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Aisles - In Sudden Walks CD (album) cover

IN SUDDEN WALKS

Aisles

 

Neo-Prog

3.77 | 65 ratings

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Conor Fynes
Prog Reviewer
4 stars 'In Sudden Walks' - Aisles (8/10)

The second album by these Chilean proggers is also my second experience with them. In their debut 'The Yearning', I had a great deal of potential from Aisles, but it rarely ever felt like it was realized, despite that album being quite a beautiful listen. As is expected of almost all bands though, the act is supposed to be polished up a bit more by the time the sophomore rolls around, and in that respect, Aisles has succeeded here. With 'In Sudden Walks', the band has created a more consistent journey through their powerful take on melodic progressive rock.

The order for the day and Aisles' particular approach is that of highly melodic neo- progressive rock, with such acts as Marillion and Genesis often popping out of the band's sound. With the concept of 'melody' already being brought up a couple of times in this review thus far, one might be swayed to think that the music of Aisles is easily accessible and digested, but I found the contrary to be true. 'The Yearning' surprised me by how much my appreciation gradually grew for it over time, and the same is true here, to a greater extent. The Vergara brothers and fellow company are sure to work many hooks into their music, but with some tracks passing fourteen minutes in length, 'In Sudden Walks' is not bound to be a safe haven for any pop maniacs any time soon. Instead, the more involved tracks here cycle through a great many musical ideas, crossing a great deal of ground over their course. This can sometimes lead to a lack of song cohesion, which was something I noticed with the debut, and continue to sense here. While most prog listeners are going to be instantly attracted towards the longer 'epic' pieces, I personally find that Aisles makes some of their best statements in the more conventional work they do. 'Revolution Of Light' and 'Smile Of Tears' are both rather 'normal' in terms of length, but they accomplish a beautiful feeling to them, thanks to some keen songwriting skills and passionate performance from all members involved.

The first track 'Mariachi' is what I would most likely consider to be the weak point here, despite it having been chosen to open Aisles' music here. A mostly instrumental track save for the rather amorous panting of a latin couple a couple of minutes in, 'Mariachi' feels generally like an overture over anything else, and the lack of vocal melodies or hooks here does tend to take away from the overall enjoyment of the music. Aisles are skilled instrumentalists and can keep their performances interesting, but the opener here feels far too long for its own good, especially when considering the the first earnest vocal melody comes floating in a good ten minutes in. Mind you, that makes Sebastian Vergara's vocal introduction all the more exciting when it does come in.

Although Aisles does still tend to lose their cohesion when going into the longer tracks, 'In Sudden Walks' is a step over their debut in almost every way. The music here is certainly less immediate than it once was, but it reveals more rewards given enough patience. Even so, it still does not feel as if Aisles has reached their potential yet, so one can only wonder what sort of experience that the band's prospective third album will bring.

Conor Fynes | 4/5 |

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