Legends in their native Russia, heavy metal band Aria have been plying their head-banging trade for over 30 years. They’re a hugely successful band but the Western world has only started to really get to know them in the last couple of years. Enough so that their 13th and latest album, Curse of the Seas really got some traction over here.
We wrote a review for it, really liking the NWOBHM vibe to it and you can read that review here.
Buoyed by that success and continuing to build on their impressive career so far, Aria have now released a double live album and DVD. Recorded in the VTB Ice Stadium, the scope of the stage show here is impressive. A single three-level stage – with high-resolution LED screens with a height of 9 metres. The background of the stage was decorated with a 600 square metre large screen.
It’s ambitious for Russia’s answer to Iron Maiden but the comfortable way the band moves around and utilises the space suggest this isn’t out of the ordinary for them.
Not being particularly familiar with their back-catalogue, the 18 tracks that are played here don’t have that personal thrill for me. However, based on the crowd reaction to certain songs, I can tell these are the big hitters for Aria.
Instead of basking in the glow of familiarity, my judgement is based on what is heard and seen and all of that is pretty damn great. The old-school metal sound of Aria is right up my street and I can imagine loving this if I was part of the huge crowd. It helps that the band have boundless energy, constantly moving around and using every inch of the space. In particular a ‘mast’ that sits out amongst the crowd for even closer quarter heavy metal.
It’s a visual treat, the screens themed for each song and the lighting really enhancing the mood. Aria are not slumming it here, their success is earned and releases like this will help the Western part of the world see exactly what the fuss is about.
Guest From The Shadow Kingdom was released on Friday 27 September 2019, via M2BA. The digital audio version of the concert is available via all music services – Apple Music, Yandex Music, Boom, Google Play and others. As well as at the band’s online store where it is possible to order it as a DVD + 2CD version.
Aria – Guest From the Shadow Kingdom (Live) Full Track Listing:
1. Race For Glory (Гонка за славой)
2. Kill The Dragon (Убить дракона)
3. Hero Of Asphalt (Герой асфальта)
4. Era Of Lucifer (Эра Люцифера)
5. The Curse Of The Seas (Проклятье морей)
6. Colosseum (Колизей)
7. Baptism By Fire (Крещение огнём)
8. Varyag (Варяг)
9. Point Of No Return (Точка невозврата)
10. Let It Be (Пусть будет так)
11. The Calm (Штиль)
12. Executioner (Палач)
13. Antichrist (Антихрист)
14. Deception (Обман)
15. The Sky Will Find You (Небо тебя найдёт)
16. Night Shorter Than Day (Ночь короче дня)
17. Torero (Тореро)
18. Street Of Roses (Улица роз)
Aria - Guest From The Shadow Kingdom (2019)
The Final Score - 8/10