Forget about Nightwish- The Aerium is the real deal!
Its safe to say when someone mentions the words Gothic Symphonic Metal The first band that springs to mind would be Nightwish. After all, they are arguably the most recognizable act of their genre. And while they are a force to be reckoned with, there are a great many more bands of this style that are just as good, if not better.
One of the best bands from this genre is the Russian outfit, The Aerium. Hailing from Miass in the Chelyabinsk Region, the group was originally formed under the name Version in 1999 before adding more members and being rebranded The Aerium in 2001. The group went through some personnel changes but the current lineup blends the tight drumming of Alexander Gubko, the deep bass tones of Igor Reshentikov, the guitar attack of Lev Chistyakov, the atmospheric keyboards of Andrey Grishin and the angelic, operatic vocals of Anastasia Kutuzova to create a wholly original and exciting mix of styles and sensibilities that is truly unique and will keep the listener entranced.
The Aerium not only captures the true essence of Gothic Symphonic Metal, they manage to create a more authentic sound with their dark twisting tracks, this is even dates back to when Tarja Turunin handled lead vocals in Nightwish. Whereas most people would argue Nightwish had an authentic Gothic Symphonic Metal sound during this era, The Aerium delved deeper and produced stunning tracks such as Song For The Dead King, Queen Of Snows, Sentinel and Wanderer. These songs showed a much more truer example of what Gothic Symphonic Metal could be and felt much more authentic to the genre. This is evident in the styles of playing, where Nightwish was more Metal orientated, The Aerium delved more into the Gothic side, with more dominant keyboards, the operatic vocal stylings more developed, incredibly haunting and ethereal and a better blend between the drums, bass and guitars which created a more cohesive Gothic Symphonic Metal sound.
As stated in the metalreviews.com review of the album Song For The Dead King, The whole atmosphere, in fact, does invoke Norwegian gothic bands with soprano female vocals." And from the metalstorm.com review of the same album "There is one thing I want to make dear from the beginning: The Aerium is not another Nightwish Wannabe." Show that The Aerium stand out from the many bands that try to imitate or copy other bands. They are much more original and have their own unique sound that catches the listeners ear immediately.
India metal band Aerium hasn't played together fore long time now. We thought about checking out what are they up to and ask them future plans for the band. The Aerium was formed in 2001 and has seen some changes in their lineup. Since its inception in 2001, the band made exclusively symphonic/gothic metal songs. Their concept of the music they put out was always changing and they finally defined it in 2002. Aerium's songs were symphonic scores with opera vocals in the metal genre.
Their first project was the ‘Version', the drummer Alexander Gubko, guitarist Kiri!! Novikov and keyboardist Andrew Grishin were the founding members of The Aerium. They were from Miass, Chelyabinsk Oblast in Russia and played in many local metal gigs in the early 2000s.
In 2003 two new members joined the band, bassist Igor and singer Veronika. When Kirill and Veronika left the band, Lev Chistyakov and Anastasia Kutuzova replaced them in vocals and guitar. So the current lineup of this inactive band since 2006-20007 includes Igor, Alexander, Andrew, Lev and Anastasia.
After Igor and Veronika joined the band in 2002, they started working on their first recorded song called The Bones". This one did not make it to the demos but it gave the band a chance to find out the kind of metal music they wanted to put out. However, the first song that they included in the demo CD was called 517Song for the dead king'. This record finally defined their musical style and they continued to record two more songs ‘Sentinel' and ‘Wanderer' to add into the first demo CD.
Their first album titled ‘Song for the Dead King' was recorded in July 2004 and they played a local concert tour after its release. Aerium continued to work on new materials and they were signed by Greek metal label Black Lotus for two more albums to be released in 2006. Between 2004 - 2006, the lineup of the band was changed and that's when Anastasia and Lev replaced Veronika and Kirill.
In summing up, During 2006 played some gigs together and released their second demo CD in 2006 named ‘Reviving a Hero'. This demo contained a refreshing change in their style of music and it had three songs. Incidentally, they became inactive after some time of the release of ‘Reviving a Hero' even though they didn't get disbanded. We are expecting to get a response from the band members for possible plans in the future regarding their music and if there's a reunion on their minds. The Aerium was a local sensation and had a lot of potential in the Russian symphonic metal genre in the early 2000’s. It'd be exciting for the band and metal music lovers if they did reunion gigs in near future.
As the band continue to work on their second full length album, to which they have released a three track teaser featuring demos of songs that will be appearing on the follow up, The Aerium show no signs of slowing down, and, as the demos showcase, their sound has evolved. They sound tighter, more confident, and retain the true Gothic Symphonic Metal styling that make them stand out and beg to be heard. If they continue to release quality music like this, they eventually will be the first band you think of when the words Gothic Symphonic Metal are mentioned.