The 7-headed, 14-legged creation that is Aonia comprises a dual-wield of ‘sopranos with balls’ as vocalists, along with shredding twin axes, symphonic keys and driving drums and bass – for fans of operatic metal, power metal, progressive metal and NWOBHM. Aonia’s tsunami of sound is a blend of the very old and the very new – a tempered steel in a velvet glove. Aonia is starting to be climb the ladder of the heavy metal scene, supporting touring acts such as Canadian power metallers and Bloodstock veterans Kobra and the Lotus. Most recently, the band has been booked to play the acclaimed ‘Dames of Darkness’ festival in Wolverhampton 9-10 May 2015.
On 25/7/14, Aonia released their second EP, ‘Sunchaser’, on July 25th, 2014 to critical acclaim –among other praise, most notably, the EP has been nominated for the TBFM ‘Best EP of 2014’ award.
The band’s 2013 addition of a second operatically trained vocalist and full, orchestrated, more technical keyboards give more depth and create an intricate tapestry of sound and the band is excited to capture the magic produced live in CD form. In addition, Simon ‘Gimli’ Cliffe’s decades of expertise with mixing and recording have given the EP an arresting and unique sound, full of bombast and drama.
Rising phoenix-like from the ashes of the band ‘Cathexis’, Aonia was formed by drummer Tony Gaskell and vocalist Melissa Adams in 2010. The first step was a name change, forced by an American ‘Cathexis’ being signed. Tony had ‘a book full of interesting words’ and so ‘Aonia’ was chosen for its meaning – loosely, ‘where the muses dwell’. A serene image to be sure – juxtaposed against driving riffs and thundering drums.
James (guitar) joined soon after. Gary (bass) joined the band in January of 2012 and Przemek ‘Slick’ Druzkowski (guitar) joined in February of 2013, after clocking up years of experience in signed bands in Poland. In mid-April of 2013 the band decided to add a second vocalist, Joanne Robinson – another operatically trained colorartura soprano – to the line-up, to further differentiate themselves from the rest of the metal world. And then there were seven: in May of 2013, Tim ‘The Machine’ Hall, with 20 years of gigging experience, joined on keyboards, giving the band a fuller, more epic sound. With seven musicians, the scope has further widened to construct complex compositions and intricate tapestries of sound.
Aonia has been compared to artists like Therion, Avantasia, Nightwish, Within Temptation, Epica, ReVamp, After Forever, Leaves Eyes, Delain and Tarja.