Aviations – Outliers – Song Review – Modern Progressive Metal from Boston, Massachusetts, USA

Today, we embark on a musical voyage through the progressive sounds of Boston-based band Aviations. In this article, we delve into one of their notable compositions, “Outliers,” from their highly acclaimed third studio album, “Retrospect,” released on November 20, 2020. Brace yourself for an immersive 11-minute epic journey through the realms of modern progressive metal.

AVIATIONS “Outliers” – Retrospect (Official Music Video)

Written & Produced by Aviations
Recorded by Aviations
Mixed by Adam Bentley of Arch Echo
Mastered by Ermin Hamidovic

Video Directed, Shot and Edited by Sam Harchik
Additional Editing by Clinton Tustin

First and foremost, “Outliers” served as my introduction to the immensely talented collective known as Aviations. With their years of experience and a devoted fanbase, they have firmly established themselves in the music scene. From the moment I watched the music video, my initial impression was overwhelmingly positive, and that sentiment only grew over time, despite knowing that this is just a glimpse of their true potential. Let’s delve into the details.

Outliers” is an 11-minute progressive metal masterpiece that demands the utmost respect. Aviations’ musical concept revolves around a guitar-oriented progressive metal landscape, reminiscent of the early and contemporary works of Dream Theater. In addition, the band incorporates elements from modern metalcore, djent, and cinematic soundscapes, forming a unique foundation that I discovered through their song, “Outliers.”

This song captivates listeners with its progressive origins, technical complexity, and remarkable individual performances. It follows a structure consisting of three distinct sections, transitioning from A to C and concluding with a return to A. The opening section showcases the heavy Dream Theater influence, featuring Western American motifs and accompanied by clean male vocals reminiscent of LeprousEinar Solberg. The second part of the song seamlessly transitions into a djent-infused modern metalcore realm, immersing the listener in maximum darkness during the breakdown moment. This masterfully crafted section delivers the anticipated goosebumps, led me to turn up the volume to its maximum. The djent segment eventually evolves into a cinematic passage, reminiscent of video game soundtracks, before leading listeners back to the main theme of the song, ultimately concluding the musical journey.

It is worth noting that Aviations hails from the prestigious Berklee College of Music. They have successfully built upon the foundation laid by Dream Theater, carving out their own distinctive musical identity while paying homage to these familiar influences. Aviations possesses real potential, displayed through their performances and evident musical knowledge.


Aviations, band photo
Photo credit: Sam Harchik

On the other hand, I must acknowledge a few aspects from my personal perspective. Firstly, I felt a sense of limitations within the musical concept, evoking a familiar presence of Dream Theater, John Petrucci, TesseracT, and Periphery. While I appreciate the band’s overall craftsmanship, “Outliers” left me with a sense of familiarity throughout the journey. The opening section adhered closely to the Dream Theater path, while subsequent sections explored more mainstream metalcore territory.

Secondly, I inadvertently set high expectations for Aviations, which resulted in a somewhat underwhelming experience while watching the music video. The DIY energy emanating from their bedroom performance failed to enhance the overall impression, instead triggering a sense of déjà vu.

Lastly, as an instrumental song, “Outliers” left me with a lack of concrete imagery or storyline to grasp, making it challenging to extract a clear overarching concept.


Aviations, band photo
Photo credit: Lee Delulio

In conclusion, I am delighted to have discovered Aviations. Masterfully created 11-minute long impressive modern progressive metal journey, with familiar influences from Dream Theater, TesseracT, and Periphery and fantastic musicianship. Thank you for reading.


Aviations, Retrospect (2020) Album Front Cover Artwork
Art Credit: Sam Harchik

Aviations is…

Adam Benjamin | Vocals
James Knoerl | Drums
Sam Harchik | Guitar
Eric Palmer | Guitar
Werner Erkelens | Bass
Richard Blumenthal | Piano

Written & Performed by Aviations
Drums Engineered by James Knoerl
Guitars & Bass Engineered by Sam Harchik
Piano Engineered by Richard Blumenthal
Vocals Engineered by Adam Benjamin
Album Art and Band Photo Design by Sam Harchik
Band Photography by Lee Delulio

Aviations on the web



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