Local metal band set to rock competition

ROCK stardom beckons for one group of local musicians as they head to the next level of a top competition.

Local melodic metal band Aonia, conisting of members from Worksop, Retford and Doncaster are through to the final stage of the nationwide Metal to the Masses competition in the Birmingham region.

The band has successfully supported acts such as Evil Scarecrow, Exoterik, Last Stop China Town, Skull of a Mammoth, Scarlet’s Wake, Keltic Jihad, Ziyos , Third Room and The Shiver.

After successfully completing the first round of the 2009 Surface Unsigned competition, the judges described Aonia as “standing out against a background of more traditional metal bands, they proved one of the highlights of the night, delivering a great performance that really got the crowd going.”

Now, from hundreds of applicants, Aonia are one of just 48 bands were selected to compete in the Metal To The Masses competition. After successfully completing the initial heats and semifinal stages, they are now one of six bands competing for a slot to play the prestigious Bloodstock festival at Catton Hall in August.

On the 1st July, the band take the stage at Roadhouse in Birmingham to play for a panel of the festival’s organisers. If Aonia are successful, they will play a festival attended by 10,000 people and will share an arena with the likes of heavy metal giants Machinehead, Anvil, Sepultra and Alice Cooper.

Aonia are known for their operatic vocals juxtaposed with heavy, driving guitars and fantasy-esque lyrics.

They also described themselves as ‘smooth distortion of mythic metal fronted by a soprano with attitude’ and ‘a tsunami of sound, tempered steel in a velvet glove’.

Aonia’s drummer, Worksop-born Tony Gaskell, is renowned in the local scene for for his metronome-like timekeeping and skilful orchestration of time signature and tempo changes.

“We’re really excited,” he said.

“This is the best, and only, true metal festival in the UK. Playing Bloodstock would be a great experience because I’ve been going since it started in 2001.”

Aonia will be performing at the regional finals of the Metal To The Masses competition at The Roadhouse in Birmingham on 1st July.

Entry is £3 and the band are providing free transport from Doncaster, Retford and Worksop to and from the venue.

The event starts at 6pm and finishes at 11pm.

Other pick-up and drop off points can be organised based on demand.

Persons interested in booking transport should email [email protected] to reserve a space.

For more information or to listen to the band you can visit www.aonia.co.uk, twitter.com/aonia_band, www.myspace.com/aoniaband or search for Aonia on Facebook.