Anyone who has ever listened to the legendary Australian gothic band Ikon must be familiar with the work and voice of Michael Aliani, as he was the voice of Ikon on their first two albums .
As you listen to Michael’s project Chiron, which is the result of his collaboration with various artists, such as the original Ikon’s bass player Dino Molinaro or Melbourne producer and DJ Robert Anthony, we are offered a lot of diversity in the work of Chiron, and if you have not been previously introduced to the band, The Best Of is a great opportunity to get to know this project.
The opening track “Forgotten” is taken from their first album Eve and you can hear a bit of Ikon there, as it is Michael’s musical background, and of course, the voice! It is a track that you can describe as gothic rock and dark wave, as the first album still has that feel to it. The song is powerful in sound and Michael has always had an intense voice, a strong will and a lot of character in his performance. You will surely notice some nice guitar lines and arrangements.
But with the second track you can already feel the shift as “Losing You” is a track from their second release “Slipping Away”. Still dark but you can hear more of the electronic influence and some “scratching” from DJ Robert Anthony if you listen carefully; something you would not expect on such a track, but fits just perfectly.
One of my favourite tracks on this release is surely “Point of no Return” that really has all the hit song qualities. Still it can be labelled as gothic rock, as Eve was still very much inspired by that genre. The great chorus and arrangements, flowing and very melodic guitar lines, great work on drums as well, and Michael’s voice… what else could one need? The similar feel and equal quality persist on “Close my Eyes” and “Ascent”. “Hate” being the last track on Eve is there to announce the band’s sound evolution, suggesting more electronic sounds in future; it is dark, more experimental and electronic, like some of the future work of Chiron. We can hear that shift towards a more experimental sound that flirts with electronica and more complex influences on “Distorted”; using elements from techno, again hearing a great contribution of Robert Anthony.
“Crying in the Night” is at the top of my list; such an emotional ballad with again many influences drawn from gothic rock mixed with more modern touch, utterly melancholic, great arrangements, and very emotional lyrics, and not to forget the so well played guitar solo!
I am still in doubts if “Crying in the Night” or “Night in Cairo” should win the first place on my Chiron top list. “Night in Cairo” is such a vibrant and vivid song, so alive, so melodic again, very danceable track, and the guitar is fighting for listener’s attention with Michael’s voice here, but sorry Michael, the guitar wins this time.
The last two tracks “Love Is” and “Visions”, taken from Slipping Away album again show the new direction of Chiron’s sound evolution. They are more experimental, more electronic, but still keeping the dark feel. This time Michael shares his “space” with a beautiful female voice, and they work together just perfectly.