Aisles – Hawaii (Presagio Records, 2016)
Hawaii is the fourth album by Chilean progressive rock band Aisles. It’s a concept album about a post-apocalyptic world where humans live in space colonies.
The two CD set reveals a mix of pop vocal hooks and fabulous instrumental passages that border between progressive rock and jazz-rock fusion.
Disc 1 features 5 songs. Highlights here are track 2, “The Poet Part II – New World,” where the vocals are more progressive rock oriented; the great guitar interplay in “Upside Down”; and one of the best cuts on the album, “Ch-7” in which Aisles presents beautifully-crafted symphonic progressive rock with splendid vocal harmonies, notable guitar, Chris Squire-style bass, and fine keyboard work.
Disc 2’s highlights include the slow tempo, atmospheric “Terra”. Halfway through the piece, the vocals sound somewhat operatic, reminding me a little of recent The Enid vocals.
One of the best pieces on the album is “Club Hawaii,” a lengthy prog composition featuring one of the best intros of the album with all the musicians showcasing their talent. The vocals here are also fairly operatic although closer to Italian progressive rock.
The lineup on the album includes Felipe Candia on drums and percussion; Sebastián Vergara on lead and background vocals; Rodrigo Sepúlveda on electric and 12-string acoustic guitars; Germán Vergara on electric and acoustic guitars, piano and vocals; Daniel Baird-Kerr on bass; and Juan Pablo Gaete on keyboards.
On Hawaii, Aisles showcases excellent progressive rock instrumental mastery.