New Delhi based metalcore band AARLON needs no introduction, and that’s not what this review is about anyway. Tonight we have set our eyes on their newest (second to be precise) single – ‘HAIWAN’. As a reviewer I do not have the luxury of premonitious assumptions regarding a newly released song. But deep down I knew this was going to be explosive like their previous one. And yeah, a bomb it was!
Beneath the mildly off-putting title (a no fly zone for critics tbh) is an absolute gem waiting to be discovered. The track features a soft and crisp melodious prelude , which sets the stage for hauntingly sweet vocal intro. In all honesty, I will fall short of words if I even begin describing the vocals that Pritam has given for this short yet aromatic piece. (barely shy of 5 minute mark) They definitely didn’t chicken out while crafting the lyrics, and each verse is as meaningful and emotionally charged as the last one – which says a lot. Music lacking any well defined pacing and progression just happens to be my guilty pleasure and the band does manage to get the best of both worlds in one plate. Fade outs followed by staggered entrances are sprinkled here and there to add to the auditory extravaganza. The overall composition deserves acclamation. The slick hypnotizing beats coupled with some wicked sweet riffs provide ample build up for the soul rending chorus that erupts in well spaced out intervals. The overall pacing of the song remains tame in between the verses that frames up a perfect backdrop for the track.
In the fourth quadrant, the atmospheric screeches fade out to give room for some class-A instrumental act that trails into the outro. Henceforth song maintains the mids till the very end, where it fades out smoothly without any unnecessarily wacky plot twists. The guitar solo wasn’t innovative in particular but quite understandably it is what the setting demands. Would love to see them stepping out of their comfort zone a bit more in future.
Everything just fits together seamlessly. I can only imagine the countless hours they poured in to get the coordination perfect. Band cohesiveness is superb. Talking about the music video, it isn’t something to write home about. I am of the belief that music videos help in setting up the mood pacing of the soundtrack and coupled with a good stimulating story and superb direction provide a whole new level of immersion. Talking about Haiwan’s video, its not bad per se, but a forgettable one. The music itself takes the center stage as the standard clichéd cinematography feels somewhat uninspired. I have seen far too many videos going down the tried and tested path of typical perspective zoom-ins and flashy filtered shots of the band members head banging live in a gloomy abandoned jungle, laced with intermittent flashes of a creepy young man going through the textbook mental anguish, entangled in the grasps of figurative misery and clawing at the walls of his self conjured imprisonment. They didn’t really skimp out on the creativity aspects though, and once again – its not bad, its just that it simply could have been better. At the end of the day the video does a fairly good job of setting up a mesmerizing atmosphere which gives a emotionally charged context for the equally heart rending music.
Overall I was quite impressed, it deserves every bit of respect it has earned from the community. Don’t know about you, but it is definitely going straight to my playlist. Aarlon is showing no signs of fatigue and has a long way to go if it can sustain its unwavering resolve. A splendid song, don’t let it slip past your radars!