Review by Rick Ossian
I must confess being somewhat befuddled by Aonia‘s latest Facebook status, that of Unsigned. Either they are avoiding labels like the plague, or, like some, they don’t believe in labels – big or small. These upstarts should be signed in no time at all if that is their wish, but hopefully not if that is what they don’t want. Let us commence, then, shall we? When the title track to this worthy six-track slaying of the senses comes ripping out of your speakers, you will want to stand up and shout! Vocalist Melissa is top-notch, somewhere between a siren-clad banshee and a wailing Vampirella with Tarja-esque twists. Her cohorts, James on guitars, Gary on bass, and Tony on drums – with keys performed by vocalist Melissa – are no slouches either. According to their bio, they hail from Worksop, and continue to reside there.
Gift of the Curse, second up on this voluminous extended player, begins with a cool enough guitar figure and angelic backing vocals. Then, at about 45 seconds in, they begin to rock out! There is a very urgent sense to this ‘operatic metal‘ of theirs. Double bass thump on the drums? Check! Shredding guitars? Check! Angelic/demonic vocals? Check check and double check. The unerring vampiric imagery of ‘wine glasses filled with wolfsbane‘ is rather nice, too!
Prophecy of the Fallen Kingdom not only sports a particularly bad-ass title; it also includes the classic Iron Maiden gallop that most of us know and love so well. There are two instances of it, and it brings to mind another quote from the bio: “A smooth distortion of mythic metal”. And did I mention what a cool title?
Down the Rabbit Hole, at just over six minutes, is the proggiest tune in length here. It features a clock intro and a cool jam at about the half way point. Liberate Mae is almost thrashy in contrast to most of the other work here. It practically races out of the gates at breakneck lurch, rocking out a cool breakdown and an operatic ending.
The Song features more angelic vocals (or are they demonic? You decide) and is that a harpsichord I hear about two-and-a-half minutes in? Lurch indeed! Fans of any female-fronted Teutonic-type metal will definitely want to check out Aonia!