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Aliases – Safer Than Reality – Album Review

Aliases – Safer Than Reality – Album Review
4.5
Website: www.aliasesband.co.uk
Fans Of: Sikth, No Made Sense, Visions, Circles, Cyclamen, The Dillinger Escape Plan
Label: Basick Records
Download This: We Never Should Have Met, What's Left For Us
Genre(s): Progressive Metal / Tech Metal / Mathcore
Release Date: 15/08/11

When I discovered that Aliases contained ex-Sikth guitarist Pin, as well as former Veils members Darren Pugh (drums) and Joe Heaton (bass), my expectations were incredibly high. For the most part I wasn’t disappointed. Anyone who has heard Sikth has a reasonably good idea of what to expect from Aliases, Pin’s influence is clear from the get go. The breakneck pace and technicality, the main reason for my teenage obsession, are present throughout Aliases debut mini-album “Safer Than Reality”.

However this album is a lot more challenging than anything Sikth ever released. This isn’t a bad thing, though it makes the album seem all over the place upon first listen. Sticking with this album for many more plays, however, has revealed an unrivaled depth and dizzying intricacy; the variety and complexity of the riffs are mind-blowing. There’s so much melody and groove in what may on a brief first listen seem like a spasmodic and random collection of notes.

The pacing of this mini-album is something not to be overlooked or taken for granted. Aliases seem to have found the balance between complex aggression and slightly calmer passages. Whether they are able to keep this balance on a full length album remains to be seen.

Despite the obvious technicality of the musical passages of this album there are still sing/scream a long moments dotted throughout the choruses, punctuated by Jay Berast’s surprisingly versatile vocals. One thing not be overlooked by obvious talents of the guitarists is the rhythm section. Pugh’s drums are a master class in technical drumming without feeling excessive, whilst Heaton manages to keep a solid rhythmic backbone to the songs, despite the constant flurry of the notes coming from the guitarists. Most reviews often go in more depth on a song by song basis; with Aliases’ debut I feel there are too many intricacies for my words to do it justice. I would definitely recommend you give at least a couple of tracks a listen for yourselves. Like all great pieces of art “Safer than Reality” is challenging at first, but continues to amaze with layered depth every time you return to it.

Track Listing

1.What’s Left for Us?
2.The Reality of Beliefs
3.We Never Should Have Met
4.Refraction
5.All That Glitters is Gold
6.While I Drown
7.The Beginning Has No End
8.Sirens