Aziola Cry is an instrumental trio from Chicago consisting of Chapman Stick®, guitar, and drums. It is this unique line-up and interplay between the Stick® and guitar that help define the band’s sound. The numerous time-signature changes and moody tempo shifts in their compositions are all a part of the overall goal of telling a story through music.
The band was formed in 2004 when Chapman Stick® player, Jason Blake, sought out musicians to play the new music that he had written. This search yielded local guitarist, Mike Milaniak and longtime collaborator/drummer, Tim Stickradt. The band then entered the studio to begin recording their debut CD. The result was “Ellipsis”, an eight-song album that tells the story of loss and inner turmoil. Touted as “quite a monumental album”, “timeless” and “highly recommended”, their debut album received rave reviews while setting the stage for what was to come from the band.
For their next CD, the band decided to record a twenty-two minute epic song that is divided into three parts. Entitled, “Ghost Conversations”, it is a tale of affirmation and self reflection. “The album works as the final chapter of the “Ellipsis” story,“ Blake said, “It also finishes a chapter in the band’s writing which is why the stories tie together.”
The band has already written music for a new full length album and expects to get in the studio sometime later this year. “The next album is going to take the sound of the first two recordings a step further,” Blake explained, “The concept of the album will be unlike anything that we have done up to this point.”
“Ellipsis” is a quite monumental album, the work of high-quality instrumental techno-prog metal. I listened to it almost without drawing breath.” – Vasiliy Zavorochaev (Progressor)
"I really don’t hear a weakness in this debut, in fact it’s one of the better all instrumental debuts I’ve heard in years. I think the heavy sound makes Ellipsis something more of a product of today’s musical society but Aziola Cry counterbalances that element with atmospheric and acoustic sounds without losing any of its compositional strength. To me this makes it, dare I say timeless.” – Ron Fuchs (Prognaut)
"...with Ellipsis, Aziola Cry have produced an original piece of work. There's not a dull moment on this CD... a very interesting album indeed." – Marc Roy (Proggnosis)
"...by the end the ride has been so captivating that you'll find yourself ready to start it all over again." – Gary Hill (Music Street Journal)
“Highly energetic but yet at the same time colliding with gloom riddled intent, Ellipsis is a journey through the unknown, the type of unknown that sparks curiosity to those who bestow it’s mysterious finery.” – Tommy Hash (Ytsejam)
“I love intelligent music that challenges me. Here’s a good example. Highly recommended.” – Ken Golden (The Laser's Edge)
"Aziola Cry have created a solid and highly worthy debut that will likely appeal to fans who like adventurous and artistic music with a heavy rock slant" – Sputnik (Progressive Ears)
“It’s hard to believe that “Ellipsis” is the first effort of its creators. This is a varied album, delivered with taste and deliberate confidence. Highly impressive!” – Vitaly Menshikov (Progressor)
“…seriously good, forceful, well composed and arranged instrumental music, superbly produced, that will give great pleasure if you want it on the meaty side.” – Andy Garibaldi (Dead Earnest)
“In the last years, I have rarely heard a debut album as convincing.” – Dennis Egbers (Babyblaue Seiten)
“I can’t rave enough about this album.” – Bill Knispel (ProgScape)
“This all-instrumental CD is an impressive showcase for the trio’s challenging brand of adventurous metal.” – Mark Newman (Progression Magazine)