- Jason Hesley
Canada's AQUILA Unleash "The Great Fire", A New Music Video!
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.