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Aisles Hawaii album cover
3.92 | 87 ratings | 7 reviews | 14% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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Studio Album, released in 2016

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. The Poet Part I: Dusk (10:06)
2. The Poet Part II: New World (4:18)
3. Year Zero (4:36)
4. Upside Down (4:53)
5. CH-7 (12:33)
6. Terra (8:03)
7. Pale Blue Dot (9:53)
8. Still Alive (4:46)
9. Nostalgia (2:11)
10. Club Hawaii (7:22)
11. Falling (2:11)
12. In The Probe (6:53)

Total time: 77:45

Line-up / Musicians

- Sebastian Vergara / vocals
- Rodrigo Sepulveda / guitars
- German Vergara / guitars
- Juan Pablo Gaete / keyboards
- Daniel Baird-Kerr / bass
- Felipe Candia / drums

Voice actors on "Club Hawaii":
- Matthew Baxter / Newcomer
- Sebastián Vergara / Club Regular 1 (spoken & sung)
- Germán Vergara / Club Regular 2
- Rebecca Bell / Announcer
- Sebastián Vergara / Steward

Releases information

2LP/CD Presagio Records (2016 Chile)
July 29, 2016

Thanks to mbzr48 for the addition
and to BrufordFreak for the last updates
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AISLES Hawaii ratings distribution

(87 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(14%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(46%)
Good, but non-essential (28%)
Collectors/fans only (9%)
Poor. Only for completionists (3%)

AISLES Hawaii reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Rivertree
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator / Band Submissions
5 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 Zero? 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.

Review by b_olariu
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.
Review by ProgShine
COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
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

Review by Angelo
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
5 stars First time I heard Aisles was on their dark concept album 4:45AM. With Hawaii, they deliver another 80 minute concept album, about a group of human colonies surviving after the earth is destroyed. Musically it's a very interesting mix of melodic symphonic rock, transferring the sound of the 70s and 80s to a 21st century sound. There is no lack of musicianship in this band, and Angel is one of the best vocalists I know. Highlights for me: jazz rock infused The Poet, and the wonderful, very melodic, symphonic rock pieces CH-7 and Pale Blue Dot. Progressive Rock lives in Chile.
Review by memowakeman
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Review originally publishes in

A nice album!

I had the luck to see Aisles on stage in their recent visit to Mexico City and I must say they really know how to prog! They are as good on stage as in their studio albums, which let us realize their capabilities. This band from Chile is now promoting their 'Hawaii' album, a release from 2016 which is a great 2-cd concept album that shows the development of the band to a new sound, I mean, their regular neo-prog sound can be found here but maximized to its best expression, and also with some spacey, melancholic nuances and jazzy touches that make this a great release.

In the first CD we will find five songs. It opens with 'The Poet, Pt. I: Dusk', a challenging 10-minute epic wisely chosen to start the album. Its first minute is a nice jazzy introduction that leads to a calm atmospheric sound. Little by little the instruments add their prints, and then vocals appear at 2:30 and the concept is about to begin. The song explodes at minute 4 where the sound becomes a bit chaotic, and then it slows down and changes once and again, with a great instrumental passage that shows that neo-prog sound, mainly due to guitar and keys. And then, it fades out so we suddenly are now listening to 'The Poet, Pt- II: New World', which is a calm piece, laid-back and with a melancholic feeling. If you push me a bit, I find this part much weaker than the first one, to be honest, in spite of its pretty good final part that adds a Camel-esque sound.

A storm or maybe an earthquake appear in 'Year Zero', the music is soft and calm, but then an electronic rhythm starts so the atmosphere becomes spacey and futuristic, the mood is a bit tense, it easily puts some images in my mind. It leads to 'Upside Down', a melancholic tune due to the piano sound. The vocals are sweet but disarming, main and backing vocals, by the way. Later a nice guitar solo appears while electronics work as background, now the atmosphere is a bit darker and the song more intense and interesting. The first CD finishes with the amazing 'CH-7', which happens to be the longest composition off the album. I'll be honest, the first time I listened to it, I seem to feel bored, but later the love for this track grew up on me when I could find its beauty, but maybe one has to be patient and listen to it with good headphones, maybe one's mood also helps here. It might be a slow piece, but it has brought several feelings to me, from despair to hope, and when a song does that it means it has reached not only my ears but also hit something inside myself.

