OK, real talk: my favorite Internet Cinderella story is Aviations. Maybe it wasn’t actually one in reality but from my perspective it sure as hell was. The band released some crazy promising music in 2012, when djent/progressive metal was having a bit of a resurgence (read: mini-Golden Age) and then disappeared for six years. Sure, there were singles here and there but with every day which went by, my hope for another full release from these guys faded. And I really was checking every day; ever since the A Declaration of Sound days, before I was even writing for Heavy Blog, I thought these guys could be something special.

And then, in 2018, they released The Light Years and my heart rejoiced! Aviations actually delivered on their promise and released one of my favorite progressive metal albums of all time. Adding to the fact that the music was great was the very same narrative that I painted above; it felt like an underdog story, like a road travelled, every inch paid for in sweat and finally returning on the investment. And you know what? It appears that Aviations agree with me. At least, that seems to be a likely explanation for their choice to release Retrospective today, Friday, November the 20th. This is an EP re-imagining and re-recording some of the best songs from their early days (plus an acoustic version of a track from The Light Years), celebrating the journey that Aviations have been on as a band.

When I first heard of the idea, I wondered which tracks the band would choose for this release. I was not surprised to see that “Outliers” was among them. This epic closing track was the longest on A Declaration of Sound and probably best encapsulates the energy that Aviations had on that release. And lo, it is now back! And we are stoked, honored, and thrilled to premiere it here today, accompanied by the glorious, radiant colors of a video! Head on down below to check it out.

Aviations always had fantastic tones and production but they sound fresher than ever on the new version of “Outliers”. Those drums hit so hard and deep, coupled beautifully with the soaring, emotional piano that’s become one of the band’s trademarks. The guitar tones are also given a shining new coat, meaning that the breakdown which hits on and around the five minute mark just goes that much harder. Add in the powerful vocals that grace the Aviations sound and you get something truly special. All of these contrasts and combinations sound even better on this new version, embellishing and gilding the original with everything that Aviations have learned in the interim. As the band themselves say:

Retrospect is the culmination of years of touring and playing together as a six-piece unit. We feel that we’ve taken these songs from our past and elevated them to a level that will please both old and new listeners of our band. Outliers the focus-single of this EP and perhaps the fan-favorite, is a perfect representation of Aviations in 2020. It’s inspired by Malcolm Gladwell’s 10,000-hour rule. To gain a master of any skill one must set 10,000 hours to the task, and while the rule alone isn’t a guarantee, the intention was to kick off a career in which we would spend at least 10,000 hours working towards making Aviations the best we can. The track that started it all is almost 10 years old, so to get the chance to rerecord and better this for a growing audience has been a blast.”

The EP also has a lot of other great moments baked into it, like the new transition from “Outliers” into the acoustic version of “Two Days” and plenty more. Make sure you head on over to the band’s Bandcamp page to grab this fantastic new EP and watch for more news on a full length release, hopefully sometime in 2021.

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