A delayed review, for which we offer our apologies to the wonderful ladies and gentlemen of Aonia… but here are a few words on their recent release The Seven. We’ve been following the band for ages, and were blown away by their well-deserved spot at Bloodstock 2018. Time to see how their powerful metal-meets-opera tones transfer to digital media.
Very well, it may come as no surprise to hear. Aonia’s trademark twin vocals, courtesy of Mel and Jo, could so easily overwhelm the musical backing but the mix is spot on and despite the power of their vocal cords the other band members get their chance to shine, too.
Opener “Sold My Soul” had me thinking of… something. I couldn’t put my hand on it, but I just think it’s the lyrics “I sold my soul to rock and roll” which have been used, in some form or another, in countless tracks. Add Aonia’s take to very good company (Bullet, Bette Midler and others)! There song has way more music, though, clocking in at over seven minutes.
Indeed, if you like longer tracks then you won’t be disappointed in the songs on The Seven. Most clock in at around five minutes with the closing number, “Hyde and Seek”, pushing past 12 minutes. Thing is, despite the long running time, none of them drag. There’s either an impressive set of vocal pipes to impress, a solid beat being thundered, or a widdly guitar solo grabbing your attention.
The best way to enjoy The Seven is to just let it wash over you. Despite the power contained within, it’s been harnessed by solid songwriting and sensible production. Songs like “Wake Up, Lucretia!” could batter or overwhelm in less capable hands, but instead they wrap their big musical arms around you and envelop you in metal comfort.
It’s hard to pick a favourite song, partly as the whole album feels like the soundtrack to a musical and everything just clicks together. However, I love the Halloween-like guitar riff (and guest vocals from Blaze f’ing Bayley!) in “Still, I Rise”. The tail end with both ladies singing different parts and Bayley simultaneously rattling off his vocals is absolute magic.
The Seven may have been out for a little while now, but that’s no reason not to grab a copy for yourself. If you fancy a CD, they’re selling them from their website (digital download included or available as a separate purchase), or you can stream it from the usual sites that rip bands off (hint – buy the CD… always buy the CD).