Aria (RUS)
Playing With Fire


4.0
excellent

Review

by vanderb0b USER (63 Reviews)
September 5th, 2010 | 10 replies | 4,989 views


Release Date: 1989 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Aria tires to see how many Iron Maiden riffs they can copy and get away with it.

2 of 2 thought this review was well written

In the mid-1980’s, Communism started to fall in the Soviet Union, and with the decline of socialism, came the increase of foreign music. In came the cassettes from the likes of Black Sabbath, Judas Priest, and Metallica, introducing the nation to a genre that they had never before heard: heavy metal. With all this new music, Russian musicians did what they did best: plagiarize. Just about every single worthwhile song (metal or not) that entered the country was replicated time and time again (today, the music scene fortunately relies less on imitation). This plagiarism, however, was especially apparent in the metal genre: Metal Corrosion’s death-thrash was more than slightly reminiscent of Slayer, Amatory was a bit too similar to Killswitch Engage, and Aria sounded very much like Iron Maiden. There’s a difference between these three bands, although: Aria is actually good.

It’s undeniable from the very first notes that Aria is made up of skilled musicians: the vocals soar, the guitars scorch, and the bass gallops while the drums provide a steady rhythm. This talent doesn’t, unfortunately, entirely excuse the fact that quite a bit of Playing With Fire’s best material isn’t very original; in fact, after a few listens, I started to wonder if what I was listening to was actually a well-veiled cover album. Certain portions of the album were incredibly addicting, such as The Battle Continues’ main riff and the title track melodic acoustic interlude, but when revisiting Iron Maiden’s discography, it became evident that the former was lifted from Deja Vu , while the latter could be found in To Tame A Land.

This copying is especially annoying because it is entirely superfluous: even without it, Playing With Fire would be filled with enough interesting material to justify the listener’s attention, but, as it stands, one can’t help getting the impression that the band imitates in order to mask their (inexistent) songwriting deficiencies. What separates Aria from the other plagiarizers is that Aria actually manages to reach the level of their role models. Aside from the relatively tepid, though still good, To Shake The World, any song from this album could have found it’s way onto Iron Maiden’s best albums, and if the title track had been written by Dickinson and co, it would have had the potential to reach the same level of acclaim as the likes of Rhyme Of The Ancient Mariner.

And so here we have an interesting dilemma: what should one think of Playing With Fire? On the one hand, the album is written and performed excellently, and Aria was largely responsible for teaching the USSR’s youth about heavy metal, and is therefore one of Russia’s most important bands. On the other, the album can be seen as nothing more than Iron Maiden worship (with four or five riffs crossing the line into Iron Maiden plagiarism). Iron Maiden worship this may be, but it’s Iron Maiden worship at its finest.

3.9/5

Recommended Songs
Playing With Fire
The Battle Continues
What Happened To Your Dreams
Temptation



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user ratings (2)
Chart.
4.3
superb

Comments:Add a Comment 
vanderb0b
September 5th 2010



3473 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

This was a 4.5. Then I realized that about 5 or six riffs are lifted from Maiden songs. Became a 3-3.5, until I realized how good this is, and up to a 4 it went. Impossible to review these guys without referencing Maiden in every other line. Might do some more Russian metal in the future. Album art is awesome, but the quality is really bad, might try to re-upload. Song titles in the review and track-listing may not match as all are translations from Russian.

Jethro42
September 6th 2010



12377 Comments


A good dose of courage is required to make music in Maiden fields, but rootless music must be grounded somewhere in order to grow. Plagiarism is evident but excusable in the situation. You got a typing mistake in your rec songs: What have you done... to your dreams.
Review is a good read as always, have a pos, bud.


Jethro42
September 6th 2010



12377 Comments


I'm about to finish both next ProgJect' ones: Premiata Forneria Marconi (Photos of Ghosts), then Wakeman's Myths and Legends, on wich about one paragraph or two have been done, already. I have to listen to Myths and Legends couple more times, so yeah.
edit: Song Playing with Fire is well done here and yes, Maiden is omni-present, oh well..

Voivod
Staff Reviewer
September 6th 2010



5921 Comments


good review, pos.

It's weird that no Russian band has made a decent breakthrough in the European metal scene.

Digging: Essence Beyond - Carnivalism

vanderb0b
September 6th 2010



3473 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Thanks!

You got a typing mistake in your rec songs

Thanks, edited the track listing. That wasn't a mistake. The titles are all in Russian, so that's the translation that I feel works best. The track listing is taken from another site. (btw, all the titles sound less cheesy in the original language).

It's weird that no Russian band has made a decent breakthrough in the European metal scene.

Not including black metal, the Russian metal scene is pretty dull, Aria is one of the very few decent bands that I know of.

Jethro42
September 6th 2010



12377 Comments


vander , looking into your ratings, I love your diversity. It's always a pleasure to read you. You keep improving all the time. So kudos!..You have amazing taste in music. Keep on reviewing!.. Cheers bud.

vanderb0b
September 6th 2010



3473 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Thanks, man. Sputnik did make me a much better writer, I read one of my earliest reviews, and it seemed terrible by comparison to my more recent output.

Jethro42
September 6th 2010



12377 Comments


hahaha vanderb0b, if you want to take a look at one of Jethro's review oh god. I remember, english was a bitch for me at that times. I still have to edit, feel free to help me in it. Here is a Jethro42's review.
http://www.sputnikmusic.com/review/32383/Jethro-Tull-Roots-To-Branches/

Jethro42
September 6th 2010



12377 Comments


god I have to redo at some degree, now I speak English a lot better. Sputnik, I owe you for my English. Je suis un français québécois. Canadien. Salut les voisins!

CaptainAaarrrggghhh
June 20th 2013



159 Comments


"With all this new music, Russian musicians did what they did best: plagiarize."
So true but so sad.



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