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Aisling - "Aisling"

Pagan Black metallers Aisling come from Trieste, Italy. They released their first demo recording entitled "Endless Cycle" in 1999, followed by a self-financed debut "Aisling" two years later. Right before the release Diego B. (lead guitar, backing vocals) decided to leave the band. He was replaced by Matteo soon after the album was released.

The CD starts with a slow instrumental intro, which continues into the second song entitled "The Oracle Of Dehumanisation". This song is very diverse with powerful beginning. Aisling use two types of vocals, grim and clean. Some part of the songs are even spoken. Grim vocals are a total disaster, while the clean vocals lose their value due to very poor production. They are practically inaudible. But let's get back to the second song. Towards the end of the song power suddenly fades into a nice quiet ending, which reminds me of Anathema's "Eternity". Third song, "Sepulchral Council Of The Beholders", starts in quieter tones and in a more groovy style. The band obviously decided to experiment with clean vocals, which follow the example of Scandinavian toying with folk influences. The beginning actually sounds quite bizarre all the way to a passage, when tempo calms down and the song gets a more listenable form. Clean vocals at the end of the song could be really nice, if they wouldn't get run over by production. Next song, "Misanthropic Salvation", is once again very diverse, but it doesn't include anything special that would be worth mentioning. "Duan Amhairghine" is opened by the howling of the wind (how cliche), followed by an acoustic guitar and a flute. When the last one fades out, cello overtakes the main role, together with male clean vocals and female mezzo-soprano. And then everything starts from the beginning. Imagine Anathema's "Eternity" with a touch of Opeth and Ulver and you'll get "Duan Amhairghine". Enthusiastic retro black metallers call this kind of song "a sleeping pill". "Crushing The Wall Of Time" brings you right back from the land of dreams. Grim vocals are here especially lousy. They sound very much like listening to a guy with laryngitis trying to scream into the microphone. Faster guitar parts with screaming vocals once again get interrupted by acoustic guitar, then the cello joins in, followed by a short monologue. After that the guitars take the main role again together with those screaming vocals and the song ends with a slow acoustic part (who would have thought, right?!). "Tir Na N'og (Forgotten Rites)" doesn't differ much from the rest of the songs. There is again a lot of rhythm changing, some spoken text, the flute joins in again... and that's about it.

With this record Aisling didn't discover anything new, all was already heard. But I strongly suggest that you give this record a shot, inspite of bad production and lousy grim vocals because overall it isn't a bad release. The melodies are nice most of the time and the guys are quite good musicians. Try it. You might be surprised.

Author:   Anja

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