Archive for Aonia

Aonia – Sunchaser [EP]

Posted in CD, Metal with tags , , , , , on 28th July 2014 by mickbirchy

Aonia
Sunchaser [EP]
Operatic metal
Self-released on 25th July 2014

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I’ll start with this, this is a good EP, the writing is solid, the band sounds tight and the overall tone is excellent.  For fans of the genre of symphonic/melodic metal this is well worth picking up.  This is not to say that it’s without flaw, but it’s pretty entertaining in it’s own right.  Aonia are a group from Worksop, England and have had some buzz on the under the radar scene for a bit, I have heard of them before but have not had the chance to listen to the until now.  With their new EP Sunchaser in towe, hopefully this will give them some sort of traction.

This EP is packed with good riffs, melodies harmonies and solos.  I was particularly impressed with the quality of the music straight off the bat with the title track Sunchaser, with an intense yet enchanting atmosphere that is kept although the EP, this tune is an excellent starter to become acquainted with Aonia.  The production overall is nice, a little rough around the edges but gives a generally good vibe.  The use of the synth and keys is also executed very well in terms of the music, Aonia, gets a thumbs up from me.

There is one part of the EP that I haven’t really talked about, the vocals.  Not that they’re bad, just a little underwhelming.  When I looked up the band before hearing this EP, I thought “two vocalists, I wonder how they use this in their music”.  The short answer is they don’t really use it to any sort of advantage, either both vocalists sound very similar and they using a layered vocal effect in production or they’re singing in unison because I couldn’t make out the two singer structure that is supposed to be here.  Also they aren’t very well produced and on some moments of this EP, the vocals get lost in the music and it’s hard hear them.  However, the singing is executed really well, I just feel it could have been a bit more dynamic and added  something a little more interesting to the already enjoyable.

Overall, this is a pretty decent EP.  Aonia really come out of the gates swinging with an interesting and atmospheric sound that I’m sure is translated well in to live performances.  I think with a bit of fine tuning to the production and maybe some tweaks to the vocals, they could be a name to look out for in the symphonic/melodic metal genre.

3/5

Mick Birchall

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Greenfire confirmed as latest addition to Valk-Fest 2014

Posted in News with tags , , , , , , , , on 13th June 2014 by Nico Solheim-Davidson

VFPoster

Already boasting a monumental line-up featuring the likes of Scotch black metal royals Cnoc An Tursa, Azylya from Belgium and Dutch progressive powerhouse Ex Libris, Valkyrian Festival is proud to announce the addition of Manchester-based posh rockers Greenfire to this year’s bill.

The festival, which is now sponsored by Neue Regal Radio as well as Wolf Band Management, The Crypt of Curiosities and Black Phoenix Rising Metal Forum, is in aid of Rape Crisis. Weekend and day tickets are available from this location. The event is set to take place at Basement (Formerly Shades Nightclub) in Bridlington from Friday 21st November to Sunday 23rd November. The event is an all-ages event.

The full line-up for Valkyrian Festival 2014 is as follows:

Fri. 21st November
CNOC AN TURSA (Headliner) – Bharghest (Main Support) – Drekavac – Exile The Traitor – Crooked Lizard (Opener)

Sat. 22nd November
AZYLYA (Headliner) – Sakara (Main Support) – Sorronia – Northern Oak – Badge – Chemikill – Mørktår – Divided We Fall – Clunge Hammer

Sun. 23rd November
EX LIBRIS (Headliner) – Reign of Fury (Main Support) – Wretched Soul – Ethereal – Aonia – Alice In Thunderland – Enkelination – Tears of Martyr – Greenfire – Synchronix – Avalon

Interview with Liv Kristine [Leaves’ Eyes]

Posted in Interview with tags , , , , , , , , , on 20th February 2014 by Nico Solheim-Davidson

LeavesEyes-Manchester-2014 224

Valkyrian Music editor Nico catches up Leaves’ Eyes vocalist Liv Kristine for a fourth interview, where the two talk about the new Leaves’ Eyes album Symphonies of the Night as well as Liv’s recent collaboration with Savn and keeping to the tradition, a discussion about Game of Thrones as well.

Nico: It’s nice to meet you again Liv, how are you doing?

Liv: Nice to meet you. I’m very good, how are you?

Nico: I’m pretty good, thanks.

Liv: That’s good to hear.

Nico: First question is a bit of a generic, obvious one: how has the tour gone so far?

