Aisles’ new single release “Fast” is definitely the right way to make a “comeback”. It’s been five years since the South American progressive giants last released a studio album, 2016’s critically hailed Hawaii, and their new opus bodes well for their upcoming fifth album release. The onetime bedrock of the band, vocalist Sebastian Vergara and guitarist/vocalist Germán Vergara, split with Sebastian opting to leave the band, but Aisles continued. They installed new lead singer Israel Gil in 2020 and returned to the studio. If “Fast” is any indication of the quality level awaiting listeners on the band’s fifth studio album, this is a band rejuvenated and prepared to ascend to a higher level than ever before.
They certainly have energy to burn. Musical inventiveness crackles off nearly every second of “Fast”, from its fiery six-string runs courtesy of guitarists Germán Vergara and Rodrigo Sepulveda, to Felipe Candia’s propulsive drumming. They, likewise, have the sound of a band that has been together for many years. The rhythm section plays in lockstep throughout the entirety of “Fast”, the interplay between Vergara and Sepulveda is seamless making it well nigh impossible to tell when one picks up the lead and the other falls away. The ongoing duet between the two guitarists is one of the song’s chief musical attractions.
The video they offer for the track displays the same energy. It is written by Francisco Ortega and German Vergara, but Norma Jofré’s contributions as the concept artist and Lucy Animation Studio’s stunning artwork. It never looks overwrought and has the same dramatic qualities we hear in the track, but its motion generates near constant energy as well. It is orchestrated well with the gradual evolution of the track and, as such, complements it exceptionally.
It isn’t difficult to imagine that one of the most important qualifications for Aisles’ new singer would be their ability to mesh with the band’s secondary singer guitarist German Vergara. Gil and Vergara are a successful pairing from the first, but Gil has more than enough vocal oomph to pack this tune on his back. The band has scored a singer with the all-around ability to conjure the ethereal, gritty, and beguiling within the same tune.
They have opened for bands as diverse as Marillion and Dutch legends Focus. This should establish their progressive rock bonafides for knowledgeable fans, but newcomers and novices alike should find much to enjoy about Aisle’s new single. The band has a dependable track record extending back several years but this first release of new material in five years steers them in a slightly different direction. It shows they are a band far from content standing still and that their commitment to growth remains powerful.
There’s something gloriously affirmative about the single as well. Aisles’ music has a positive uplift, despite the occasionally downcast lyrics, and the very existence of the song along strikes a blow against despair. We need music like this more than ever as much of the world tentatively emerges from the shadows of a global pandemic.
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