Aria – ″Guest from the Shadow Kingdom DVD″
Review by Ivona Bogner
“Mother Russia poetry majestic
Tells the time of a great empire
Turning round the old man ponders
Reminiscing an age gone by…”
When I saw Aria′s DVD ″Guest from the Shadow Kingdom″, the first thing that crossed my mind was Iron Maiden′s Legacy of the Beast Tour. Digging through the band′s past and analyzing this DVD frame by frame, I realized why.
After watching this DVD for at least hundred times, there is a chaos in my mind, so this review will be upside down, I guess.
The band itself was well know in Eastern Europe, but it seems The West did not care much about what was going on behind the Iron Curtain. After 30 years, things are changing. ″Curse of the Seas″ was kind of breakthrough for the Russian metallers. Superstitions broken, since that was their 13th album. Does this have anything with the fact Roy Z produced album or not, we will never find out, and it really doesn′t matter.
As I live in East Europe, Aria′s work is pretty familiar to me. The band has numerous shows behind, but this one put Aria at completely different level. For the concept you can blame only Yuriy Sokolov (Юрий Соколов).
His idea was 9 meters high stage on three levels plus one small stage/ship. The concert was held on April 30, at VTB Arena in Moscow, with full capacity of 13000 souls.
Over the decades, Aria has some personal changes. The most noticeable, from the beginning of time, is vocal change. Vocalist Mikhail Zhytniakov (Михаи́л Житняко́в) transferred from Heavy/Power Metal band Гран-КуражЪ (Grand Courage) to Aria in 2011. As the youngest band member at the time he joined Aria, he had to prove to hardcore fans he could replace veteran, Artur Berkut (Артур Беркут) with his amazing vocal skills, his charisma and energy.
In this impressive, epic preformance, each band member has specific role. I don′t need to mention we are talking about professionals, skilled musicians, veterans of pure Heavy Metal.
If I would analyze DVD song by song, than this review would turn to a book. And, we all agree that is not an option. So… All you need to know, just to draw your attention before you watch this DVD is that each song has specific scenary and costumes. Gas masks, raincoats, ship, armors, torches, barrels, swords, mantles, pirate costumes… They got it all! Simply, in a few words, this release is grandiose, imposing, spectacular, epic…
Every single moment is precisly planned, and besides being musicians, guys showed they have acting skills too. To get an idea of the magnitude of this show, note that Mikhail Zhitnyakov was trained by circus artists so he could safely float over the stadium tied to cross with few cables singing ″Антихрист″ (″Antichrist″). Brave enough.
Recently, Europe marked 30th anniversary of the fall of Berlin wall. The wall that was dividing East and West for 28 long years. We, who have been living under communist regime and were directly or indirectly exposed to consequences of indoctrination, despite the bans, knew the benefits of the West, at least thought music. Maybe we could not listen to all those bands from the West, so we made ours. Pokolgep, Ossian, Aria are some of the bands who could stand face to face with Iron Maiden or Judas Priest if there was not that idiocy called the Iron Curtain.
“When East meets West
There’s gonna be one hell of a mess…”
It is about time to West meets East! And there will be a mess!
Aria, for sure, is the biggest undiscovered band from the East!
Ария ″Гость из царства теней″
Гонка за славой
Пусть будет так
Небо тебя найдёт
Ночь короче дня
Release date: September 27, 2019