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Neo-Prog • Italy

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Aelian biography
This Italian band with a Celtic name got together in 1992 when they signed up with Musea for the first of two albums (a third, live album was also released). Their music belies their origins as they don't sound at all like your traditional Italian prog band. Their style hovers somewhere between Prog, Neo-Prog and high-end AOR. The original line-up was: Maurizio Antognoli (keyboards and vocals), Max (?) (guitars and vocals), Paolo Negroni (drums, drum machine programming) and Mark Aixer (lead vocals and bass guitar and bass pedal) who sings in English without a trace of an accent.

Their debut album "The Watcher" shows their prog side and is somewhat reminiscent of the more commercial era of YES ("Drama" period). The sound is crystal clear, the musicians skillful and the album has its share of strong emotional moments. However, it is with the 2000 release of "A Tree Under the Colours" that the band truly found their niche, taking on a more AOR direction with surprisingly good results. In a similar vein as SAGA, ASIA or TOTO, the music is more direct and features spiralling musical flights, loads of melodic vocal harmonies and catchy choruses with crisp, clean arrangements, clearly favouring an overall effect over individual soloing. The mood is uplifting (no angst-ridden overtones here), the vocals strong and powerful, the musicianship excellent, at times technically incisive, and the production top notch. To quote Musea: "Imagine YES vocals and structures (from the eighties era), mixed with MARILLION's guitar, and a strong FM touch ala FOREIGNER, STYX, SAGA or JOURNEY, and you'll have a good idea of this excellent music, enhanced by a very professional production".

Good clean fun. Recommended for those who enjoy radio-friendly yet tasteful, up-beat rock.

: : : Lise (Hibou), CANADA : : :

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AELIAN discography

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

3.10 | 20 ratings
The Watcher
3.33 | 6 ratings
Meeting ... The Watcher
3.57 | 23 ratings
A Tree Under The Colours

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

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

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

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

AELIAN Reviews

Showing last 10 reviews only
 The Watcher  by AELIAN album cover Studio Album, 1992
3.10 | 20 ratings

The Watcher
Aelian Neo-Prog

Review by lor68
Prog Reviewer

3 stars A derivative work in the vein of Yes "90125" but-unlike this latter-without elements of mainstream music...this ensemble, whose first line-up performed a pretty gig during the first edition of an Indoor Prog Fest (organized by my band Lethe) at Vertemate near Como Lake (Italy),was one of the most interesting melodic/pomp rock bands to use the vocal harmonizations in a melodic contest (such an intereresting utilization of the chorus section within their mini-suites) in the early nineties. I don't get crazy for this genre, but I recognize their interesting effort to make the progressive features of 70's/80's classic bands more accessible, anyway never being banal!! They don't use any bombastic solos but good musicians They me it is enough to check their stuff out at least!!

Interesting album, characterized by pretty songs, even though it is not completely essential and -moreover- in a few years They broke their ensemble up!!

 A Tree Under The Colours by AELIAN album cover Studio Album, 2000
3.57 | 23 ratings

A Tree Under The Colours
Aelian Neo-Prog

Review by Greger
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Usually when I hear an Italian progressive band it's bands like MUSEO ROSENBACH, PREMIATA FORNERIA MARCONI, MAXOPHONE, A PIEDI NUDI, MALIBRAN and BIGLIETTO PER L'INFERNO, but AElian is something completely different. Their music is a melodic FM-rock mix between FOREIGNER, JOURNEY, KANSAS, MARILLION, SAGA, STYX, SURVIVOR and 80's era YES. Their first album "The Watcher" was released on the Musea label (FGBG 4061 AR.) in 1993. The production is very professional, especially for being a progressive band that is still rather unknown. The sound is crystal clear, the musicians are skilful and tight and the compositions could equal any other, much bigger, AOR band. The vocalist Mark Aixer has a very strong and powerful voice and the rest of the band is singing marvellous background vocals with great harmonies. If all of this wasn't enough, the 16-page CD-booklet is very beautiful too, complete with lyrics and band pictures. This is a very impressive album from a band that deserves a breakthrough. Recommended to lovers of AOR, FM-rock in the same vein as YES "90125" album.
Thanks to ProgLucky for the artist addition.

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