Aria (Russian: Ария) is a Russian heavy metal band that was formed in 1985 in Moscow. Although it was not the first Soviet band to play heavy music, Aria was the first to break through to mainstream media and commercial success. Their sound resembled that of NWOBHM bands and they have released their 13th and latest album, Curse of the Seas on November 13th 2018.
Singing in their traditional Russian language, it’s the only clue that you would have that Aria aren’t part of the original NWOBHM wave of bands and you somehow missed them. Everything else about them is pure head-banging metal built on wailing riffs, powerful vocals and meaty beats.
Race for Glory is a crowd-pleaser ticking all the right boxes for the old-school heavy metal fan and sets the stage for an album that is glorious in the rollicking riffing it gives out overall.
Then we have the likes of Lucifer with its foot-tapping rhythm, Let it Be’s epic ballad-ness and Alive’s inventive and lengthy take on modern metal infused with an old-school sound. The latter of the trio’s gunfire riffs is very appealing.
Perhaps the highlight of the album though, Kill the Dragon’s upbeat tempo and whining guitars that sit behind the main beat is a killer track. This is Aria at their best, exciting and fun to listen too while paying homage to the NWOBHM and still sounding completely like their own thing.
Aria are certainly Russia’s hidden secret and it beggars belief that they would have so many albums under their belts playing a style of music that is directly influenced by British metal and they’re barely known on these shores. Hopefully that will change with this release as they have talent by the bucket load.
Aria – Curse of the Seas Full Track Listing:
1. Race for Glory
4. Hard to be God
5. Let it Be
6. Lust Ruin
8. Kill the Dragon
9. Smoke Without Fire
10. From Sunset to Sunrise
11. Curse of the Seas
Aria - Curse Of The Seas (M2BA)
The Final Score - 8/10