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AAL - The Only Path

The Only Path
by Dave "That Metal Guy" Campbell at 20 July 2020, 6:37 PM

AAL is a Progressive Death/Black Metal band from Lithuania. With only 115 Facebook likes, it is evident that this is a fairly new and obscure band. We’re going to have to let the music do the talking here. The album is the band’s first release, and contains seven tracks.

“Arrival” leads off the album, with a steady and heavy rhythm guitar section. Double bass joins in, and it has an almost GOJIRA sound to it. When the vocals come in, the riff changes, and you can hear bass guitar notes. A little melody appears before the quick guitar solo, but it returns to that earlier sound pretty quickly. “Per Aspera Ad Astra” opens with heavy guitar tones and a riff that is definitely on the more Progressive side. I love the way the bass notes echoes the guitar notes. This song is a bit faster, but structurally similar to the opening track. It has an almost Industrial sound to it, with the sterility of the guitars and vocals.

“Munchausen-By-Proxy” opens with bass notes and light drumming that dance together in this nice little samba, with electric guitars coming in a bit later. This song features more melody, but still retains that heavy edge. Here they remind me a bit of MOONLOOP, but man is it hard to pin-point their exact genre. “Dreamwielder” is a shorter song that starts like an old engine trying to come to life. It kicks and sputters before the main riff comes in. The song is very dark, and Progressive sounding, in terms of the meter shifts. The bass guitar flexes its chops here and goes all over the fretboard.

“Fear their Will” is again dominated mostly by the bass guitar. It’s unusual for a band to even feature their bassist like AAL does, but to let them drive a lot of the melody as well? Very unusual. I like it however, and he has dexterous fingers. The rhythm guitars keep a steady presence along with fierce Death vocals, which almost sound like IHSAHN. “Towers of Indifference” is a short three-and-a-half minutes. The Progressive elements shine in the opening sequence, and try to count the meter used here…it’s quite challenging. An eerie lead guitar passage follows the second chorus.

“Time and Space” closes the album. Ominous tones abound in the opening sequence, with lead guitar spiraling here and there. From there, it has a slow grind, with hushed vocals. It ends with dark and broody tones. Overall, I enjoyed the album. As I mentioned above, it’s sort of a cross between GOJIRA and IHSAHN, with a fantastic bassist that the band features prominently. The songs are dark and the meter changes are handled flawlessly by the band. This is definitely an album that I would recommend to any fan of Progressive Extreme Metal.

Songwriting: 8
Musicianship: 9
Memorability: 8
Production: 8

4 Star Rating

1. Arrival
2. Per Aspera Ad Astra
3. Munchausen-By-Proxy
4. Dreamwielder
5. Fear their Will
6. Towers of Indifference
7. Time and Space
Record Label: Independent


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Edited 28 January 2023

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