The legendary Russian heavy metal band ARIA is considered to be the band Number One on Russian metal scene and really deserves it. Established in 1985, released many “must have” albums, played a lot of shows, gone through some line-up changes, this band is still one of the most important and influential metal acts in Russia. The music of Aria effectively combines NWOBHM influences, elevated old good Soviet standards of musical education and of performing, true metal spirit and high-class musicianship. As a leading band of the genre in Russia, ARIA has been called "Russian Iron Maiden", in spite of no close similarity in their musical styles, but rather due to the status of the band on the native metal scene. Lyrics mostly written by the famous rock poet Margarita Pushkina (in Russian) and visual aesthetics are done in the best traditions of the genre. During its glorious career Aria released more than 30 studio albums, singles, compilations, live CDs and DVD and filmed many videos. We present the current period of the creative work of these musicians, grown up and still full of ideas and positive energy to release albums, to play number of shows, to headline the biggest Russian festivals like NASHESTVIE, EMMAUS, bikers’ events among others. The members of its “classical” line-up Vladimir Kholstinin and Vitali Dubinin are the real keepers of the band’s traditions and original sound.
The band was established at the end of 1985 as the first really serious heavy metal act in Soviet Union. The birth of ARIA coincided with the beginning of “perestroika” and became a real symbol of a “new thinking” and the fall of Iron Curtain. ARIA formed the first generation of Soviet (then Russian) metalheads, established heavy metal traditions in the musical scene opening USSR/Russia for further generations of metal bands and for many bands from abroad to the hearts of the audience of the “Red” part of the world. The first hits of Aria as “Volya I Razum” or “Ulitsa Roz” sounded everywhere despite of the fact that official Soviet press was keeping silence regarding the new rock star during quite a long period of time.
Already in 1986 the band became a laureate of the "Rock-Panorama-86" and "Lithuanika-86" festivals. In the summer of 1988 Aria played at a big festival in Berlin in front of 120.000 people. Recorded a few studio masterpiece, played a lot of shows all around USSR and some in Europe, after some world crisis of the whole genre they created their own studio in 1994. It was called "ARIA Records" and became a pleasant home not only for the musicians of Aria themselves but for many other Russian bands as well.
Finally, the incredible popularity of Aria among audience, especially youngsters, was recognized by major mass media. MTV and other musical channels play Aria’s videos, various radio stations including the main one regarding Russian rock scene “NASHE radio” push Aria’s songs on the air. Aria has been regularly in the various hit parades and has won many diverse prestigious musical awards.
During many years Aria successfully co-operates with Russian representative of HARLEY DAVIDSON and plays actively at various bikers’ festival and events. Many Aria’s songs are devoted to bikers’ life-style and bikers’ philosophy.
Many times the band has been accepted well by international audience and by their colleagues from European metal scene. Aria has made European and Asian tours a few times. In 2000 the band made a huge Russian tour with Rage. Udo Dirkshneider participated in some Aria’s shows as a very special guest and recorded a special version of the song “Shtil” together with Valeri Kipelov, the vocalist of Aria, for the Tribute to Harley Davidson. Later Rammstein recorded cover version of this song, it was released under Germanized name Schtiel. The band recorded soundrack for the Russian computer game “Dalnoboischiki-1”. Their song Kolizei became a hymn of a national rugby cup.
During its long history ARIA got over many line-up changes and gave a birth to a few important solo projects and new bands: MASTER, KIPELOV, MAVRICK, ARTERIA and others. The present era of ARIA began at the beginning of 2002 when the original singer of ARIA Valeri Kipelov announced his departure from the band and started his own project called KIPELOV. Another outstanding Russian rock singer Artur Berkut (ex-AUTOGRATH, the legendary Soviet progressive band) took his place, and many outstanding records and live shows were made already with him as a front man.