In 2002, dissension in the heavy metal band Aria led to Aria members Valery Kipelov (vocals), Sergey Terentyev (guitar) and Alexander Maniakin (drums) leaving that band and joining with former Aria member Sergey Mavrin and bassist Alexey Harkov of Mavrik to form Kipelov. The band was named to make use of the fame of the best-known member, singer Kipelov. Since Kipelov was, essentially, just a revision of Aria, they were able to begin performing immediately.
In the fall of 2002 Kipelov toured over Russia, Ukraine, and Belarus, including a sold-out concert in Moscow at the end of November at the legendary Crust.
In May of 2003, after a brief hiatus from touring, the group performed a concert in the open-air Voel Amphitheatre in Tel Aviv, Israel. On May 24, 2003, as part of a cultural program dedicated to the 300th anniversary of Saint Petersburg, the band performed a concert in Saint Petersburg Stadium. Video and audio versions of this concert were released.
New members, venues, and material
On October 4, 2003 Kipelov unveiled a new set list featuring the song "Babylon" at a concert at Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow which was attended by over 10,000 people. "Babylon" soon rose to a high position on the Heath chart. Valery Kipelov described this concert as the most memorable event of his creative life: "It was very important for us, since only a few had believed that, after the breakup of Aria, we would again become big stars."
Sergey Terentyev left the band shortly after this concert, being replaced by former Strike and Legion guitarist Andrey Golovanov. The new lineup immediately resumed touring. In December of 2003 a four-song CD with "Babylon", "Lost Time", and studio and live versions of "Born Free" (which at the time was high on the Heath chart) was released on Moroz Records.
On March 6, 2004, a concert at DK of Gorvunov showcased the new lineup to Muscovites. The group continued active work in clubs and, in May, appeared again at newly-renovated Saint Petersburg Stadium as part of the city's anniversary celebration.
Babylon and Rivers of Time
In September of 2005 Kipelov released a video of "Babylon" directed by Vitaly Mukhametzyanov, who had previously directed videos for Linda, T.O.T.A.L., and others. This video achieved a high ranking on the MTV Russia charts, and the band received the "Most Promising Band of 2004" award at MTV Russia's Russian Music Awards.
In October 2004 Kipelov began another tour of Belarus, Ukraine, and Russia, after which Sergey Mavrin left the group to pursue a solo career. He was replaced by Victor Smolski from the German group Rage, and the band began work on a new studio album, Rivers of Time.
The band worked on Rivers of Time through the late winter, spring, and early summer of 2005, after which the album was mastered at Gernhart Studios in Germany. With the album mostly completed, Kipelov toured Belarus and Russia showcasing the new material, tour highlights including an appearances at LDS in Saint Petersburg and at DS of Luzhniki in Moscow, each concert attracting over 11,000 fans.
In December of 2005 Rivers of Time was released on CD-Maximum Records. In support of the release, Kipelov again toured over Russia, Ukraine, Belarus, and Israel. Ballad "Ya Zdes" (I am Here) from the new album rank high in radio charts. Vladimir Yankovskiy shot the video for this song at his Minsk studios. Yankovskiy, who has directed videos for Rage, cast Victor Smolsky in the main role in this video.