Aonia – City Of Shadows EP [2009]

Band: Aonia
Album: City of Shadows EP
Release year: 2009
Genre: Symphonic Metal/Power Metal

Aonia, named after the land held sacred to the Muses in Greek mythology, are a six piece female-fronted symphonic/power metal band from Worksop, United Kingdom.

The title track “City Of Shadows” is the first track of the EP. The introduction is very dark sounding, with a combination of a dark symphonic section and a light guitar riff. The track only gets better when the guitars turn aggressive. The drums give the track that extra edge as well. The vocals have are greatly contrasted from high-pitched operatic vocals to more hard rock-styled vocals. The guitar solo keeps the track interesting as well. “Gift of the Curse” comes next with a melodic intro riff. A second guitar, keyboards and drums soon join in leading into the onslaught of metal that is due to come. The drums are extremely intelligently played on this track. The guitar solo is masterfully performed on this track. It’s good to see that the epic sound from the first track has carried on.

The next is ”Prophecy of the Fallen Kingdom”. The intro, straight away, sounds sagaic. The riffs are powerful and astounding. This track, in terms of vocals, has more emphasis on the operatic vocals, which is a pleaser for anyone who is a fan of operatic vocals in metal. The fourth track of the EP is “Rabbit Hole”, which begins with a different sound to the previous three tracks. The riffs sound slightly more violent. Piano medleys can be heard through out the track, which contrast well alongside the cutthroat riffs and aggressive drums. The piano medley just over half way through is perhaps the best section of the track, bringing a certain calm before the storm that is the guitar solo shreds its way in.

“Liberate Mei” is the second to last track of the EP. The guitars domineer their way in straight from the start, along side the drums. The vocals contrast beautifully from an aggressive styled vocal section to the angelic operatic vocals. The guitar solo is expertly performed, making the track more fast paced and brutal. The final track of the EP is “The Song”, which starts with a heavy, slow-paced melodic intro. The track eventually turns fast paced, with some technical sections from the guitars. The keyboards bring a very symphonic sound to the track, working well with the brutal onslaught on the guitars and drums. The vocals are still going strong as well, thankfully.

It would be a mistake to describe Aonia as a band similar to Nightwish, as Aonia clearly have their own defined sound. With masterfully composed riffs and powerful vocals, City Of Shadows is a must have EP for any fan of female-fronted metal.

5/5

Nico Davidson

5 Responses to “Aonia – City Of Shadows EP [2009]”

  1. I do agree to a certain extent, they have good riffs and tight structure.
    I have seen this band live and they were nothing like i expected, the whole band seemed to be fighting for the stage especially the guitarist and bassist who seemed to be almost fighting for the stage!
    As a whole: lead singer needs to work on her low notes as i felt she did not quite hit them that well, bassist needs to play less! you can’t have a bassist who plays like a guitarist, i thought bassists were meant to keep the rhythm with the drummer! not noodle about all the time!, the guitarist with the long hair needs to up his game, i may be mistaken but i remember him hitting notes that to me did not sound right, the younger guitarist really needs to stop showing off! it’s as though there are two bands here, one with him and then the other guys, maybe look for someone of the majority of the bands age? and the drummer, well, he does what a drummer is meant to do and does it well.

    • I only discovered this band recently so I’ve not seen them live. Apparently they’ve got two new guitarists but they might not be new to you if you’ve seen them recently.
      I agree that bassists shouldn’t be acting like guitarists. Young guitarists always have a habit of showing off. In my town, at the local jam night, there’s usually one or two guitarists that get up on the stage, do their stuff and show off and act cocky about it.

      -Nico

  2. Bear in mind, Neil, that you saw us on the first gig with the new line-up while everyone was still finding their feet. We’d suddenly grown from a four piece to a six piece and had been together with that line-up for about one month – so of course we were going to be a little clumsy onstage. We get stronger and tighter with every gig we play.

    As I said to you on the night, I am working with my vocal coach to strengthen my low notes. You’ve had your say in your review and you’ve obviously decided that you don’t like us, which is fair enough – but what I don’t understand is why you have to be so negative here, where we’ve had some really lovely positive feedback? Can’t you let people make up their minds for themselves?

    Mel (vox)

  3. Having seen this band recently in there home town, I am inclined to lean towards the review given here by Neil.

    I have also heard there EP, which was handed to me at another gig. Live, they sound very differant from there EP, (possibly down to numerous takes in the studio.) The vocals at times are very out of key, specially on the lower end of things.

    The rest of band again seem to want all the stage for themselves, fighting for the limelight. This effects there playing at times, playing a fair few errors.

    To get themselves from the local pub scene and onto the large gigs, this band would need to really work together as band, and not as 5 or 6 people who take to a stage and make music.

    Good EP, very disapointing live.

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