Aquilla - The Day We Left Earth

Aquilla The Day We Left Earth EP cover
The Day We Left Earth
Independent Release
Are your ion fusion thrusters on? Is the cabin pressurized? Are the air locks sealed? Finally, are you comfortably strapped in the commander’s chair? Great, because you’re about to gloriously strike through the firmament with Aquilla’s third EP, “The Day We Left Earth”, independently released a few weeks ago (on CD, limited to 500 copies, so act fast!).
Presenting a similar kick-ass, traditional “space” metal formula as Seven Sisters, Haunt and Fury, the Warsaw based twin guitar quintet reeled me in from the start with a poignant and suspenseful two minute deep space keyboard intro in “Falling Stars pt.1”, before flicking on its warp drive with the opener proper, “Sunrider”, a killer rocket ship crushing anthem if there ever was one! The guitars tones are crisp to a fault, the jangling bass lines punch you right in the nose while the drums rebound with tireless ardor and resounding conviction. The entire affair, six stellar fist-pumpers and a couple of highly evocative and oh-so fitting keyboard forays (the other being “Falling Stars pt.2”), is indelibly defined by a masterful production and capped by a mercurial front man in Blash Raven who’s vocal range morphs from one track to next, like it does with the high-pitched “Sunrider” and “Falcon IX” before segueing into a smooth, compelling mid-range on what I consider the top highlight, “Pulsar Return”, thanks to its taut, throttling riff-age and incredible solo section. That’s another thing: the rapidly fluttering leads flow all over the place while slightly coasting on the high end of the mix register; they’re the kind of richly phrased, soaring solos which mark the essence of classic traditional heavy metal in this vein.
The riffs are as gripping as they are variable, like when the band applies its “ram scoop” (i.e. abrupt, poised breakdown) two thirds of the way into “Sunrider” to the backdrop of an engaging, slap-y drum beat prior to an intensely melodic lead break and twin guitar harmony which tear a searing path through the cosmic void. The tight fret runs and hi-tech albeit glockenspiel like chimes at the beginning of “Event Horizon” propel this super auspicious EP further along Aquilla’s starlit voyage whilst the dramatic twirling riffs, thumping bass and frantic drumming of “Zero” (also the band’s first single from 2016 and lyrical tribute to Japanese kamikazes) rip through the wormhole at light speed towards closer (and second 2016 single) “Breaking the Night”, which features a supernovae of dazzling introductory leads, a welcome return to Raven’s mid-range as well as a stentorian snare and bass drum fest on behalf on the appropriately named Pete Slammer. Gad! Aquilla’s no stranger to apt metal monikers, what with bassist Slav Steeler and axers Stan Glacier and Micheal Hexx on board. As well, dig the wicked space craft band logo!
At this point, I’m fully reveling in the galactic dust trail left in the wake of the Poles’' sizzling “The Day We Left Earth” and am duly looking forward to an eventual full-length debut. Check it out as it loftily behooves any self-respecting “NWOTHM” head!