness, but sadly the lead vocal melody gets a little harsh in a few spots.

The seven minute `Sorrow' is an astonishing standout. A sad, sweetly romantic vocal is wrapped around numerous tempo and direction changes back and forth, the piece leaping to life with sudden confident bursts amongst the warmest of dazzling acoustic playing. "I've got you to resign to this world" is a particularly lovely lyric too. Somber acoustic ballad `The Sacrifice' has swooning, powerful group vocals from the whole band, as well as some welcome sprightly and nimble acoustic guitar fret-work. Album closer `Melancholia' balances delicate acoustic moods, triumphant and joyous electric guitar soloing and gentle voices. Oddly, and possibly coincidently, much of this piece reminds me of British singer Paul Draper and UK proggers Mansun. Shame about the unexciting fade out at the end, though!

There's also a few purely instrumental pieces that demonstrate a whole other fascinating side to the band. `Gallarda Yarura' shows the technicality of Dream Theater without the heaviness, an unpredictable harder edge like the Nick D'Virgilio era Spock's Beard-like and some precious I.Q mystery. There's tension filled electric drones with delayed guitar feedback and electronic pulsing beats during the experimental `Intermission'. The almost nine-minute `Hero' is a tour-de-force, full of brooding heaviness with unpredictable chiming guitar bursts, bristling snappy Neo-prog styled synths, ethnic percussion, melancholic ambient and doomy symphonic atmospheres.

Accompanied by a lavish CD booklet with stunning - and frequently dark - paintings by Omar Galindo (and just look at front that cover - vinyl edition, Aisles fellas, please!), `4:45am' is an assured and thrilling work from a talented band that frequently sounds so defiantly original, like no- one other prog band at the moment, and the way they implement their emotive vocals with the same passion that most prog bands only give to their instrumental passages is completely inspiring. I predict a bigger status in the progressive rock community in the years to come for Aisles.

Four and a half stars.

Thanks to ProgLucky for the artist addition. and to NotAProghead for the last updates

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