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Aziola Cry

The Ironic Divide

Review by Gary Hill

We have reviewed a couple releases from this act previously at Music Street Journal. This is the newest CD from this Chicago based band. It continues to the dark instrumental prog concepts of their earlier work. I'd have to say that this one seems to get more metallic than the band have usually gone. I'm sure it's enough to get the prog purists upset, but personally I think it works well here. There is more Metallica here and perhaps less Djam Karet. I'd say there is as much Dream Theater in the mix as always, though. However you classify it, though, this is a strong release and great addition to the catalog.

This review is available in book (paperback and hardcover) form in Music Street Journal: 2021  Volume 4. More information and purchase links can be found at: garyhillauthor.com/Music-Street-Journal-2021.

Track by Track Review
And Cowards
Frantic metallic grinding brings this into being with a fast paced texture. This makes me think of Rush, but with a slightly heavier edge than the heavier stuff from Snakes and Arrows. This thing has a number of shifts and changes. At times it lands closer to something like Metallica, but it also makes its way back to Rushish zones. There are some seriously prog-based changes and progressions further down the road, but still flavored by metallic edges.
Hollow Reflections
Not as decidedly metallic, this has more of a nuanced approach. it's equally dark and dangerous sounding, though. Around the half-way mark this powers out into some screaming hot jamming that has a lot metal meets King Crimson to it. The cut continues to evolve and explore going through some killer metallic prog twists and turns. This is dramatic, powerful and somehow cinematic in nature. It gets a little mellower before this ride is over.
The Ironic Divide
This epic runs over 21 minutes. It comes in as a metallic powerhouse stomper that really drives with ferocity and style. It's part Dream Theater and part early Metallica. There are some amazing changes on this thing. It has so much tasty metal edge, and yet some smoking hot prog, too. Twisting and turning, this is so powerful. There are some pretty crazed moments here. It gets thrashy at times. This is such a strong and dynamic piece of music. It really does deserve to be the title track and the epic of the disc.
Scars Now Rest Where Once Bore Wings
This is seriously metallic. It's driving dramatic and bombastic music. This turns seriously thrashy for a while later in the piece. There are some moodier, rather mysterious movements, too. All in all, it's another dynamic powerhouse screamer. The cut almost seems to end around the nine-and-a-half-minute mark. It's reborn from there, though, into a fast-paced and hard rocking prog jam. There are still dropped back moments as that movement takes control of the piece.
 
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