ARKONA - Slovo

Arkona - Slovo

14 songs
57:24 minutes
***** ****


Russian folk and pagan metal band Arkona have released already quite a lot of records since their inception in 2002. Especially their CD Goi, Rode, Goi! and the live album Notsch Welesowa, both from 2009, had me all excited. After their EP Stenka Na Stenku earlier this year, they are back with their already sixth longplayer Slovo.

After the mandatory intro, things start straight ahead with Arkaim. The pace is brisk, and the strong female voice, the choirs and the flutes instantly set you in the right mood. Amazing contrasts can be found on Bolno Mne which juxtaposes acoustic parts next to extreme black metal eruptions. The jarring violin furthermore sets accents. Actually the band likes to rely on unusual sounds, like accordion and medieval wind instruments. Arkona work hard to sound different from other metal bands, and they succeed. Especially the heroic choirs manage to get under one’s skin. On the opposite side of the spectrum, we get on Nikogda a fierce blast part that you would rather have expected from Brutal Truth. The Russians also manage to flawlessly perform polyphonic a cappella vocals, and the medieval sounding Odna also works well for the band. Towards the end, the already known Stenka Na Stenku is a party song that will certainly lift your spirits.

I can’t repeat often enough that Arkona are not only a technically impressive band, but that they are also great at putting emotions into their music. Of course the element of surprise is gone, now that I am acquainted with the band’s music, but that effect can only be achieved once. Arkona constantly deliver quality and never fail.

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