Safer Than Reality

Written by: AP on 09/11/2011 23:49:38

The disbanding of the enigmatic SikTh left many a fan with a sour taste in the mouth, so when it was announced that one of the masterminds behind the project, Graham "Pin" Pinney had found a new outlet for his unorthodox guitar playing style in Aliases, the band's debut album, "Safer Than Reality" understandably became the talk of the town in certain circles within the British metal community. Would it continue the time-bending legacy of SikTh and mend some of the proverbial wounds that the band's demise tore into the hearts of its fans? Or would it merely cast shame on underground classics like "Death of a Dead Day"?

The good news is that "Safer Than Reality" is every bit as dizzying, extroverted and mental as Pinney's previous work, albeit of a slightly more accessible nature. It is a testament to the spirit of SikTh living on, yet not simply SikTh under a new moniker. Obviously, the creative force and frenzied guitar work; ready skipping between melody and dissonance; and bewildering polyrhythms form the core of the sound, but most remarkably Aliases have managed somehow to make all of this accessible. The best way to describe the irresistible groove of songs like "What's Left for Us?" and "The Reality of Beliefs" is a remarkably successful combination of The Arusha Accord, SikTh and Protest the Hero: a symbiosis of impossibly complex instrumentation and an ingenious, oddly infectious singing style that is eerily reminiscent of Rody Walker's.

Aliases are clearly taking enormous glee in wringing out every last ounce of their technical abilities, and although this noodling occasionally threatens to obscure the task of writing actual songs, more often than not the individual contributions of virtuosos Leah Woodward, Joe Heaton, Darren Pugh, as well as Pinney himself, are held in coherent harmony with poise and focus, which allows the band to sound nothing short of astonishing when they hit their stride. "All That Glitters is Gold" and "Sirens" are perfect examples of the band's ability to combine songwriting prowess with instrumental skill, and to refrain from excessive gloating when the songs call for subtlety and restraint.

"Safer Than Reality" is a beautifully judged and executed album; relentlessly crushing yet delightfully melodic, and instantly memorable. It is in part exactly what you would expect with a man like Pinney behind the steering wheel, and in part a refreshing surprise in terms of the fantastic vocal performance and the surprisingly accessible nature of most of the songs. It is no wonder that the band recently caught the eye of the rapidly expanding Basick Records who are currently specializing in the experimental variants of metalcore, and certainly not unfathomable that Aliases might soon be soaring toward underground stardom.


Download: What's Left for Us?, The Reality of Beliefs, All That Glitters is Gold, Sirens
For the fans of: The Arusha Accord, Protest the Hero, SikTh
Listen: Facebook

Release date 15.08.2011
Basick Records

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