Where did they go: The Aerium Mystery

It's interesting if you're from the Russian countryside and your choice of music is symphonic metal. This genre of music, as one might say, personifies aggression and machismo in their purest forms. It's not deferential or politically correct but instead targets the darkest corners of one's mind. Simplicity too exists in this music, make no mistake, but with a tinge of gloom that's quite in your face.

Well, getting back to the Russian part of this whole deal, there are subgenres in metal that are manifestations of the place they originate from And mostly, these subgenres come with an agenda. For example: Norwegian Black Metal (to name one of many) speaks of Satanism and anarchy. Goth Metal tells you stories of darkness and melancholy. There's always a reason, which is a loud call for personal identity behind such styles of music. While certain parts of the world dominate in these subgenres, the bands that perform in them choose to remain underground more often than not. If you head to the southern Ural Mountains and spot the city of Miass, you might find one such act that has managed to be as far off-the-grid as it gets!

With the growing popularity of other bands in the symphonic heavy metal genre led to a flurry of bands. The Aerium were one such band that slowly evolved into a very nice concept. Created in 2001 by Alexander Gubko (drums), Andrey Grishin (keyboards) and Kirill Novikov (guitars), the band flirted around with a bunch of styles. Since that's how any band starts out, they did too and after a bit of striving, vocals and bass too came in. They were a strong masculine line-up with huge support from their powerful female vocals.

Anastasia Melnikova BVeronika Sevostyanova had that kind of opera range the band was looking for and Igor Reshentikov could provide ample bass. The band put together a couple of demos in the first couple of years and in 2004 came a 40 minute long album titled ‘Song for the Dead King’ courtesy of the Greek metal label Black Lotus backing it. Although the intentions were high and the genre of power metal merged with operatic vocals was thriving at the time, the album, according to the critics, came out a bit-flat and others called flat-out poorly mixed and amatuerish.

The band also had its share of line-up changes when Kirill Novikov decided to quit the band to be replaced by Lev Chistyakov on the guitars. A setback of sorts came when, around the same time, the incredible Veronika Sevostyanova decided to leave the band. Her distinctive soprano tone and incredible vocal range was the trademark of the band. She was then replaced by Anastasia Melnikova, an equally talented vocalist who brought a distinct gothic-metal pop element to the group.

The two new changes fit the band very well and things went on smoothly. The style too evolved with time and the band moved to a slightly different version of symphonic metal which rivaled the likes of the Swedish dark metal band “Nightwish”. They soon came up with three new demos which were put together to be titled ‘Reviving a Hero’. The new punchy name suggested that the band was making progress towards a new philosophy.

Around 2006, the band seemed to stop performing for unexplained reasons and pretty soon they split. The members each have gone in different directions and choose to stay under the radar. Is that the end of the story- not exactly. They continued to have concerts and make songs up until 2010, yet the trail does get a bit cold after that. Thanks to the digital footprint and social media we can see that Anastasia Melnikova is now married to a singer (ironically enough) and is now pursuing a career in photography and even has her own metal music review channel.

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCfNK0p_vM0jfr5cW3zaep_g/featured

You can even check her here: https://www.facebook.com/0o.naka.o0 and here too: https://vk.com/neko.naka

And the band does have recent activity on this Facebook looking site here:

https://vk.com/theaerium

Curious about hearing all their music for free? Check here:

http://muzup.me/?song=Aerium