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Aerostation

Aerostation

Review by Gary Hill

This new album is an intriguing release. I suppose the easiest title would be "space rock," but that's only so accurate. I mean, yes, this is rock music that is connected to a large degree with space. There are even bits of things that one associates with most space rock. However, that's only part of the story. You'll find leanings here toward metal, industrial, techno, more traditional progressive rock, modern moody prog, fusion and more. It all flows nicely and is quite effective. It lands in the AOR mainstream part of the musical swimming pool. So, if that's your thing, and you'd like to find something new, you can't go wrong with this.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2019  Volume 2 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
Voices
Weird effects and electronics open this like waves of radio signals. Voice sound-bites come in over the top as trippy electronics continue to hold the piece.
Wide Eyes And Wonder
Coming out of the previous cut, this works out to a killer hard-edged jam that has space rock, modern alternative rock, more mainstream prog and more built into it. It's a fast paced and powerful cut that really drives with both modern and old-school sounds. There are times when I'm reminded of Dream Theater and Pink Floyd comes to mind at other points. Still, neither of those are more than a passing leaning as the whole of the parts is much more unique than that.
Straight To The Sun
Coming in much harder edged, there is an electronic meets metal texture to the opening here. The cut fires out into a fast paced jam that's more decidedly progressive rock oriented. This is energized and cool. It's is less accessible and meatier than the previous cut was. There are some intriguing twists that take it into more pure prog zones. This is a cool journey with a lot of varying sounds in the mix. I particularly dig the dramatic instrumental section at the end.
Fourteen Days of Lightness
Keyboards open this, and the vocals come in with a moody delivery over that backdrop. By around the minute-and-a-half mark this kicks into a faster, more rocking mode. It's still mellower than the two previous tunes, though. There is a more mainstream modern prog element that drives a lot of this. It gets into some killer almost fusion territory in some fills, though.
Coldness
The balance between mellower and more rocking stuff is wider on this than it is on a lot of the rest of the music here. This has some driving, almost techno rocking stuff. It's also often moody and modern prog based. There is a soaring, less dark section that is more of a traditional progressive rock, too. This is a powerhouse cut that's among the best here.
Long Distances
A fast paced, hard rocking instrumental, this combines prog, space rock and more. There is a cool mellower, dropped back movement later in the piece. It works back out to more powered up stuff beyond there, and the whole number is just so cool.
The Arrow
Trippy, jazzy mellow elements open this. The vocals come in over that bringing it into more of a moody, electronic based arrangement. Eventually makes its way to a faster paced, more rocking jam that even has hints of metal guitar built into it. It drops back mid-track to a mellower movement with some cool bass work. It's more of less a return to the earlier sections of the piece. As you might expect, they bringing back into the faster paced stuff beyond that, but the keyboards (rather than the guitar) seem the driving factor this time. That movement ends the piece.
The Ghost Bride
This comes in rather like one of Dream Theater's mellower cuts and works out from there with hints of fusion in the mix. There are some great keyboard elements on this number, and the vocal hooks are awesome. I am particularly fond of the keyboard soloing on the closing movement. This is another highlight of the set.
From Day To Night
A hard rocking grind opens this. It's another part of the set that makes me think of Dream Theater to some degree. It drops back in volume, but not pace, for the entrance of the vocals. There is a drop back to mellower, techno-like stuff for a while. Near the end, though, it powers up to almost metal before mellower keyboard sounds take control.
One Billion Steps
While there are mellower parts to this, the cut is mostly a driving hard-edged tune. It's decidedly modern progressive rock, but does have elements of techno and more in the mix.
Kepler – 186F
This piece bookends the album, with keyboards and effects serving as the backdrop for soundbites. It is decidedly space oriented.
 
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