ARIA - Curse Of The Seas
December 24, 2018, a month ago
So here we are with Aria still going strong after 33 years being in the game. The greatest and most popular Russian heavy metal band is back with their 16th full-length album of full out traditional and progressive metal jams. Just a little background on the Aria of today: the sole remaining founding member is guitarist Vladimir Kholstinin and he is still churning out memorable riffs and melodies. Vocalist is the highly skilled Mikhail Zhitnyakov and has been with the band for 7 years now. Aria has started to incorporate some more classical type sounds on this record and it is a welcome addition to the foray. And for those that don’t know anything about Aria – they sing in their native language, not English.
Sitting at 11 tracks and a robust 85 minute runtime, only one track sits under 5 mins, and that’s the voracious opener “Race For Glory”. Now Aria has thrown out some long run times and while I’m not a guy who loves exceedingly long albums, Curse Of The Seas manages to hold my interest throughout. Most of that is due to the fact is the soloing. The tandem of Kholstinin and Sergey Popov (who’s been with the group since 2002) manufactures some emotive, melodic solos and aren’t afraid to toss out full out speed when necessary. “Varangian” is a total wow moment in terms of soloing on this blown out anthem. There are some introspective rhythms and tendencies like “Let It Be” and “It’s Hard To Be God” and they are pieced together magnificently. Then it all comes home on the monumental title track and closer which comes whirling in at a 12 runtime. Recalling those long epic tracks from the ‘80s, it’s an adept, enchanting, heavy metal adventure. Don’t let this one fall under the radar; Aria’s Curse Of The Seas is worthy to set out sail for.