Aerial "The Sentinel" CDPosted on Thursday, March 1st, 2007 @ 8:39am » permalink
Aerial (Sweden) returns with "The Sentinel", again from No Method, offering up nine tracks and 40 minutes of that sprawling "post-rock" type of angle. This time out the compositions tend to be shorter than those on their debut, also employing a hint more vocals, though it's still a largely instrumental journey that bears something of a cinematic quality to its overall presentation/delivery. The dense, crisp, natural recording works quite nicely to highlight the band's uses of space and layering as the instruments interact – often holding the vocals farther back in the core of the mix – and as expected they've retained a lot of back and forth between dynamics, utilizing gradual transitions to ease the flow. Thick, pulsing basslines weave together with superbly fluid percussive work that blends restrained patterns with tight, rigid bursts; while soft, somber clean passages with the aesthetics of indie rock present a humming sort of brightness. Although, the bulk of the textures and arrangements kind of carry those same "bright" qualities, really – even when things become heavier and more subtly aggressive. And beyond those "aggressive" tendencies lies some rather noisy guitar work that walks a droning sort of line and crosses over into more acerbic territory on occasion. While I'm not a huge fan of that element in most cases, it's a very minor part of the overall approach here, and Aerial very much handles everything they do with a great deal of tact and artistry. There are even some unexpectedly sinister undercurrents from time to time, most notably during the occasional – though infrequent – uses of samples. The disc is housed in a nice, simple little glossy digipack to round things out, making for another pleasant release from the band. Well done.
Absolutely pick up a copy if the music interests you: