Album Review: Aries Field – The Halo Behind the Sun

Aries Field - The Halo Behind the Sun Artwork

Aries Field is described as a one-man Hard Rock/Alternative Metal Band, from Italy and formerly a three man group made up of Fabio Stroppa, Francesco Barnabó, and Davide Valentini, once the band split up the project was continued by Fabio Stroppa who now does the bulk of production regarding the band. I’ve previously reviewed Aries Field and if you’d like to check that out then click here, but anyway, today I’ll be reviewing Aries Field’s latest album ‘The Halo Behind the Sun’ which was released on September 25th 2019. Just before I move on to the actual review I want to quickly apologise for the delays in getting this review out, life unfortunately got in the way and so the review was sadly pushed back until I had time to focus on it but now it’s finally here, and since I don’t want to delay you from experiencing the awesomeness of ‘The Halo Behind the Sun’ for a moment longer let’s get on with the review.

‘Ancient Regret’ opens with a melancholic, mournful guitar that is matched perfectly by the vocals, a powerful, slow ballad that just washed over you all intensity and emotion. And clocking in at 1 minute and 8 seconds it’s only fault is that it wasn’t longer, but it works well as an introduction to the album.

‘Sentence’ explodes right out the gate, shaking you up after the more melodic and tempered track that was ‘Ancient Regret’, but it was no less enjoyable, it was firey and energy driven, with a powerful fusion of driving guitars and heavy percussion throughout, backed up again by engaging vocals. I especially liked the bassy breakdown at around 2 minutes and 13 seconds, it adds a nice balance to the track, and allows it to build back up again from that point. 

‘Material’ doesn’t start off quite as hard and heavy as the previous track, but still much more intense than the first track. Something that I liked about these tracks, and I believe I noticed in their previous album is that it blends really well, and there’s no filler noise, it’s just this incredibly well built up piece of music, where sometimes everything can be happening at once, and then it’ll give you a guitar or bass or percussive breakdown, that allows you to focus on just that instrument. It’s actually really clever and more me, it makes it easier to listen to the track and talk about. 

‘Rage of Freedom’ has a really good bassline that merges slowly with some light percussion, but it has this building energy that is barely contained, very fitting considering the song title, and then it just rattles out, a cacophony of phenomenal noises that blend vitality and passion and powerful guitars all just sliding forward. 

‘Land of No One’ slows things down again, a sad, low tempo piano opening that builds and swells with raw feeling, simple but understated, and much like the first track it just flows over you. I think honestly I like the vocalist’s voice better when he’s singing tracks like this, don’t get me wrong, he’s a top notch singer either way, and he adds a lot to the high energy rock numbers but I feel his voice is best suited to tracks like this one, it just gives him more of a chance to sing. 

‘Sword of Time’ picks things up again with blaring guitar intro, that guides me into this track perfectly, an incredible piece of instrumental music that takes its time building until in one moment it’s joined with the other instruments and the track just grows in speed and intensity, although unlike some of the faster tracks it has more of a slow down for the vocal sections, allowing the vocalist a chance to really shine again. 

‘Wall of Titans’ is slower initially, a more acoustic track, blending softer guitar tones with more of those vocals I love so much. I like how well Aries Field balances harder tracks with softer ones, it’s not quite one after the other, so there’s still an element of surprise but they take care not to overload you and manage to keep it fresh. Other than the vocals I think my favourite thing about this track is just the guitar itself, it just shows off how proficient the player is, and how capable they are of changing up their style while still producing something that fits in with the overall sound of an album and/or band. 

‘Where the Sun Won’t Fall’ has a very vibrant and almost upbeat sounding intro, which seems to go against the tone up to this point, but it works well. It certainly makes sense when you listen to it. I think overall, partly due to the tonal shift and also just because it has these awesome guitar sections and everything else I liked about Aries Field’s music that this is probably my favourite track on the album, followed closely by the previous track ‘Wall of Titans’. 

‘Trail of Blood’ is slower, another more acoustic feeling track, with light building percussion that merges and leads perfectly into the next track.

‘Warrior’ kicks off hard, building greatly from the softer opening of the previous track, it just keeps hammering forward without a second wasted. It’s a very strong track, especially considering we are swiftly closing in on the end of this album. 

‘Revelation’ Is soft, melodic, and just kinda washes over you, it swells and rises, and honestly I’m as impressed by this song as I have been by any on the album. There’s a point around 1 minute 20 second mark that it seems like it was going to go for a deep heavy drop, and just go crazy but it subverted my expectations quite nicely with a more muted and even rise, even if it did kick up the energy just enough, slowly incorporation more drum until, without you even noticing the track is hammering away epically. 

‘The Man Against the God’ is a very evocative title, and I’m glad the song lived up to it suitably, with a simple but engaging guitar riff, that was quickly fleshed out by light percussion before building and exploding into a blend of speed and rhythm. 

‘Words Before Dawn’ slows things down just a touch, more acoustic and vibrant, but with a subtle building drive to the music, that worked perfectly with the vocals, it really proves to me once and for all that regardless of how Aries Field approach a track, they have the skill, competency and passion to really pull of something spectacular. 

‘Veil of Innocence’ is another song that paces itself, and just builds throughout, I appreciate an artist that can do both, they know when to charge forward, and other times when to just slowly let things build for maximum gravity and effect. I won’t even hesitate when I say this track was beautiful. This might be less of a compliment, but I think this would be a great candidate for a Final Fantasy game, just something about it has the right balance of awe and emotion to work well for that type of thing. 

‘Battle of Nevermore’ another really interesting title, and a brilliant farewell to such a powerful album. I honestly don’t know what else I can say except buy or stream this now. Also I’m usually of the opinion that a song has an ideal length, between 3-4 minutes, it’s not really backed up by anything except my own opinion but usually with a few exceptions, it begins to wear a bit once it gets beyond that point, it loses poignancy or energy, but honestly i never felt that with this track, even at 7 minutes long it really worked for me and closed out ‘The Halo Behind the Sun’ perfectly. 

So that’s what I thought of Aries Field’s new album ‘The Halo Behind the Sun’ and if you want to check that out for yourself then head on over to Spotify and make sure and show some support by following them on Facebook and Instagram.

 

First Published on: https://offtherecordblog.org


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