Aria – Guest From The Shadow Kingdom live CD/DVD (2019)


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.
Guest from the Shadow Kingdom, is an impressive live DVD + 2 CD album, filmed and recorded at Aria’s colossal stadium show in the arena of the VTB Ice Statium in Moscow, Russia in April 2019. The DVD + 2CD set released on  27 September.

Aria have many huge and extravagant live shows under their belt but this time their took the idea of what you can do on stage to an entirely new level. 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.

In addition to with tracks from the new album Curse of the Seas , the set-list priorities the most epic and longest compositions in the history of the group, as well as some essential strokes and ballads. The preference for this type of composition to mount the lineup has been taken on more classic and recent of the group tend to be played in a normal life. If you do not know the Aria, it is worth remembering here that the band maintains the tradition of singing in Russian since its inception. Therefore, the song titles and the DVD will be transcribed here in their official English.

The highlights of the concert is the very impressive performance of Curse of the Seas, an epic song of with chorus and and heavy verve. The band wears pirates and Zhitniakov hires the boat to sing on the smaller stage, suspended above the audience and command the crowd as if it were the real Blackbeard. It is interesting to note how the young singer of 40 years (for comparison, the complete Aria 35th anniversary next year) who entered the Aria in 2011 with the difficult task of replacing two veteran singers with such charisma, Zhitniakov also has a powerful and distinctive voice stamp. In addition, it behaves well both sing the new songs as the oldest,Valery Kipelov and Arthur Berkut . Speaking of Arthur Berkut, the next two songs of the show were originally recorded by him, the “growing audience” Kolisei and epic baptised with fire , both of 2003. Again Zhitniakov surprises in costume, with an armor of the gladiators in the first and a long priest robe on Monday, carrying a torch in his hand to begin the rite of baptism with fire.

Founder guitarist Vladimir Holstinin and veteran Sergei Popov shows technical and heavy solos and accurate bases. Maxim Udalov uses a small drum kit to the standards of metal, which does not prevent him from playing well competence more varied rhythms and rhythms of the songs of Aria require. Bassist Vitaly Dubinin is a show piece.  After the piece Varyag, the band cross the wooden bridge and settle on the bow of the boat.

The arc turns into a small stage bar to perform ballads Point of No Return (2014) and So be it , another new song. While the ballads are being played, the arch with the board members is suspended from chains and carried to the other side of the stadium, bringing the audience band that are in the stand further away. Abandoned on the main stage, Maxim Udalov puts his hand on his eyes in an attempt to see his pirates.

The two ballads behind the arch and the whole band  return to the main stage, except Zhitniakov, who remains at the bow to sing another ballad, The Calm, recorded by the original singer Valery Kipelov with Udo Dirkschneider.

The gloomy part of this show starts with the execution of the epic poem The Hangman and the infernal Antichrist (1991). Dressed as a condemned to the forks, Zhitniakov hangs on a cross in the final part and the speed of The Hangmanone of the most chilling moments and apotheosis of the show.

The cross is suspended and loaded with the center of the stadium and then leave the vocalist and let it float over the audience sing Antichrist. Insurance for cables in prison up to the ceiling, Zhitniakov returns to the stage of performing stunts “Artur-Zanetianas”. The singer leaves and soon returns dressed as a Mongolian Lord for the implementation of fasting, Maidenian Deception, followed by the Rock Hard Sky Will Find You, 2000, leaving enough musicians to facilitate and relaxed. This song, as well as many others on the set-list, rather requires the participation of the public, which consists not only of Headbangers, but also by many people who seem to belong to a different world of heavy metals, who go to Aria the show to see that band that filmed at the average in the 80s and that is still synonymous with commercial success.

The show ends, performing the classic line from under the ubiquitous and pure Heavy Metal Torero, representative debut Megalomania to be played live on the set-list, which paves the way Street Of Roses, which closes the apotheosis and with strong public participation a great and daring concert, worthy of the largest and most beloved rock bands on the planet.
Epic show, epic band, watch it to belive it!

Valeria Campagnale.

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