Liv: Absolutely amazing. We played in Nottingham last night. It was our first time in Nottingham and we had a fully packed venue. It was such a warm welcoming. And Cardiff was great as well. Really really nice. So this was such a nice beginning of 2014. 2013 was so busy, really busy. So being back in the UK is just lovely.

Nico: Good to hear. The new album Symphonies of the Night focuses on female figures from both history and literature. How did this concept come about? Because it’s not a concept that is usually found in the metal scene.

Liv: Well that is probably due to the fact that I’m writing all the lyrics. I’ve always been interested in languages, literature and Viking mythology as we talked about last time in the last interview. But this time I thought that Symphonies of the Night has a very strong and delicate side to it. “The Beauty and the Beast” concept is very very strong on this album. Eileen’s Ardency and Saint Cecelia were the first two songs composed for this album and there you go: you have two female characters already. And I thought “all right, this is a very good starting point!” I told my band members and they were like: “yes, lovely! We’ll go for that!

Nico: It’s an interesting concept. It’s somewhat fresh and new for the metal scene as well, which is good because today there are a lot more females who are becoming fans of metal, whereas back in the ’80 it was more male-oriented.

Liv: Yes, definitely!

Nico: Obviously now you’ve got more bands with female vocalists showing up on the scene. Obviously you guys in Leaves’ Eyes, Epica, Nightwish et cetera as well as lesser known bands like Aonia, Hell City from Belgium, Azylya from Belgium, Ex Libris from Holland et cetera. While we are on the topic of the new album, how’s the reception been from both the media and the fans?

Liv: It’s been fantastic. It feels very comfortable to stand where I’m standing with my band right now, and also last year we had our 10 year anniversary. Before starting to compose new songs, in 2012, we all sat down and talked about what to do and what concept, musical direction and all that. And I just said ok, we have a 10 year anniversary so feel free everybody to let in any influence you would like into music. And that’s what happened: we just went with the creative flow. We’ve been very open minded about this production and I think that was a healthy and sound way to do it. So it feels great and the feedback from both press and fans, friends all over the world has just been fantastic. It sums up all the good things about Leaves’ Eyes. Some journalist said, and to me as well, that it’s the perfect beginning of another 10 years of Leaves’ Eyes.

Nico: Personally I enjoyed the new album. It’s something different, compared to previous Leaves’ Eyes albums.

Liv: It is!

Nico: Like Vinland Saga and Njord being more Viking influenced and Symphonies of the Night focuses on something completely different to many people. Folk would be possible, I don’t know if that’s the correct term to use.

Liv: Yes I know what you mean. Me and my band members, we saw how the creative process went on and how the album came together. We saw that there was a new direction to it, with many new elements in our music. A new concept, new lyrics and all that. But still, it’s Leaves’ Eyes! That’s the good thing about it! We don’t have to invent ourselves again because I’ve been around for 20 years and the members even longer. Everything is based on experience and love towards music. That’s it.

Nico: That’s the way to go. Speaking of Leaves’ Eyes, Leaves’ Eyes and Atrocity have been touring together recently. How did this idea occur?

Liv: I think it’s a nice idea, it’s a good idea. Although it’s tough to do double time every night. It’s a lot of work, a lot of sweat. Atrocity’s latest album Okkult is a pure death metal album and I think that’s a very nice contrast in the live program. I enjoy that more than Atrocity playing Work 80 because I don’t think that would fit so well with Leaves’ Eyes.

Nico: You’ll be playing the 70,000 tons of Metal festival soon. Are you looking forward to that?

Liv: Very much! I’ll be travelling with my whole family so I’m really looking forward to that.

Nico: The last two interviews have always ended up with something regarding Game of Thrones, so to stick to tradition: what’s your favourite moment in Game of Thrones?

Liv: Oh I can tell you what was not my favourite moment! That was the final scene of the last season: The Red Wedding. I was shocked!

Nico: When I read it in the books I was picturing so many different ways that they could do it in the television series and they just completely shocked me. They did it so brilliantly.

Liv: Yeah, absolutely. It’s brilliantly done but I didn’t want it to be that way! *laughs*

Nico: Rob Stark is young, a bit arrogant and stuff but they could’ve at least spared him for a little bit longer.

Liv: Exactly. My favourite moment… Hmm… There are just too many of them. I really love the series. But still, I was shocked after the final scene of the latest season. I couldn’t sleep! *laughs*

Nico: Just for the fun of it, another Game of Thrones question: if you could write a song about any event in the Game of Thrones universe, which one would it be and why?

Liv: Oh I would love to write a songs about the wolf pack. The boy seeing through the eyes of the wolf.

