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Review: Aria - Megalomania

Label: Moroz Records
Year released: 1985
Duration: 41:19
Tracks: 8
Genre: Heavy Metal

Rating: 4.5/5

Review online: December 11, 2020
Reviewed by: Michel Renaud
Readers Rating

Rated 4.38/5 (87.5%) (8 Votes)

Nearly 15 years ago when I bought just about everything Aria had released up until then, I had this idea of reviewing their discography. I guess that never happened. With the release of the re-recordings of Baptism by Fire and Armageddon this year, I got this urge to go back and listen to their previous albums.

Megalomania is where the Aria saga started 35 years ago in what was then the Soviet Union. I really like this album. The Iron Maiden influence is quite audible with some songs here and there sounding like they could have been on a Maiden album, but Aria were not merely copying here and there were already hints of their own sound, a sound that became more predominant as years went by. Their style is kind of epic but on the light side, giving most songs—hell, the album—a bigger than life vibe while being down to earth and very catchy and melodic. That's one thing Aria started with on this album and is still true up to this day: they have a knack for catchy melodies that stick in your head the first time you hear them. The vocal melodies are especially memorable despite everything being sung in Russian, or maybe because they are sung in Russian; I find the language to be quite melodious compared to English and that gives the band's music a more melodic overtone compared to if this was sung in English. Setting the vocals aside, the music is as '80s galloping, traditional metal as it gets and these guys sure nailed the recipe right and have nothing to envy their Western peers of the time. If mid-80s catchy, melodic heavy metal appeals to you and you haven't checked Aria out yet, well, this album is definitely a good starting point.

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