Aisles - The Yearning

Year of Release: 2005
Label: Mylodon
Catalog Number: MYLOCD0031
Format: CD
Total Time: 56:41:00

The Yearning, the debut album from the Chilean group Aisles is at once thrilling and somewhat frustrating to listen to. Thrilling because Aisles is one of the most talented new symphonic bands I've heard in a while, and frustrating because with some focus and some judicious self editing The Yearning could have been a great progressive album.

The band is quite impressive at first listen. The level of musicianship, the quality of the vocals, the overall sound of the band are all excellent, and the first track, "The Wharf That Holds His Vessel" is a nearly flawless symphonic masterwork that will introduce the listener to most of the aspects of Aisles sound. However, by the end of this disc, some of the elements of Aisles music become a bit worn. The way I see it is this: tension is built and themes developed to a point where a grand crescendo is called for, yet at these points the music often drifts off into some sort of orchestral reverie, with swelling strings and piano. Also, as evidenced best in their final track, the sixteen minute epic "Grey," Aisles likes to throw a LOT of changes into their music and this is not always to the benefit of the music as a whole. It's all beautifully performed and nice to listen to, but in the end, too much detail for its own sake is a detriment. This sort of thing derails a lot of the material on The Yearning, but there are a couple of beautiful, completely satisfying pieces to be mined from this disc.

The first track, as I said earlier, is a total success, from its Camel-like opening melody to its final notes. Its themes mesh perfectly and the tune moves through a number of melodic and metric shifts before reprising its opening motif. The only other track that matches this level of perfection is the third cut, "Clouds Motion," which is reminiscent of UK, and features vocalist Sebastion Vergara doing an admirable job of sounding like John Wetton. On this track, as on the first, the group avoids too much embellishment of the themes, and produces great music in the doing. The primary melodic voice in the band is provided by guitarists Rodrigo Sepulveda and German Vergara, who both show very mature and steady hands on the guitar work. Their acoustic and electric work is authoritative and the guitar tone is superb throughout this disc. One aspect of Aisles sound that also deserves a special mention is the outstanding quality of the drums on this disc. With no regular drummer available at the time this disc went into production, the band went for keyboard triggered drum samples and this album features the absolute best sounding and most realistic electronic percussion I have ever heard.

Lyrically, this is a very somber and melancholy album, with a constant refrain of the isolation and loneliness found in city life, and the seductive lure of darkness. Three of the five musicians in Aisles share the surname Vergara and must therefore be brothers or cousins. They share the same bloodline and, clearly, the music they create runs in their blood as well.

I can't give The Yearning the highest rating but I consider this a very worthy release nonetheless. With a bit more experience under their belts Aisles can certainly produce another disc that will capture the rapt attention of the prog community.

The Wharf That Holds His Vessel (11:20) / Uncertain Lights (4:04) / Clouds Motion (7:06) / The Rise Of The White Sun (4:56) / The Shrill Voice (4:59) / The Scarce Light Birth (7:34) / Grey (16:39)

Sebastion Vergare - lead & background vocals, flute
German Vergara - electric & acoustic guitars, background vocals, bass
Rodrigo Sepulveda - electric & acoustic guitar, background vocals, bass, electronic percussion
Luis Vergara - piano & keyboards
Alejandro Melendez - piano & keyboards, electronic percussion

The Yearning (2005)

Genre: Symphonic Prog

Origin CL

Added: March 19th 2006
Reviewer: Tom Karr
Artist website:
Hits: 1622
Language: english


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