The second CD starts with 'Terra', a nice peaceful track where acoustic guitar and the sweet voice guide us to a new journey. While the minutes pass, new elements are being added, but in the end the tranquility reigns here. 'Pale Blue Dot' is a very nice track, it has a modern sound, like prog and alternative so it might be easy to dig and enjoy so its 10 minutes run fast. 'Still Alive' has a Marillion-like feeling with its calm and melancholic sound. Then a short but addictive track appears with 'Nostalgia', it is the shortest one, but man, it is beautiful, I love it. Then the great 'Club Hawaii' appears, a ten-minute epic that shows Aisles' sound at its best. Great musicianship can be appreciated here, amazing changes in time and tempo, wonderful drums and a first class technical shuffle, here also the singer does an extraordinary performance. The strings are great; this must be one of the best tracks off the album.

The last part of the album comes with 'Falling', a short and tender piano-based track that leads to 'In The Probe' which has the same melancholic sound and a Marillion-esque feeling with the vocals. The prog rock label is not here anymore, but that doesn't matter. In the end, Aisles has offered a very good album that has led them to international success, and now I am eagerly waiting to see them live next Progtoberfest in Chicago.

Enjoy it!

Review by Windhawk
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Chile based 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 (France). Since then they have set up their own label, Presagio Records, and have released a further three full length albums. "Hawaii" is the most recent of these, and was released towards the tail end of 2016.

"Hawaii" strikes me as a solid album through and through, and one that have been assembled with a lot of care. If not a brilliantly shining diamond then at least a gold nugget. A production well worth seeking out if melodic, accessible progressive rock is to your general liking, and in particular if a double length science fiction based concept album is explored within this specific context.

Review by BrufordFreak
COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars This true 21st Century band releases its fourth studio album: a double album conveying a rather dour and emotional perception of the chaotic, slow demise of our planet, our species, the band's home country of Chile, as well as for the band and perhaps some of the individual members of the band (especially the Vergara brothers).

1. "The Poet Part I: Dusk" (10:06) a solid construct--complete with the band's now familiar impeccably-woven sophisticated multi-layered instrumental construction. I'm not so fond of the hard-drivin' straight-forward rock rhythm choices nor the multi-voice approach to lead vocals. (17.5/20)

2. "The Poet Part II: New World" (4:18) gorgeous melodies created by Sebastian Vergara over this surprisingly simple (but adequate) song construct. Great drumming. Not sure Daniel Baird-Kerr's bass playing style is the best fit for the band. Not the most polished or best engineered song the band has produced, but it's still a winner. (9/10)

3. "Year Zero" (4:36) nice dreamy two-guitar, two channel foundation with solid bass presence and background drumming over which Sebastian sings in a high pitch (and frail-sounding) voice. (Is he sick? Is his [heretofore amazing] voice failing?) Nice Berlin School-like synth patterns takes over in the third minute, at first supplanting the two guitars while Sebastian sits back on the sidelines, later re-introducing the two guitars for a bit before they yield to the piano that finishes the song. Interesting! (8.875/10)

4. "Upside Down" (4:53) piano with bass and delicate drumming open this before guitar strums and big tom-tom hits signal the entry of double-tracked lead vocals (both Sebastian, I believe) mirroring the piano. It's like a stage musical's central aria. It's okay, just not the Aisles we all (in the prog community) want to here Still, the topic expressed in the lyrics is quite heavy and, therefore, appropriately expressed with serious passion. Nice solos from the two guitarists and synth player in the fourth minute. (8.6667/10)

