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Music / Ariya

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The band as of 2022
Ariya (Ария) is a Russian Heavy Metal band, formed in 1985... Or maybe not like this. Ariya is the Russian Heavy Metal band. Formed back in the times of the Soviet Union, they became by far the best-known metal band in Russia, earning the local nickname "Russian Iron Maiden".

During its long and turbulent history the band has experienced a number of splits and lineup changes. Due to sheer amount of members who left to Start My Own, there is no less than five bands directly splintered from Ariya, and some more bands that splintered from these. Said immediate five-band group is called "Ariya "Family"" ("Семейка" Арии) by fans, and includes Master, Mavrin, Kipelov, Arteriya, and Artur Berkut. It's often said that Ariya is a "forge of personnel" for the Russian metal scene, and there are barely any metal bands that have never been associated with ''Ariya'' in some way or form.

Current members

  • Mikhail Zhitnyakov – lead vocals (2011-present)
  • Vladimir Holstinin – guitar (1985-present)
  • Sergey Popov – guitar (2002-present)
  • Vitaly Dubinin – bass, backing vocals (1987-present)
  • Maxim Udalov – drums (1987-1988; 2002-present)

Former members

  • Valeriy Kipelov – lead vocals (1985-2002)
  • Alik Granovsky – bass, backing vocals (1985-1986)
  • Kirill Pokrovsky – keyboards, backing vocals (1985-1986)
  • Alexander Lvov – drums (1985)
  • Andrey Bolshakov – guitar, backing vocals (1985-1986)
  • Igor Molchanov – drums (1985-1986)
  • Sergey Mavrin – guitar (1987-1995)
  • Alexander Manyakin – drums (1988-2002)
  • Sergey Terentyev – guitar (1995-2002)
  • Artur Berkut – lead vocals (2002-2011)


  • Мания Величия (Megalomania) - 1985
  • С Кем Ты? (Who Are You With?) - 1986
  • Герой Асфальта (Hero of Asphalt) - 1987
  • Игра с огнём (Playing with Fire) - 1989
  • Кровь за кровь (Blood For Blood) - 1991
  • Ночь короче дня (Night is Shorter Than Day) - 1991
  • Генератор Зла (Generator of Evil) - 1998
  • Химера (Chimera) - 2001
  • Крещение огнём (Baptism by Fire) - 2003
  • Армагеддон (Armageddon) - 2006
  • Феникс (Phoenix) - 2011
  • Через все времена (Through All Times) - 2014
  • Проклятье морей (Curse of the Seas) - 2018

Ariya provides examples of:

  • Badass Biker: Biker imagery is featured in cover artworks of Hero of Asphalt and Armageddon. There's also the title song from the former album and cover version of Manowar's "Return of the Warlord", known as "Пробил час" ("The Time Has Come").
  • Epic Rocking: About half of their albums have a song that's at least eight minutes long, but the titular "Curse of the Seas" takes the cake, at 12 minutes and 5 seconds long.
  • Full-Circle Revolution: The song "To Kill the Dragon" warns about revolutions eventually becoming no better than the regimes they fought against. It uses the dragon from a tale of "Who kills the dragon will become one" as a metaphor for tyranny and oppression. The chorus ends with the words "Be ready, against all odds, to kill the dragon inside yourself".
  • Heavy Meta: "Дай жару!" (Give 'em Hell), is a song about how fans should rock out, lamenting "where are the men of metal?". It sounds quite goofy by Ariya's standards, especially due to being written in major key and having rather immature lyrics.
  • Hordes from the East: Title track of Through All Times is about Scythians, who are said to be called "the darknessnote , the curse". Unusually, it's sung from their perspective. It may be a reference to a poem "Scythians" by Alexander Blok, notable early 20th century Russian poet, which includes some similar wording and ironically likens Russians to Scythians.
  • Horrible History Metal: Mostly about Russian history, as one may expect.
    • "Varyag" tells a romanticized story of the eponymous cruiser, that, alongside a single gunboat, was ambushed in a neutral portnote  by the Japanese fleet at the start of the Russo-Japanese war. Despite being badly outnumbered, Russians attempted to break through the blockade, but failed and were forced to scuttle both ships.
    • "Attack of the Dead" is about the famous battle of Osowiec Fortress during WWI. During the siege Germans used Deadly Gas and moved in, expecting little resistance, but were faced by about hundred who, despite being outnumbered about 70:1 and coughing up pieces of their own lungs, repelled the attack with a bayonet charge.
  • Last Note Nightmare: A lengthy case in "Волонтер" (Volunteer), where the last three out of eight minutes are occupied by an omnious keyboard ambient accompanied by distorted voices mumbling something.
  • Outrun the Fireball: The cover of Armageddon features a Badass Biker riding away from a nuclear blast.
  • Painful Rhyme: Mostly found in songs with lyrics by Lobanov, especially "Последний закат" (Last Sunset), which rhymes "сжигая дотла" (burning to ashes) and "дыхание зла" ([[Narm the breath of evil]]).
  • Shell-Shocked Veteran: The hero of "Бой продолжается" (The Battle Goes On) is a veteran of an unspecified conflict (given the timeframe, likely the Afghan War) who couldn't adapt to peacetime, saying that "Nobody needs me, [I'm] a shadow among people".
    It's night again and fear crawls into my eyes note 
    Sleep and death are so alike — brother and sister note 
    It's scary to be alone and await the sunrise, like a salvation note 
    It's scary to go with the flow — there's no war anymore... note 
  • Step Up to the Microphone: Vitaly Dubinin sang most lead vocals on "Пытка тишиной" (Torture by Silence) and "Поле битвы" (Battlefield), as well as a verse or two on a few other songs.
  • Title-Only Chorus: "Воля и разум" (Will and Reason) and "С кем ты?" (Who Are You With?), both coming from the Judas Priest-influenced sophomore album "Who Are You With?".
  • World War III: "Last Sunset" from appropriately titled Armageddon describes "the third clash of worlds", which mainly means a nuclear bombing. The rest of the song consists of religious references, even namedropping the album's title.