Aria (Russian: Ария) is a Russian heavy metal band that was formed in 1985 in Moscow. Although it was not the first Soviet band to play heavy music, Aria was the first to break through to mainstream media and commercial success. According to several public polls, Aria ranks among top 10 most popular Russian rock bands. Their sound resembled that of NWOBHM bands, for which they were dubbed the "Russian Iron Maiden" in the media.
The band has most of its lyrics written by professional poets, Margarita Pushkina and Alexander Yelin commonly, and not by its band members. Since the band was founded, several of its founder members have gone on to form bands of their own resulting in Aria becoming the root of the so-called "Aria Family". Master, a band formed by four ex-members of Aria, is one of the most influential Russian metal bands. Kipelov is another example of a band formed by lead vocalist Valery Kipelov, who remained with the band til 2002.