Archive for Operatic Metal

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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Aonia recruit keyboardist after extensive search

Posted in News with tags , , , , , , , , on 30th May 2013 by Nico Solheim-Davidson

After a long search for a new keyboardist, the UK’s goth-opera metal band Aonia have recruited Tim “The Machine” Hall to take on keyboard duties. Tim will be making his début with Aonia tomorrow night at The Hall Cross in Doncaster. Aonia vocalist and founding member Melissa comments on the recent recruitment of Tim:

He’s a really nice and talented guy with spades of experience and is immeasurably professional – he’s going to add a whole new dimension to the music while still keeping it Aonia – and it’s going to be epic! With Slick‘s talent and creativity and Jo‘s angelic voice, the three new members we’ve added in 2013 are going to take us to a whole new level of awesome.

Aonia’s full show schedule for this year is as follows:

31st May – DONCASTER – Hall Cross Pub
29th June – HULL – Metieval Festival
12th July – SHEFFIELD – The Dove and Rainbow
13th July – BRIDLINGTON – Shades Nightclub
27th August – NOTTINGHAM – The Maze
29th August – REDCAR – The Apsire
7th September – BRIDLINGTON – Valk-Fest Fundraiser
2nd November – WHITBY – Whitby Goth Weekend
30th November – BRIDLINGTON – Valkyrian Festival 2013

Aonia online:

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

Meden Agan – Erevos Aenaon (Album)

Posted in CD, Metal with tags , , , , on 2nd May 2012 by tobiasgray

Band: Meden Agan
Album: Erevos Aenaon
Release date: September 2011
Genre: Symphonic Metal
Label: Unsigned

Greek symphonic metal band Meden Agan release their debut long player, ‘Erevos Aenaon’.  An independently released album featuring 9 tracks (plus three ‘extended versions’ to make 12 tracks total,) of keyboard led, operatic metal.  Meden Agan have shared the billing with bands such as ‘Lacuna Coil’, ‘Epica’, ‘Xandria’ and ‘Delain’ amongst others and as such should grant you a pretty good idea of what to expect from this release.

Since Nightwish blew the doors open for female fronted, bombastic metal with an operatic flavour back in 2004 (‘Once‘), many bands have aspired to their success.  Festivals have even been created especially to cater to fans wanting to see all female-fronted metal.  There are fans of all ages drawn to the accessibility of symphonic/power metal, but in the same breath others are repelled by the very same aspects of the genre.  Meden Agan know the staples that make good operatic metal, they incorporate the riffs and keyboard flourishes you’d expect of the genre, and they have two very strong talents in singer Iliana Tsakiraki and keyboardist Tolis Mikroulis.  The only issue is that Meden Agan are just…good.

There are fans who will soak this album in like a sponge and love every grandiose sing along chorus; but for the fair weather listener, it’s the self-same  chugging riffs, keyboard introductions and grandiose chorus’ heard on albums by any of the bands listed above.  The songs are well written with an ear for harmony and note perfect melodies by soprano  Iliana Tsakiraki, ‘Dissolve Into Grey’ displays the excellent musicianship of both guitars and keyboards, and album highlight ‘Tribute To Life’ shows what potential there is for true greatness if the band were to take a few more risks.

Erevos Aenaon‘ is a strong starting point for a band in their ascendency.  With a little more originality and a little less adherence to the genre’s clichés, Meden Agan should be appearing at metal festivals all around Europe in the future.

3.5/5

Tobias Gray

Aonia – City Of Shadows EP [2009]

Posted in CD, Metal with tags , , , , , , , , , , on 12th June 2011 by Nico Solheim-Davidson

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