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Aliases Play Mindgames on Second Album

The UK prog tech-metallers are ready with their new record
‘Derangeable’ which boasts of disturbing artwork by Delhi-
based visual artist Visual Amnesia

Anurag Tagat Apr 19, 2016
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UK prog/tech metal band Aliases.

UK prog/tech metal band Aliases.

In true metal style, Aliases guitarist Leah Woodward has one word of advice for anyone about to listen to their new album Derangeable. She says, “I hope you brought spare pants. Aliases will not be held responsible for any adverse consequences pre or post-listening.” In the works since 2013, Derangeable is the follow-up to their 2011 debut Safer Than Reality, which sounds like another planet away in terms of their polished technical sound.

You don’t have to go beyond tracks such as “Callous” and “Smile All You Like” for their razor-sharp mix of tapped guitar leads [and bass] over the mobilizing riffs and intricate drum fills. It’s nearly similar to guitarist Graham Pinney aka Pin’s prog band SikTh, except a lot more emotive and catchier when it comes to vocal melodies, thanks to their vocalist Joe Rosser, who was unleashed with their non-album single “Exasperated” in April 2013. Woodward adds, “I think this CD is a big change for us, not only have we started to find our sound but our writing has matured in a way that we use now our style dramatically and dynamically to create an emotive record that is catchy, brutal and heart-warming, all at the same time.” The band went into the studio to put 11 songs down for Derangeable in the middle of last year. It certainly seems like Pin was working on both, Derangeable as well as SikTh’s comeback mini-album Opacities, which released in December last year.

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Taking cue from SikTh and many other UK bands, Aliases chose funding platform PledgeMusic to put up pre-orders and crowdfund the making of Derangeable, which is slated to release on April 15th via Basick Records. Woodward says about the funding, “It’s hard now to fund an album, especially to the extent that you can freely create what you actually intended to. We have still managed to make this work on a budget, but without the interaction of fans, it wouldn’t have been possible to do our ideas justice.”

Thematically, the band seemed keen to provoke listeners with what is essentially multi-layered art about the modern human mind. They roped in Delhi-based graphic artist Reuben Bhattacharya aka Visual Amnesia [who also plays bass for tech/groove metallers Undying Inc.] to craft 12 different pieces of artwork, including the spaced-out, creepy-crawly infest of an album cover. Bhattacharya, who has worked with the likes of Dutch metallers Textures on merchandise, put together a visual narrative that he proudly calls “pièce de résistance.” Woodward adds, “The art now reflects the music so perfectly that it creates a huge concept for the listener to get lost in, painting a picture of everything we imagined and more.” Bhattacharya adds, “The album art is a psycho analysis of some very deep and disturbing layers of the human condition. Imagine this as graphic novel with progressive and technical music.”

Artwork by Reuben Bhattacharya for songs off 'Derangeable'. Artwork: Visual Amnesia. All images are copyright of Aliases/Basick Records/VisualAmnesia 2016 and may not be reproduced or duplicated in any manner

Artwork by Reuben Bhattacharya for songs off ‘Derangeable’. Artwork: Visual Amnesia. All images are copyright of Aliases/Basick Records/VisualAmnesia 2016 and may not be reproduced or duplicated in any manner

The artwork is connected by a survivor of the Nagasaki atomic bombing in 1945, an apparition who, according to Bhattacharya becomes the constant reminder of humans’ naivety. The artist adds, “Both Aliases and I wanted to bring back that feeling we would get back in the day sitting with our favorite albums and going through art and lyrics while listening to the music, drawing up a picture in the mind. It’s a complete experience in itself, one that will leave you wanting a sequel.”

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