Chilean band Aisles released their debut in 2005 entitled The Yearning. The line-up at the time was Germán Vergara and Rodrigo Sepulveda (guitars, bass), Luis Vergara and Alejandro Meléndez (piano, keyboards) and Sebastion Vergare (vocals, flute). Since then the band added Felipe González (bass) and Marco Prado (drums).
Once I heard this album, I noticed some similarities to a few British neo-prog bands like IQ (Menel-era) and Twelfth Night (Andy Sears-era). Aisles takes what these two bands were doing and updates it with a modern production. The orchestration is very lush and done all on the keyboards.
Opening the album, “The Wharf That Holds His Vessel” (11:20) which has quite an epic feel and as previously mentioned, updates the neo-prog sound that the British bands of the 80’s were doing.
”Uncertain Lights” (4:04) switches gears and has a mostly acoustic based song that reminds me of Mexican prog band, Cast‘s current output. It is also the shortest track on the album and a favorite of mine.
“Cloud Motion“ (7:06), has such a full sound that reminds me of more modern British neo-prog bands. You get a feeling that the band has done it’s homework and comes off as an original sounding song within the genre.
“The Rise Of The White Sun” (4:56) reminds me of Camel of the 80’s combined with IQ of the 90’s. Here Felipe sounds very close to Paul Menel without being labeled a clone.
“The Shrill Voice” (4:58) is the most progressive sounding song on the album and feels very epic. It has some spoken word part then returns back to that “progressive” sound they started off with.
“The Scarce Light Birth” (7:34) has an orchestral opening and doesn’t deviate from the formula that is evident throughout the album. It’s a very somber sounding song that reminds me of IQ, again in the Paul Menel era. In fact I would say if Paul stayed with IQ, this is what it might sound like.
Ending the album is “Grey” (16:37) which pretty much sums up the overall sound of the album. If I had to say which song is represents the album best, I’d say this is the one. This alone is a great selling point. It goes through various moods from an epic orchestral to somber acoustical with some moodiness. This song makes me recall IQ’s “Nostalgia/ Falling Apart At The Seams”
In closing, if you haven’t already picked up this gem, you really should especially if you’re a fan of symphonic & neo prog. This is also quite an impressive debut with an very polished sound. If this was 2005, I would say it’s one of the best debuts of that year. Highly recommended without any doubt.
Reviewed by Ron Fuchs on September 23rd, 2010