Atmospheric rock meets world music for psychedelia of a darker kind, the pulsing rhythms a canvas for emotional vocal melodies and catchy, shiny guitar lines, a fusion like a Robert Smith and Robert Plant fever dream in Bombay...


Emotionally resonant, awash with middle-eastern mysticism and a dreamy, dangerous sensuality, Canada's ARIEL continue to evolve as both a band and a musical aesthetic. Formed in the early half of 1995, ARIEL's unique sound and ideals was the product of vocalist/guitarist Ali Jafri and bass player Peter Emmett's shared interest in film, music, literature and spirituality. Late night discussions on philosophy and art would lead to smokey candle lit jams resulting in their first album, the independent cassette "Looks Like Rain" - a critically acclaimed release that landed the young band a spot on stage at Lollapalooza '95, at that point only their fourth official gig adding percussionist/key- boardist Laird Hurley to the lineup.

The following year Jafri and Emmett connected with drummer Dan Gamble, relocating from Ottawa to the competitive cutthroat streets of Toronto and in no time getting the attention of local ambient/darkwave indie label Plan Eleven (Parade, Roger O'Donnell formerly of the Cure). Their first release on the Plan Eleven imprint was the haunting, epic WITHDRAWN, a disc that not only garnered rave reviews, extensive college radio airplay and chart action, but also firmly locked in a near obsessive Canadian fan base. ARIEL with their powerful performances broke barriers and became the darlings of the thriving late 90's Toronto Indie, Rock, and Goth scenes, thus leading to high profile performances with David J of BAUHAUS fame, King Cobb Steelie at NXNE (industry festival and conference), and with Manchester UK's highly influential Chameleons UK.

During this time, songwriter and unofficial leader Jafri began getting deeper in touch with his Pakistani/Sufi heritage and started experimenting with tablas, frame drums and lyrics penned in his native Urdu. This further exploration of Jafri's eastern roots, inspired a more dramatic response in the band, resulting in ARIEL's second, soaring, expansive album BIG TO THE SKY. This intense, mini masterpiece of emotional dissonance and world music/modern rock fusion further secured the bands status as true musical innovators.... artists masquerading as rock stars.

It's 2007, and ARIEL are now older and wiser. Jafri and Hurley are now both proud fathers and as the band continues to progress and thrive, they find themselves responding musically to not only their changing personal and artistic lives but the ever-evolving socio- political world that surround them. These are highly charged, dangerous times and this newfound maturity, cynical awareness and sharper world view is reflected in their upcoming, highly anticipated new EP SUBLUNAR, a 4 track CD co-produced by the legendary Rob Sanzo (Dee Dee ramone, Rhea's Obsession, Malhavoc). SUBLUNAR features guest performances by Ed Hanley (autorickshaw) on tabla, Yakudo Japanese Taiko Drummers, and a cover illustration by bizarre visual artist Brandon Cronenberg. Masterdisk's Roger Lian of New York City has put the cherry on top as the celebrated mastering engineer (Smashing Pumpkins, Deftones, Rob Zombie) has finished the job.

Keep your eyes and ears open for news on a CD release, and a video release. Young director Brandon Cronenberg (son of acclaimed director David Cronenberg) cuts his teeth on the new ARIEL video for the song "Empty House", the lead of track for the upcoming EP SUBLUNAR to be released later this year.


Sati Mati

Written By: Ali Jafri

*Note:This track does not necessarily reflect any religious or spiritual views of any members of the band, it is a commentary, and story telling of the forbidden practice of "sati", widow burning.*

She gave herself away
Sacrificed herself
To the flames

They breathe her
New name

Sati Mati

She doesn't want to go
To the city of ten thousand widows
She steps on to the funeral pyre

Looking for some unification
Looking for some purification
A transformation to a diety...

Sati Mati
Sati Mati

Sati Mati
Sati Mati
She's a diety

She doesn't want to go
To the city of ten thousand widows
You realize your nothingness
When you unify with the infinite

She doesn't want to go
To the city of ten thousand widows
You realize your nothingness
When you unify with the infinite...


Looks Like Rain: cassette (1995)
Withdrawn: CD (1997)
Various Artists: Some Candy Talking (Tribute to the Jesus and Mary Chain)
Various Artists: News From Nowhere (featuring Plan Eleven artists, Roger O'Donnel of the Cure, An April March, Parade...)
Big To The Sky: CD (1999)
Sublunar: CD (coming 2006)

Set List

All original songs, have more than 30 songs to choose from when planning a set.
Setlist often changes, usually 30-45 mins, we are
versatile, have stripped down the set for accoustic
only, have incorporated 9 piece Japanese Taiko Drum group, have played conventional sets for industry showcases, and played experimental 3X1 hour sets for raves etc.

Favourite set lists may appear as:

Thickest Walls
Empty House
The Death of Me
Tumharay Liyeh