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Arya – Forever Award winner

Arya
Forever
by Thomas Kumke at 18 September 2020, 6:22 AM

ARYA hailing from Rimini, Italy were founded in 2015. It is not easy to describe their music, it merges elements from a large range of genres and subgenres, for example Progressive Metal, Alternative Rock, Grunge, Indie Pop, Jazz, and Ambient. The sound is very experimental and the band is not afraid to cross boundaries. “Forever” is already their fourth full-length album and was independently released. It has a total length of approximately 62 minutes.

The first song “Easter Day 2018” gives some indication what to expect from “Forever”: starting with heavy guitars, blast beats, and growling male vocals, the song breaks quickly and Virginia Bertozzi takes over with her clean vocals and the sound becomes experimental with ambient elements. The song switches back and forth and is almost a competition of both singers until its resolution. “Flares” is more progressive metal oriented with clean guitars and again the contrast between male and female vocals. The dominant bass lines of Luca Pasini stand out here.

Thymian”, “Lost War Song”, and especially “Survivor Syndrome” are more examples of the variety in sound of ARYA. “Survivor Syndrome” has a complex structure and throws a lot of genres into the mix. It is an eight minute journey being Jazz and Ambient dominated at the beginning and then taken over by Progressive Metal elements. The middle part includes a powerful melodic guitar solo. Noticeable is once again the vocal contrast between male and female during the second half of the song. ARYA demonstrate here their abilities to write very complex and sophisticated songs. “Lost War Song” is one of three songs on “Forever” which were released on YouTube and the link is given below.

The second half of the album continues with the mixture of experimental, progressive, and ambient elements in sound, the complex song structure, and the interplay of the male and female vocals. The best example of the latter one are “Drama” and “To My Friends And Me” where Virginia Bertozzi shows her large range in vocal styles. The way how the male and female vocals are arranged especially in “Drama” remind me a bit on fellow Italians LACUNA COIL. “Drama” and “Roma” are perhaps the most Progressive Metal songs on the album in which “Roma” has a variety of influences including modern Black Metal. “Landslide” is a song where the vocals are dominated again by Virginia Bertozzi and her ambient style of singing. A typical feature, which I noticed in several songs on the album, is the quiet opening which slowly transitions into a more powerful and heavier sound during the end of the songs.

Forever” is an impressive album in terms of the songwriting. It incorporates a lot of different styles and sound elements but ARYA form this in a way that the music does not sound overloaded and distorted. Luca Pasini and Simone Succi provide an excellently balanced sound to achieve this. Virginia Bertozzi provides something special and ARYA would sound very different without her tremendous range of vocal styles. The album is very well produced resulting in a very voluminous sound. The music on “Forever” is probably not everyone’s cup of tea and ARYA is not a band for the masses, however they will have their share of fans and those will clearly enjoy listening to this release.

Songwriting: 10
Musicianship: 9
Memorability: 9
Production: 9

4 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Easter Day 2018
2. Flares
3. Thymian
4. Survivor Syndrome
5. Lost War Song (ft. Paolo Sanchi)
6. Golem
7. Like Insects, Meat
8. Drama
9. Roma
10. Landslide
11. To My Friends And Me
Lineup:
Virginia Bertozzi – Vocals
Luca Pasini – Guitars, Bass, Vocals, Keyboards
Simone Succi ­ Guitars, Vocals
Record Label: Independent
     


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Edited 31 October 2020
 

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