Viza are a hard rock group hailing from Las Vegas, Nevada. Viza have released their brand new full length release, ‘Aria’ which is the follow up to their 2011 epic, ‘Carnivalia’. Given the Viza’s cultural backgrounds it’s not hard to see why their new album ‘Aria’, as well as previous releases, draws from their Armenian and Greek music. The release is certainly something new and refreshing. Viza are a hard rock band who certainly have similarities to the likes of System of a Down, but that could well be down to purely their similar cultural backgrounds. The album flows fantastically through each and every incredibly varied track. The album never feels like its dragging, or jumps around frantically, the tracks just seem to slip into the next without a hiccup. The release feels like one massive epic story once you listen throughout.
The album starts up as epically as it finishes with ‘Never Feel’. The opening track hits you first off with a pounding off bass until the fast paced riff action kicks into full force. K’noup Tomopoulos’ vocals are powerful and incredibly defined. K’noup’s voice is certainly something that needs to be noted when talking about Viza, it is both deep and foreboding, but at the same time can hit the higher notes, yet without losing any of its stage like, booming, weight. The next track ‘Quicksand’ is something of a favourite, becoming almost ballad like in its performance, the track is one to highlight K’noup’s voice, both with its power, and its story telling prowess. Tracks such as ‘Vanished’ and ‘Girl That Doesn’t Exist’ bring in the classic Armenian and Greek instruments to help compliment the hard rock sound they’ve got going. The instruments blend fantastically with their more modern variations and help to vary the tracks and stop any form of repetition from peeking into the album. ‘Alley in Tijuana’ is one of the heavier tracks on the album just further proves the variety that the band has to offer. The only problem with the formula they have is that the narrative of the songs can weigh down the tracks from being just that, tracks. They become too much like stories, and less like tracks you can just sit down and chill to.
Overall, ‘Aria’ is an incredibly enjoyable album to listen to, each and every track is varied to one extent or the other without losing the hard rock feel that bleeds through every single track. It’s fantastic in the sense that the entire thing flows nicely throughout without the fear of getting boring. It’s also refreshing to have a new and different sound out on the market instead of being bogged down in bands that sound far too much like each other to differentiate themselves. The album is both stunning and compelling, and is one of the varied finds of the year.