Our Verdict: 9/10
Release date: 15th April
Find it at: Basick Records
Review by: Graeme Blackwell
An unorthodox engagement with the spectacular sophomore album from UK tech-metal visionaries Aliases
“You can run 1000 miles / And I will find where you hide… There’s no more light in my world / Happy now that I’ve got so far / All the scars they have a meaning in my life.”
His eyes bulge as he strains furiously against the leather restraints. The figure in the surgical scrubs watches, pauses and then calmly and quietly applies the electrodes again, sending molten blades of fire slicing through his cerebellum. Despite the red hot pain, he repeats a mantra to himself: “Everything is going to be okay. Not my will but yours be done.” As a preternatural calm washes over him, he hears the sound of a frenetic arpeggiated guitar chord and briefly wonders from whence it came.
“Seems like everything is upon us / Feel the wave crash down / On your shoulders… Falling down… Falling down / This obsession is killing me.”
Her heart pounds in her chest, the intense cold of the glass pressed against her back a merciless and insidious thief creeping in through her clothing and slowly penetrating her musculature. The voice in her earpiece has disintegrated into a barrage of glitches, clicks and whistles. She breathes deeply, momentarily reflecting upon her singular, solitary nature, fighting to keep her thinking clear and her terror at bay. As she begins to run, she thinks she hears the sound of an impassioned, melodic and heavy music struggling to break free from the degraded digital signal permeating her brain.
“The weather’s changing again / The rain and thunder will blow your mind / Colourful dreams in a colourful life / So smile all you like / Smile all you like / Bring those black clouds / Bring those black clouds / Don’t need you to say a word.”
He gazes directly into her eyes, fearful that this is the last time he will look upon her with his own. She meets his gaze and notes the beads of sweat on his brow. With her one free hand she reaches up and presses her palm to his cheek, wiping away the tear with her thumb. “Don’t worry, baby,” she says. “We’re going to be just fine. I promise.” His head jerks toward the window as the force of a roaring metallic vocal refrain appears to push it open. In the subsequent rush of torrid air he opens his mouth to speak, but can’t. Gripping each other’s hands tightly, they jack in the simstim and the world falls away.
“Paint me a picture that’s based on time / I’m watching you, you’re always mine / Inside my head / Die into the eyes of my kind / Everything you know is nothing but a lie / So open your eyes.”
In the midst of her most conflicted days, it feels as though there are whole armies battling furiously inside of her; a war inside her head; a conflict within a breath. A narcissistic figure, brought low by the weight of crippling, deep-seated self-loathing? The angry warrior, raised up by a passionate concern for all mankind and a need to fight the injustice she sees all around her? Who is she? All she really wants is to tear down all the Aliases and be nothing more than herself; the person she was always meant to be, the thrilling complexity of the music inside her giving her life, and freedom.
“The smiling faces glow / Look left, look right / Nowhere to go / Inside my head… / So smile and grit your teeth / Like yesterday / The weather’s changing again… / Magical dreams in a magical life.”
“But it’s been two years. They’re not ready,” he intones.
“They’re ready,” comes the assured reply.
He closes his eyes and shakes his arms loose. Leaning his head to the left and then right, he hears the crunch as his creaking tendons release months of pent-up energy. He looks up to the sky, closes his eyes and visualises a thick, dark, poisonous mass pouring from his mouth and ears, every last ounce of doubt being shed, leaving nothing but an Untangled Mind. “It is time,” he says. Clenching his guitar with his fists like his very life depends upon it, he inhales with a sharp intake of breath…
Technical. Complex. Gripping. Anthemic. Everything they have been working on has been leading them to this. Not just a loose collection of 1s and 0s making their way out into the world; not just a re-tooling of their arsenal of sound; but an astonishing reimagining of the very nature of music itself.
They are Aliases. This is Derangeable.
Aliases are: Joe Rosser (vocals), PIN (guitar), Leah Woodward (guitar), Jof Walsh (drums) and Joe Heaton (bass).
01. “Find Where You Hide”
02. “Everything Is Upon Us”
03. “Back To The Start”
04. “Smile All You Like”
05. “Deep Sea Avenue”
06. “Uncontrollable Desires”
08. “Face For Lust”
09. “Seen It All”
10. “Untangled Mind”
11. “Above The Sky”