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Aria – Hero Of Asphalt


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Many people describe this album as the Russian Powerslave and this is partly true because this album is the Russian masterpiece of true traditional heavy metal and contains some of the most important and memorable songs of Russian metal history such as Hero of asfalt or Rose street and there is no single filler on the whole record. But some elements like the operatic introduction of Serving evil forces or the choirs of Ballad about ancient Russian warrior add a little bit of an own identity to the group. But the rest is quite comparable. The bass is technically well executed and dominates the songs, the guitar solos are melodic and inspiring, the vocals melodic and powerful, the drumming tight but not to present. As this legendary album only contains six songs, I would like to talk briefly about all of them. Serving Evil Forces surprises with an old operatic or Russian chanson intro before the guitars and the very dominant bass guitar kick off to deliver a fast opener that even beats the heaviness of Iron Maiden even if this track reminds me a little bit of their tunes Flash of a blade or Deja vu. This extremely powerful neckbreaker initiates us to the true spirit of the heavy metal of the eighties. The title track Hero of asfalt has a very straight, fast and addicting introduction and is a brilliant traditional heavy metal song with a strong chorus and convincing solos. Dead zone is a bass dominated and very atmospheric slow paced grower that shows us another side of the band than the fast and addicting one. This song takes more time to grow but this is only because it is very well thought and developed. Especially the atmospheric doom bridge is very interesting. 1100 begins as low and has something of a military march tune before the whole thing gets faster and gallopping in the key of the title track. The chorus is very epic with several voices and with a better production this element could have been even more convincing. But this song is nevertheless a great metal song and has some great solo even if this is probably the weakest track on the record which speaks volumes for its overall quality. Rose street is true classic of Russian heavy metal and begins with a very memorable bass orientated introduction before vocalist Kipelov leads us to the epic part of this heavy metal hymn with a very intense chorus. Ballad about ancient Russian warrior begins with some wind and wuthering and the guttural growls of a raven before a dark and epic introduction goes over to a very epic and traditional heavy metal track that sounds very much like Iron Maiden in its best years. Some epic choirs and spacey guitar melodies in the bridge finally add an own identity to the song as well as the powerful screams of Kipelov. To conclude, this album is maybe nothing unique or brand new for the Western civilization but has been a legendary masterpiece and a big step forward for the whole Eastern metal scene and contains many memorable and heavily addicting classics. This album is a must have for any traditional metal fan around the world. Track listing: 1. Serving Evil Forces 2. Hero Of Asphalt 3. Dead Zone 4. 1100 5. Rose Street 6. Ballad About Ancient Russian Warrior

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