5. "CH-7" (12:33) oddly sparse and simple music behind a rather passionate vocal performance by Sebastian Vergara. Unfortunately, Seb's voice (which is surprisingly lacking any melodic "hooks" to gain our interest and enjoyment) is not enough to carry the song all by itself. (I swear: On this album it feels as if Sebastian's voice is failing--this despite his sincere passion behind many of the messages he's trying to convey.) But carry it he does: for over six minutes--and when the musicians begin to offer more to the soundscape it still feels thin (though it does, admittedly, take a noticeable amount of pressure off of Seb's performance). The musical construct beneath the song's instrumental passage in the ninth minute is rather laughable for its syncopation minimalism--despite everyone's participation. When everybody kind of congeals in the tenth we finally feel a bit of the inviting warmth that I've come to associate the band with. Finally! This section persists into the twelfth minute before taking a turn down a faster-paced downhill street. Unfortunately, the sound palette chosen throughout this song is one that never quite wins me over. Too bad! That instrumental finish was almost worth it. (21.875/25)

6. "Terra" (8:03) nice gently-picked acoustic guitar with fluid fretless bass and sustained volume-controlled pedal steel guitar chords open this one giving the listener quite a relaxing, almost lullaby-like setting. Sebastian's voice enters matching the angelic music with great delicacy, amazing vulnerability. Gorgeous. At the four-minute mark a "sonic boom"-like noise enters--as if signaling the event of some disaster. At 5:40 the vocalist (not Seb?) enters with an almost-operatic tenor, amping up the tension and drama of the song. He is soon joined by Sebastian and multiple other voices in harmonized choral form while the piano and strummed acoustic guitars keep time and the drums, bass, and odd synth noises create a very unsettling chaos--at first in the background, but then usurping the soundscape for the finish. A song of lament and regret? on behalf of the planet? Interesting and unique. This is the kind of creative song creation that keeps me coming back for Aisles music. (13.5/15)

7. "Pale Blue Dot" (9:53) tick-tocking percussion with layers of guitar and synth play over which Sebastian eventually joins--singing his long-held notes in a clear, frail, high register. The music that bridges to a new variation at the three- minute mark is a bit circus-like, while the next motif is more of a standard rock musical experience with Sebastian singing more in front of the mix (with his melodic flow feeling a bit forced and even, at times, incongruous with the musical landscape). Still, there is something not quite right with the musical coherence here: as if the Sebastian and the rest of the band are on two different, diverging paths of musical vision. In the final quarter of the song, there are even several instances in which Seb tries reaching for high power notes and fails to achieve pitch accuracy. (17/20)

8. "Still Alive" (4:46) an emotional radio-friendly song that does a great job at expressing the insecurities and unknowns of daily life in these frail "three-minutes-to-midnight" era of human existence. (9/10)

9. "Nostalgia" (2:11) Perfectly understandable considering the flow and concept behind this album. We all want to feel the security of nostalgic escapes to past memories or past art forms. This song conveys this rather effectively while still expressing the underlying tension (pace) rushing us through a process of escapism. (4.66667/5)

10. "Club Hawaii" (7:22) a very interesting, entertaining, and effective theatric musical play. Quite brilliant--and emotional! (14.5/15)

11. "Falling" (2:11) solo piano over which Sebastian sings in a very high, delicate, almost feminine operatic way. With progress into the song, Seb's vocal definitely expresses more masculinity--though of a very vulnerable emotionality. (4.5/5)

12. "In The Probe" (6:53) interesting and, yes, a bit depressing with a single destabilized guitar occasionally strumming some disharmonic chords and a very sparsely-employed drum machine rhythm track serving as the only two instruments, but, again, it is very effective considering the psychological and emotional goals of the band on this album. I'm very much reminded of the stark soundscapes of TALK TALK's TIM HOLLIS as well as the delicate vocal abilities of Marillion's Steve Hogarth. Very effective. Thank you, Sebastián. You have served commendably. (13.33333/15)

Total time: 77:45

Despite the space of three years since the band's last album, a lot of the music on this album feels forced--as if the idealistic fire that was present in 2009 (on In Sudden Walks) is flickering. However, knowing the cynical space the band was in during its making--about their native Chile, about the planet, about the future of Sebastián's participation with the band--I can better understand (and forgive--as well as learn to grow with) the often sparse, stripped-down soundscapes employed in their musical expressions here.

B+/four stars; an admirable and quite emotional ride through a band's cynicism and decay. A listening experience that requires attention but then, after several listens, can be truly and fully enjoyed for the artistic expression it is. Highly recommended to any prog lover.

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