Aquilla are a heavy metal band from Poland formed in 2015 releasing two E.P.'s - 'The Day We Left Earth' (2017) and 'Saviors Of The Universe' (2019). The bands debut full length album 'Mankind's Odyssey' was released in 2022.
During the bands formative couple of years, Aquilla endured a number of line-up changes, eventually stabilising with founder Pete Slammer (drums), Blash Raven (vocals), Hippie Banzai (bass), Kris Invader (guitars), and Chris Scanner (guitars). The band have opened for bands such as Skull Fist, Striker, and Manilla Road, performed at the 2018 Helicon Metal Festival (in Poland), the 2019 Trveheim Festival Vol. 4 (in Germany), and the 2021 Heavy Rock Total Festival (also in Germany).
2022 brings forth new horizons for the band, most notably the release of their debut album 'Mankind's Odyssey' - the first instalment in the bands story driven universe, which is to be further developed on future releases. But briefly, the bands universe is their "futuristic story of mankind that left Earth and ventures through the unknown in order to find a new place to live long and prosper". So now you know what the lyrical theme of the album is, let's explore the music...
...all forty five minutes and ten songs - 'Echoes Of The Past', an eerie one minute spoken word intro setting the scene for what is to follow - and what follows is the blistering opening salvo 'Arrival'. Hitting hard with incredible pace, the band tear through 'Arrival' with a power metal urgency blended with the classic gallop of traditional heavy metal. 'Arrival' is gonna turn heads and make listeners all over the world take notice of this Polish five piece, as they march on with the faster paced 'Pathfinder'. The electrifying pace settles down a little as 'Pathfinder' finds it stride, but boy does it hit hard! In fact, both the opening songs have hit very hard, displaying an incredible urgency, and a melodious intent higher than the Varso Tower in Warsaw. Moving into melodic metal territory, 'Scarlet Skies' is a mid tempo majestic swagger. Pure and unabashed heavy metal is what Aquilla are all about, with the albums first three songs fitting their remit perfectly - the infectious level sky high.
And with the accelerator firmly pressed down, Aquilla roar on with 'The Awakening', a more hustle and bustle type of romp, yet losing nothing of the incredible melodious streak the band have stretched right through this album from start to finish. If you're looking for a slice of heavy metal to exercise your neck muscles, you won't go too far wrong with 'Mankind's Odyssey' - head bang-able opportunities coming thick and fast. With a sudden and dramatic upturn in energy and oomph, 'Rapt In Darkness' storms off at high velocity, scorching the Earth as it whizzes by. 'Rapt In Darkness' does change pace for a breather, but what a fucking breathless gallop this album has been so far! And with no sign of the energy and oomph dissipating, 'Intersection' takes over the baton and sprints on. With a heavier vibe than anything heard so far, 'Intersection' plants two feet firmly on the monitor, coasting by at a head bangingly addictive pace. And to be honest, if you haven't been head banging since the album began, what have you been doing?
At over six minutes in length 'Saviors Of The Universe' is the longest song on offer, maintaining the albums incredible melodious streak, along with a very lively pace. Where Aquilla get their energy from is any ones guess, but I'm hoping they've still got some left in the tank for there are still a couple of songs left to go! The first of which is the two minute instrumental 'New Dawn Of Evadera' - creating an air of tension filled anticipation. The final song is a re-recorded version of the bands debut single 'Zero', released in 2016, although this version is titled 'Zero (2021)'. And what a blistering song it is too - an urgent high velocity rampage of all out pace, 'Zero (2021)' brings the curtain down on a phenomenal album of traditional metal blended with European power metal nuances.
Overall, a fast paced and highly infectious journey of head bang-able heavy metal, 'Mankind's Odyssey' is a cracking debut. - FRENZY FIRE
Release Date: Feb 22, 2022
FFO: Enforcer, Skull Fist, Scanner
Location: Warsaw, Poland
Label: Ossuary Records
Aquilla was founded in 2015 in the heart of Poland, and its capital city — Warsaw. It was built from the ashes of a previous, garage thrash metal band, which also acted as a training ground for rehearsals, songwriting, playing live shows, and everything that a band has to master. The founding stone of Aquilla is the love for old-fashioned heavy and speed metal.
"Our initial movement was heavily inspired by bands known under the banner of New Wave of British Heavy Metal and New Wave of Traditional Heavy Metal with entries like Skull Fist, Enforcer, Riot, Randy , and Angel Witch among many others."
Aquilla's main theme is a blend of science-fiction and 80s aesthetics. Every aspect from lyrics to stage performance is connected by our original lore inspired by both old-school and nowadays pictures such as 2001: Space Odyssey, Dune, Alien, Blade Runner or Interstellar .
We want to bring to the audience our futuristic story of mankind that left Earth and ventures through the unknown in order to find a new place to live long and prosper. To highlight and better present our vision, Aquilla puts great pressure on full of energy, bringing the 80's nostalgia live shows."
Despite some line-up changes, the band’s roster always lined up friends from the local metal community and in 2018 it established with Blash Raven on vocals, Chris Scanner on rhythm guitars, Kris Invader on lead guitars, Hippie Banzai on bass, and Pete Slammer on drums. Throughout the years of Aquilla’s existence, they played numerous gigs across Poland. Years of presence in the polish underground granted them opportunities to play as a supporting act for bands like Skull Fist, Striker, Manilla Road (on a warm-up show), and Crystal Viper . They were also to play with Gloryhammer, Cauldron and Sabire , but due to the coronavirus pandemic and other circumstances, those performances didn’t get to happen. Aquilla also got to be a part of the first edition of Helicon Metal Festival , which is one of the biggest underground heavy metal-oriented festivals in Poland.
In 2019, they had their abroad debut on Trveheim Festival Vol. 4 , one of the most prominent festivals centered around NWOTHM and NWOBHM in Germany. There they had an opportunity to play alongside bands like Enforcer, Tokyo Blade, Glacier, Riot V, Stallion and many others. After the festival they were featured on its social media page as their personal highlight of the year. Shortly after that, the pandemic struck, and they were forced to stop playing gigs with some exceptions, like Heavy Rock Total ! Festival in 2021 in Leipzig. Thankfully, corona did not have only a negative side. Thanks to the world slowing down and additional free time, they were able to focus all of their work power on composing and recording Aquilla’s debut LP album — Mankind’s Odyssey , a first installment in their story-driven universe, which is to be further developed on future releases.
With a great help of their befriended labels, Ossuary Records & Jawbreaker Records , the album is set to release on 22.02.2022 (CD) and on vinyls and tapes at a later date.
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