Nico: I think that would be pretty cool actually. On to the last question. You are appearing on Savn’s debut album, which is making it the first ever collaboration with a band with your sister Carmen. Are you looking forward to it?

Liv: I’m really looking forward to it. Carmen had the idea to do a project next to Midnattsol and she gathered some very good musicians: some of them are from Sins of Thy Beloved. They came to Germany to Mastersound studio to record the first album and Carmen joined me for Eileen’s Ardency. I said in return I will join you on a song of your choice. That was a very nice thing. I’m looking forward to the album. It will remind you of the early Theatre of Tragedy days.

Nico: Sounds good.

Liv: Yes, very good.

Nico: I think I speak for a lot of fans of Liv Kristine when I say that we are looking forward to it.

Liv: Thank you very much.

Nico: You’re welcome. Thank you for your time and I hope you have a good show tonight.

Liv: I hope you will enjoy it too! Although it’s pretty cold out tonight, I think we will be sweating since we have a full house. I’m really looking forward to it. Thank you so much for being here.

Leaves’ Eyes online:

http://leaveseyes.de
http://facebook.com/leaveseyesofficial

 

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Aonia announce plans to record new EP entitled Sunchaser

Posted in News with tags , , , , , , , on 8th December 2013 by Nico Solheim-Davidson

Midlandic mythic metal septet Aonia are currently cloistered away, writing and recording their next release – a six-track mini album of just over half an hour – which is planned for release on 5th April of 2014.

In a contrast to their dark, horror-inspired first release, City of Shadows, the new ‘mini-album’, entitled Sunchaser is a mixture of the uplifting – and the angry. Aonia’s new material sees the band dipping their toes further into progressive and power metal waters, with more prominent and intricate keyboards, as well as featuring dual lead coloratura soprano vocals. Co-vocalist Mel remarks:

Adding (co-vocalist) Jo to the band has given the music a whole new depth and life and I’m so excited by it. We’ve sung together for years – classically – so we’re really comfortable with each other. Having the opportunities for harmonies and contrasts really adds something special to the music. (Guitarist) James has taken on a more prominent role with backing vocals as well, so having the tenor to balance against keeps the vocals and the music cohesive. (Bassist) Gary and (drummer) Tony keep getting tighter and tighter, trying new, adventurous and creative ideas. Finally, (guitarist) Slick can shred like a cheese grater strapped to a chainsaw and Tim’s keys add so much drama and emphasis to the music. I am so overwhelmed by how much our music has evolved since we’ve started preparing this release, while still keeping the heart of Aonia sacred.

Having joined in January of 2012, bassist Gary considers his time in Aonia:

Having a done a lot of gigs in the last 2 years, it will be nice to have some time to reflect on the songs as individual parts and hear them as they will sound in their purest form. I am also looking forward to getting the latest songs created by the new line up out there to as many people as possible. Also, it is fantastic that we are all going to be contributing to the artwork – although I imagine my bass playing skills are definitely stronger than my drawing skills!

Guitarist James is also looking forward to the final product – and this is his first recording experience, as he wasn’t in the band when City of Shadows was recorded:

Having been in the band for 3 years now, I’ve seen virtually all of the various line-up changes. I can honestly say that we as a band have never felt so secure and comfortable with each other and I’m so excited by our future – now more than ever! And I’ll be selling something that I actually wrote too, which in itself is exciting!

Keyboardist Tim also comments:

As the newest member of the band, I have been struck by the great atmosphere and rapport there is between us. The songs have such energy and we have an awesome live sound with Mel and Jo‘s vocals giving us a melodic and harmonic edge that you don’t get in other bands. The musicianship in the band is awesome and I hope I can do the songs justice – I can’t wait to finish the new EP and to play them to our fans – at the end of the day that’s what it’s all about!

Vocal recordings, along with the final mixing, will be done by Simon Cliffe of Coventry Recording Studios, who has recorded bands such as Beholder and Internal Conflict. A release party is being planned at the Frog & Nightgown, Worksop on the 5th April, 2014.

Aonia online:

http://aonia.co.uk
http://facebook.com/aoniauk

 

The northern barbarians return to Valk-Fest second year in a row

Posted in News with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on 18th June 2013 by Nico Solheim-Davidson

The northern barbarian metal quartet Shades of Avalon have been confirmed to return to this year’s Valkyrian Festival following their headline performance at last year’s Valk-Fest. The band, who have been described as Conan The Barbarian meets Amon Amarth, are excited to be return to the coast of Yorkshire on the second day of the event. Festival organiser Nick Taylor, better known by his pseudonym Nico Davidson, stated:

It’s an honour to have Shades of Avalon return for this year’s Valk-Fest – Especially after they saved last year’s following a long string of problems that popped up a week before. I’m looking forward to seeing the northern barbarians wreak havoc once again in Bridlington.

