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This is just a single, but I consider it a good indicator of the quality of the upcoming new release. After the band split into two camps, I was almost certain that Aria would be no more. Considering their previous release - Chimera, to be quite dull and definitely the worst release of their career, I was somewhat glad albeit saddened. Based on the rumors, I was expecting the Holstinin and Dubinin camp to continue with the sound on Chimera and was very skeptical of any vocalist that would attempt to replace Kipelov. I had a little more hope for the Kipelov/Terentev/Maniakin side project.
I was quite taken aback when the news about the reformation of Aria under the same name, without the three essential members spread like wildfire. So here's the rundown. The new single rules in every way possible. Sure, the new singer - Berkut (ex. Autograph) is no Kipelov, but he can definitely hold his own and seems to fit the band quite well. Collisei (Colosseum) is absolutely classic song in a classic Aria sense and makes me pant heavily like Oprah on a treadmill.
The song has a more modern approach when compared to Blood for Blood and the like, but the riffs and melodies are outstanding. The chorus rules as well. After hearing this song, I am not sure who was responsible for the almost worthless Chimera and I can't help thinking that the split might have actually been beneficial for the band and the fans.
The other two songs on the single are well known to Aria fans and the orchestral version of Antichrist is amazing. Aria is a band that knows quite well how to mix orchestra and metal.
Overall, this Aria fan is quite content and eagerly awaits for the new Aria album with renewed enthusiasm.
Similar bands: Iron Maiden (Some material is extremely similar leading to the band being labeled as the Russian Maiden), Manowar