Aliases – Derangeable

Aliases_RingMasterReview

Obviously, it is too early to suggest what will be the best of 2016 but amongst album contenders we suggest you can expect to see Derangeable flirting with the top spot. The new and second album from British progressive tech-metallers Aliases is simply majestic, inescapably irresistible, and a proposition more than living up, in sound and imagination, to its title.

The brain-child of former SikTh guitarist Pin and fellow six-string maestro Leah Woodward, Aliases quickly whipped up attention and eager appetites from the first steps of its emergence in 2010. The band’s first year saw ear exciting single We Never Should Have Met create a potent buzz; an introduction quickly backed by the band making their live debut at Euroblast Festival in Germany and subsequently signing with Basick Records. Highly acclaimed debut album, Safer Than Reality, was uncaged in 2011 to swiftly make the band a potent presence and protagonist within tech metal and suggest the potential to rise to the stature of Pin’s former band. With a new vocalist and drummer bringing their prowess to events, Aliases easily live up to that promise and indeed have more than matched, and arguably surpassed, anything previous exploits have offered with Derangeable.

The album is a non-stop, often exhausting kaleidoscope of sound and invention; a release as technically beguiling as it is infectiously compelling and creatively mouth-watering. It is also an openly individual and unique proposal which at times borders on the loco in its dance of craft and imagination. It all starts with Find Where You Hide, a track which leaps at ears with a wall of imposing rhythms and spiky guitar coaxing as new vocalist Joe Rosser springs with equal attention grabbing zeal. From his initial dirty tones, he swiftly gives a glimpse of his melodic and harmonic diversity which increasingly shines across song and especially album. If ever a voice was perfect for an unpredictable and fluidly eventful sound, Rosser’s is it; his delivery and invention seeming to flow and prowl the inventive discord and flirtation lining every twist and turn in sound with their own striking adventure. The song itself continues to seduce and incite; the sultry addition of sax, antagonistic beats, and finally classical keys, just a few strands in the enthralling tapestry of the song.

art_RingMasterReviewEverything Is Upon Us is soon dazzling ears and thoughts with its instant busy weave. Entangling varied metal bred lures with funk, avant-garde, and nu-metal devilment, the track enslaves in seconds. The guitars of Pin and Woodward simply dance with almost schizophrenic invention whilst Joe Heaton’s bass prowls through it all like a predator equipped with resonating groans and salacious grooving. As with all songs, it is impossible to reflect the emprise of senses twisting and psyche captivating exploration going on, every second seemingly a new cascade of adventure as shown again in the beefier and equally melodically alluring Back To The Start. Shaped by the crafty swings and beats of Jof Walsh and coloured by the impressive vocal exploits of Rosser, the song emerges like a mix of The Kennedy Soundtrack, KingBathmat, and maybe unsurprisingly SikTh on the way to being something distinct to Aliases.

The pair of Smile All You Like and Deep Sea Avenue keeps attention tight and the imagination stirred; the first with its intricately woven exotic bedlam of guitar and rhythmic ingenuity ridden by the great vocal resources of Rosser and band. It is a fascination of sound and imagination emulated in an even more strikingly unbalanced way by its successor, a track that growls and leers at the listener whilst taking them through its sonic psychosis. It is an outstanding and virulent treat of sound and temptation pretty much matched in success by the lighter yet just as frenzied tango of Uncontrollable Desires. There is a touch of Korn and System Of A Down to the song; spices which simply add to the irresistible web of creative alchemy infesting body and spirit.

The commandingly intensive and barbarously engrossing Callous comes next; it a merger of contrasting shades of aggression and intent bound together by the band’s ever riveting casting of unhinged innovation in sound and idea. It completes a quartet of unmissable favourites at the centre of Derangeable, though through the agitated maze of Face For Lust, where the bass is instinctively flirtatious, and the similarly dynamic and left-field bearing Seen It All, the album and pleasure are locked closer together than ever.

