Hamilton, ON, Canada’s AQUILA return in 2022, after taking a short vow of silence since releasing two EPs in 2020 “Valle Mortalitatis” (Feb) and “Jewel of the Empire’s Crown” (July).The band recently unleashed this past June their latest offering entitled “The Great Fire”, which continues their love affair with historical stories of the Roman Empire.
“We write about Roman events and themes like battles and certain emperors. It was brutal times back then, so the listener gets a little history lesson as well. I write my own twists and spice things up for the story in the song.” adds vocalist Mark Arruda.
“The Great Fire” is a concept record of four songs about the Roman Emperor Nero who is known for killing Christians and The Great Fire of Rome (Jul 18, 64 AD – Jul 23, 64 AD). This recording is musically the most brutal and progressive material the band has written emphasizing the METAL into METALcore once again.
“This is our best material to date. It’s brutal, heavy, and catchy and it’s a rollercoaster ride. It has the Aquila sound still with some added influences to our sound. We have matured as people and as songwriters during this time of the pandemic. To be honest, this EP saved us from going crazy during these troubled times. It helped us stay focused and motivated through it all. I hope people give it a listen, we are metal fans and metal lovers. I’ve been in metal bands since 1999 and I’m, I mean, WE are so proud of this EP.” comments Arruda.
The opening and title track “The Great Fire” starts off slow and then it explodes. It is the band’s traditional straightforward in-your-face track with a Power Trip style breakdown in the middle of the song. The lyrics are about Nero causing the fire and that he wanted it to happen. From there you enter the “Emperor’s Curse”. This song starts off brutal and it is a rollercoaster of a track, traveling into Tool-like drumming and guitars with a catchy hook at the end of it. It’s the most progressive song AQUILA has ever written and was inspired by their own song, “Bound For Glory”, from their 2009 debut album “Imperium”. After a very brutal beheading and crucifixion of Christians to Nero taking his own life, track 3 “A City Risen” is about what Nero is thinking before he takes his life or even after his death. The song is at a slower pace, but hits heavy with many hooks. “I think it’s my best vocal performance ever. I used my singing range for this one, not just straight death metal vocals for this one,” says Arruda.
EP closer, “The Plague of Galen” was written when vocalist Mark Arruda and drummer Mark McGuire reconnected just before the Covid pandemic and felt it was fitting to write a song about a plague that happened in Rome many centuries ago. The song has a melodic death metal feel to it that you can certainly headbang to. The breakdown in the middle is crushing, ending with Iron Maiden-influenced guitar playing.
With all its fury and melodic groove, “The Great Fire” is just the next taster for fans old and new alike, as the band continues writing for a full-length album to be released in the near future. The band adds:
“We want our listeners to experience the emotions on this EP, there are elements to headbang to and elements of anger and sadness as well. Each track is different from one another with a lot of hills and valleys.”
And local fans in Hamilton, ON will be able to experience them live for the first time since 2014. The band will be performing on September 2nd at Doors pub alongside Kings In Graves, With Fists Open, and Demise of Ourselves. More info here.
Recommended for fans of Gojira, Lamb of God, Killswitch Engage, and In Flames, AQUILA‘s new EP “The Great Fire”, released on June 30th is available on Spotify, Aquilametal.bandcamp.com (CD), Apple Music.
The band’s new music video for the EP’s title track can be seen and heard at:
Also read – Rockshots Records – Hilltops Are For Dreamers New Music Video “Unsoiled Soul” Off Debut Album „In Disbelief”
1. The Great Fire – 5:11
2. Emperor’s Curse – 8:15
3. A Risen City – 4:16
4. The Plague of Galen – 6:16
EP Length: 24:00
EP Recording Credits:
• All songs performed by: Aquila
• All songs written by: Aquila
• Produced by: Aquila
• Mixed by: Aquila
• Mastered by: Aquila
• EP Artwork by: Silent Q Design
• EP and Live Band Line Up:
– Mark Arruda – Vocals
– Matt McGuire – Drums
– Anthony Rimac – Guitar
– Tony Medina – Guitar
– Colin Wakil – Bass
Aquila is a Canadian metalcore band from Hamilton Ontario. The roots of their sound are from the early 2000s metal scene.
They started in 2006 with Matt McGuire (drums) and Anthony Rimac (guitarist) in Windsor Ontario. In 2009, Aquila entered the studio with Chase Bryant (current bassist for Warbringer), Matt Shelson (guitarist), and Mark Arruda (vocalist) and began working on their debut album, Imperium, with Glenn Fricker in Windsor, Ontario. From 2009 to 2013, they toured for their album across Canada, including a lengthy east and west coast tour, and multiple weekly shows in Ontario. Sharing the stage with the likes of Cryptopsy, The Agonist, Misery Index, Threat Signal, and many more, Aquila with their aggressive stage attitude can sure entertain and work the crowd.
In 2020, Aquila released 2 Eps, Valle Mortalitatis and Jewel of the Empire’s Crown. The 7 songs were recorded back in 2013 with Glenn Fricker, but were never released at that time.
Now with new guitarist Tony Medina and bassist Colin Wakil, Aquila worked hard to release a new EP called The Great Fire in 2022. The 4 songs were written, recorded, mixed, and mastered by Aquila. A video for the title track, The Great Fire, was recorded by the band as well.
“We started writing for this EP in 2020. The pandemic made it very difficult to get together. We also had to find a new guitarist. Once Tony joined the band he quickly learned the songs and started helping us record and mix ourselves. No pressure, just us in our element. I think the growth and maturity in our sound on this Ep. is obvious. This Ep is us, brutal and in your face.” – Mark Arruda – Aquila
Aquila’s latest EP “The Great Fire” was released on June 30th, 2022, and is available on all digital platforms.
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“Aquila strikes that excellent balance between aggression, heaviness, and constructing memorable earworms that keeps up listener engagement. The Great Fire embodies an ideal melodeath metalcore product – ready to take the band up from the underground into making worldwide impressions with their music.” – Dead Rhetoric (2022)
“There are plenty of great guitar solos and fills on this album, with the ones in ‘Bound For Glory’ and ‘Within These Flames’ especially standing out…. Aquila’s “Imperium” brings the fury back to metalcore, creating an album full of aggressive vocals and face-melting riffs and solos. “Imperium” is a mostly great debut from a band that’s hopefully on its way to even greater heights.” – Metal Underground (2010)
“A notable difference between Aquila and other Southern Ontario bands is that they thrash throughout their songs, have great guitar leads and refrain from plastering breakdowns throughout their music. They keep it raw and interesting…. Everyone should pick up a copy of Imperium next time Aquila comes to your town. Fans of Assassinate The Following, Unearth, Bloodshoteye and Odium will headbang to Aquila. This band will be legend… Wait for it…. dary.” – V13 (2011)
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