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aria guestfromtheshadowkingdom
Artist: Aria
Titles: Curse of the Sea / Guest from the Shadow Kingdom
Genre: Heavy Metal
Release Date: 13th November 2018 / 27th September 2019
Label: М2БА

Album Review: Curse of the Seas

I never heard of ARIA until a recent article in Deaf Forever, obviously a very big thing in good old Russia and almost unknown in the West. Through my activities on Facebook and Instagram I was given the opportunity to listen, indulge and review this very interesting and kind of exotic band. I will cite the promo text here so you fellas know what they are all about before I get knee deep into their music...

“Moscow-based ARIA have been synonymous with premiere Melodic Heavy Metal made in Russia since 1985. Megastars in their home country and in Eastern Europe, the band did not receive much attention in the western world. Until recently. The release of the band’s 13th full-length studio album ‘Proklyatiye Morey’ (‘Curse of the Seas’) in 2018 changed that completely. The album, produced by Roy Z and mastered by Maor Appelbaum, was given enthusiastic reviews from all around the world and appearances at the 2019 “Keep It True” in Germany and the “Pyrenean Warriors Open Air” in France demonstrated the band’s stellar live qualities.”

So much for the official part… ARIA is often described as a kind of Russian IRON MAIDEN, this is not far from true but a bit lazy of a way to describe a band that has been around for so long and that has that big of a status. In the beginning I really questioned my ability to listen to music I would not understand at all because the lyrics are in Russian and I was pleasantly surprised to learn that I don’t care as much as I thought. The Russian language is normally a harsh one but Mikhail Zhitnyakov makes it sound a bit softer and in a good way. I have to give it to the press text ‘Curse of the Seas’ is an awesome album. It’s hard to favour one of the songs because of the language barrier but ‘Let It Be’ is a great and sad piece of Heavy Metal music and man this vocalist is a great musician.

Album Review: Guest from the Shadow Kingdom

So now that I opened up for ARIA I will get to the brand new live double CD ‘Guest of the Shadow Kingdom’. This will be an audio review only because it’s a bit complicated technically to download this load of content and do 3 CDs and a DVD for just one review. I was asked to do this by a nice guy named Trond so I will do my best to be as big of a help to him and ARIA as I can probably be. So after a few minutes of the live material I must say these guys sound absolutely phenomenal live and I would love to see them live (and I’d love to buy the merch too). I will once again cite a source for more information on the colossal concert this review is a witness of:

“The show was designed and directed by the band’s old friend Yuriy Sokolov, with whom ARIA have collaborated on many of their landmark shows in the past. For this show a unique three-level stage with high-resolution LED screens with a height of nine meters was erected. The stage backdrop was decorated with a large screen measuring 600 square meters and a unique flying system over the crowd, which was especially designed for this show. The staged part of the concert involved four trucks of voluminous scenery, a huge amount of lighting and acoustic technology, as well as many pyrotechnic devices to imitate the four elements of the Earth.”

So, yeah that show was a big thing in KISS dimensions and I would have loved to witness this first-hand. But hey my life is awesome so maybe I get another chance to see them live. If you never heard of ARIA I suggest you google them, watch YouTube videos and fall in love with them eternally.


Curse of the Seas
01. Race for Glory
02. Varyag
03. Lucifer
04. Hard to be Good
05. Let it Be
06. Lust Run
07. Alive
08. Kill the Dragon
09. Smoke Without Fire
10. From Sunset to Sunrise
11. Curse of The Seas

Guest from the Shadow Kingdom(Live)
01. Race for Glory
02. Kill The Dragon
03. Hero of Asphalt
04. Era of Lucifer
05. The Curse of the Seas
06. Colosseum
07. Baptism of Fire
08. Varyag
09. Point of no Return
10. Let it be
11. The Calm
12. Executioner
13. Antichrist
14. Deception
15. The Sky will find you
16. Night Shorter than Day
17. Torero
18. Street of Roses


Mikhail Zhitnyakov - Vocals
Vladimir Holstinin - Guitar
Sergey Popov - Guitar
Vitaly Dubinin - Bass
Maxim Udalov - Drums


Cover Pictures

aria curseoftheseasaria guestfromtheshadowkingdom


Sound: 9
Music: 9
Total: 9 / 10


0 #1 Piotr 2020-01-09 14:48
It is funny that you describe Russian as a harsh language. To my Polish ear it is definitely softer than our language, and much more "singable". German is harsh, man :-)
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