The album comes to a mighty close with the grooved beauty and psyche bending resourcefulness of the wonderful Untangled Mind and finally the warm harmonic charm and mischievous eccentricity of Above The Sky. The pair provides a quite glorious and lingering conclusion to not only one of the year’s major triumphs so far but one of the most enjoyable and impressive adventures in the history of tech and progressive metal. Derangeable is one of those releases which are destined to become an inspiration to others and the best friend to ears and imagination; the tag of genius is already on the lips in reference to their glorious triumph.

Derangeable is out now via Basick Records with buying options @ http://www.basickrecords.com/releases/derangeable

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Pete Ringmaster 18/04/2016

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Aliases – Safer Than Reality

No doubt people will want to label and tag Aliases and all one can do is wish them luck because the Manchester quintet wonderfully step outside of any genre you want to lay at their door with a sound that is as distinct and impressive as the day is long. Call them a metal band because that is primarily what they are but with their own unique and expansive musical corner. There are a few bands that contain elements that make Aliases so impressive and some that tread a similar path without having the originality, but none spring to mind that are taking metal down the exciting and inventive avenue that this band is.

The band began in 2010 with the creative union of ex SikTh guitarist Graham “Pin” Pinney, guitarist Leah Woodward, vocalist Jay Berast, plus drummer Darren Pugh and bassist Joe Heaton. Both ex-Veils. The band immediately started work on their debut EP releasing in the interim a rough demo of ‘We Should Never Have Met’ in July this year. Met with a strongly positive response it led the band to be invited to play the prestigious Euroblast Festival in Cologne, Germany. August saw the release of Safer Than Reality via Basick Records, a label bringing more than their fair share of impressive and unique metal to the world and with this and the Circles album, two of the best releases anywhere.

The EP consists of eight varied and stunning tracks and when we say varied we mean within the songs themselves as much as the whole EP. The tracks are a riveting and intriguing array of ideas, sounds and attacks that fluctuate, resonate, and explode in a colossal portrait of expressive noise and music creation. Amongst the eight tracks there are two brief instrumentals which are delivered with emotive passion and are much more than simple momentary relief between the maelstrom of experimental and incisive sounds.  

What’s Left For Us’ opens up the EP hitting hard with djent scything guitars that explore and probe the senses over a rampaging rhythm attack from Pugh and Heaton. Vocals are a gruff growl mixed with clean, an at odds harmony that works perfectly, Berast as forceful and controlled as the exploration from Pinney and Woodward. The thing about Aliases that this first track brings and is repeated throughout the release is at times a track plays as if it is two or three separate songs playing at the same time. Not the best way to describe it but the discordant pieces that are integrated into the flow of the song are stunning and inspired.

The ‘Reality Of Beliefs’ takes over with eager fingers from the guitars dramatic play searching within the ear over a cleaner rock vocal with scrapings of growls and soulful flows. This was the one track that brought similarities with another band other than the obvious SikTh connection. The band’s rock/metal leaning and again instinctive creativity comes as easy as they do from UK band Tricore and though their sounds could not be more apart in many ways the construction and seamless meld of directions within the song is a skill that they both impressively have.

The best tracks on Safer Than Reality are the titanic ‘We Never Should Have Met’ and ‘All That Glitters Is Gold’. The first is an addictive and imposing eager clash of frantic sounds and impressive ideas. It rumbles incessantly behind a strong groove that sweetens the senses as the drums give them a firm and intrusive work over. The second of the two songs brings again the distinct sound where melodies and instruments play at extreme odds to others and the vocals, to create a track as triumphant as it is majestic. Many bands try to use discordance and the majority successfully but it is hard to think of one that does it to the extreme and brilliance that Aliases do. In an already brilliant EP these moments are a highlight of the highest level.

To know more about the EP simple go and listen, there is so much more and within the EP that we have barely covered. Safer Than Reality if not already should be on your to listen list and Aliases in your ears constantly.

RingMaster 06/10/2011

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