This out-of-print collection features tracks from every Tess Records release from 1989 to 1997, as well as unreleased songs from Autumn, Blade Fetish, Faith & the Muse, This Ascension, and Trance To the Sun. The disc opens with the A Cappella "Frater Ave Atque Vale" (now on the new F&tM CD Vera Causa) by Dru of This Ascension and Monica Richards of Faith & the Muse.
A review by Mike Ventarola
"This beautifully rendered compilation provides over 76 minutes of music. Many of the selections are previously unreleased tracks or alternate versions not available elsewhere. The collective musical body of songs is an amalgamation that spans from ethereal to goth rock and shoegazer. It remains a showcase for the many varied talents on the label and is a great introduction for those of you not familiar with the bands mentioned. If one can truly claim to locate beauty in darkness, no further investigation would be required upon discovering this compilation. Each song flows with the entire body of work but remains unique and different enough to create a lasting impression for the listener. The artistry behind the featured music is intelligent, endearing, and highly creative. For some unreleased gems you just can't go wrong with this compilation."
A review from Industrial Nation #16
An excellent compilation of all the acts available on that fabulous label Tess Records: Faith & the Muse, This Ascension, Autumn, Blade Fetish, and Trance To the Sun. Aria starts with a beautiful a cappella duet with Monica Richards from Faith and the Muse and Dru from This Ascension called "Frater Ave Atque Vale." It also features the first duet William Faith and Monica Richards ever did together, as well as some of Faith and the Muse's best songs such as "All Lover's Lost" and "The Silver Circle." The majority of the songs on this sampler are previously unreleased. The unreleased songs from This Ascension are excellent and one of their best songs ever, Exhibition, is also included. Great stuff from Autumn. This is something really worth getting because of the unreleased stuff, or, if you are just not sure about some of the bands it's a great way to try them. Beautiful packaging, wonderfully produced. Anoth r fab release by Tess Records. If you haven't been able to tell by now, I hightly recommend it.
A review from Outburn 5
A chronicle of the first 10 (or so) years of the label, Aria features tracks from every album released on Tess as well as one unreleased song from every band on the label. Some of the album tracks, such as "Translucia" and "August Rain" by Trance to the Sun and "Seconds" by Autumn are either re-recordings or remixes. And two This Ascension tracks, "Just Assassin" (from Tears In Rain) and "Chameleon Room" (from Light & Shade) are re-mastered and sound far better than the original releases. All of the unreleased tracks are excellent songs but the two that stand out are the This Ascension song "Sever" from their upcoming album of the same name, and quite possibly one of the best songs I've ever heard in the gothic genre, "Frater Ave Atque Vale," an a cappella duet featuring Dru from This Ascension and Monica Richards from Faith & the Muse. This song alone is more than enough reason to own Aria, and you get and excellent cross-section of one of the greatest goth labels of the last decade.