Aisles – 4:45 AM



It is always a testament to the popularity and diversity of Prog when acts come to attention from far reaching places which may be overlooked as musical hotbeds. Chile’s own Aisles are a prime example of such a country providing a predominantly Western cultural form with a truly special talent. Then again, 4:45 AM (Presagio) most certainly has true Prog students at the helm in the form of brothers Germán and Sebastián Vergara.

4:45 AM transcends from upbeat to melancholic and near morose in parts. Opener, the title track, is a punchy, immediate sing-a-long number which screams of Rush worship alongside a neo-prog like pop sensibility. From here it moves into somewhat bleaker pastures with a tuneful instrumental ‘Gllarda Yarura’ and the following fragility of ‘Shallow And Daft’, a commentary of the ills of mainstream radio stations.

There are nods to so many variants of progressive music but in a way that only contribute to the feel of the album without feeling crowbarred in.  From the grandiose feel and bleak but uplifting vibes of Marillion on ‘Back My Strength’ to the futuristic synth driven ‘Intermission’, 4:45 AM shows the band’s love for Prog without being a copycat franchise. They even manage to finish up with a long player that is fully engaging from start to finish in ‘Melancholia’.

Germán’s soft vocals prove the perfect compliment to whatever mood the music conveys, from the earlier up tempo numbers to the bleakness of the likes of “Sorrow”. Managing to both attribute to many of Prog’s greats and yet avoiding being cheesy and having an identity of their own, Aisles have given a real gem for the year. A fresh yet warmingly, familiar effort.


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