The full Valkyrian Festival line-up is as follows:

Friday 29th November:

Ravenage (Headliner)
Dead Man’s Conspiracy
Storm of Embers

Saturday 30th November

***Headliner TBA***
Nya
Narcotic Death (Special Guests)
Aonia
Old Corpse Road
Lost Effect
Shades of Avalon

Maelstrom
XIII

Sunday 1st December

***Headliner TBA***
Alice In Thunderland
Innersylum
Severed Heaven
Dakesis
Spekulus
Powercake
Terra Omnia

This year, Valkyrian Festival is in aid of RapeCrisis. Information on RapeCrisis can be found at this location. Donations can be made direct to the charity via the Valkyrian Festival JustGiving page which can be found here. Weekend tickets can be found at this location for the low price of £5 (excluding P&P).

Valkyrian Festival 2013 is now officially sponsored by online gothic and custom-made jewellery store, The Crypt Of Curiosities.

In related Valkyrian Festival news, Aonia will be headlining a Valk-Fest fundraiser at Shades Nightclub, in Bridlington on 7th September with support from Spekulus and Penance, the latter of which [performed at last year’s Valk-Fest. Further support acts to be announced and a lot more bands are still to be announced for Valkyrian Festival 2013. Further Valkyrian Festival announcements and info can be found here.

Shades of Avalon online:

http://shadesofavalon.com/
http://facebook.com/ShadesofAvalon

Lost Effect added to Valk-Fest 2013 line-up

Posted in Featured, News with tags , , , , , , , , , on 17th June 2013 by Nico Solheim-Davidson

The first in the three announcements this week, York metal act Lost Effect have been confirmed to play the second day of Valk-Fest, who have had the privilege of playing with acts such as With One Last Breath and RSJ, as well as theFALLEN and most recently, Nya. Guitarist Steve comments on the confirmation:

So we’re bringing our unique style of Melodic Metal back to Bridlington! Having worked with Valkyrian Music for a while now we’ve gotta say we’re excited to be added to the 2013 bill alongside some amazing bands! Shades Nightclub know what we’re about and we what we do and we always enjoy giving it what we’ve got there! There’s some great talent on the bill, some familiar faces we’ve gigged with before and some we haven’t, either way we can’t wait to play alongside such a great array of bands representing metal! See you down the front!

The full line-up for Valkyrian Festival, so far, is as follows:

Friday 29th November:

Ravenage (Headliner)
Dead Man’s Conspiracy
Storm of Embers

Saturday 30th November

***Headliner TBA***
Nya
Narcotic Death (Special Guests)
Aonia
Old Corpse Road
Lost Effect
Maelstrom
XIII

Sunday 1st December

***Headliner TBA***
Alice In Thunderland
Innersylum
Severed Heaven
Dakesis
Spekulus
Powercake
Terra Omnia

This year, Valkyrian Festival is in aid of RapeCrisis. Information on RapeCrisis can be found at this location. Donations can be made direct to the charity via the Valkyrian Festival JustGiving page which can be found here. Weekend tickets can be found at this location for the low price of £5 (excluding P&P).

Valkyrian Festival 2013 is now officially sponsored by online gothic and custom-made jewellery store, The Crypt Of Curiosities.

In related Valkyrian Festival news, Aonia will be headlining a Valk-Fest fundraiser at Shades Nightclub, in Bridlington on 7th September with support from Spekulus and Penance, the latter of which [performed at last year’s Valk-Fest. Further support acts to be announced and a lot more bands are still to be announced for Valkyrian Festival 2013. Further Valkyrian Festival announcements and info can be found here.

Lost Effect online:

http://losteffect.co.uk
http://facebook.com/LostEffect

Epitaph added to Metieval 2013 line-up

Posted in News with tags , , , , , on 13th June 2013 by Nico Solheim-Davidson

Hard rocking metal band Epitaph from Sheffield have been added to this year’s Metieval Festival which boasts the likes of opera-goth metal band Aonia, trad. metallers Alice In Thunderland and NWOBHM legends Avenger, amongst others. The all-day event will take place at The Piper Club in Hull on 29th June. Tickets are available for £10 in advance. The festival will also feature the first ever Metieval Aftershow party hosted by DJs Skullcrusher and Paul Brady.

Epitaph online:

https://www.facebook.com/Epitaph2011

 

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