Well, whenever I see or hear the name ARKONA, I automatically connote it with group born in 1993 in Perzów, Poland. But the fact is that there’re two more bands with this name, connected with the main Slavonic god. One is from Czech Republic and second from Russia. Anyways, here we have with 9th (if we’ll don’t count compilations and live albums) full-length of ensemble from Moscow to do.
Guys call their music Pagan/Folk Metal. I don’t like word “pagan” because I know what is the etymology and what it means in Latin; since this language is dead, this word didn’t change its meaning. Besides I think this word can describe very well lyrical part of creation and not music itself. Anyhow, in my opinion we have some kind of Black Metal here to do with. Yes, some kind because this is about specific dark atmosphere and not stricte musical questions. Russians play quite eclectically and there’s many influences, including fascination of Folk. In general music is calm and in rather middle-slow tempo. But it doesn’t mean that guys play some sweet ballads and Masha sings with even sweeter voice! Actually, her vocalizations are variable – from declamation via normal singing with clean voice to quite brutal growling. Anyway, she’s the only original band’s member in ARKONA. In guitar’s track I can feel Black, but also for example some subtle touches of Doom Metal or not so subtle Heavy ones. Sergey plays variable and even if there’re no some displays, it sounds interesting and fresh. Riffs aren’t maybe some technical Chomolungma, but are advanced and change often enough. Once they create melody, once are even brutal in some way. The same I can say about drumming. There’re some fragments when you can see this as monotonous, maybe, butt it’s only connected with structure of songs. Besides, Andrey mostly beats variable with quite huge number of passages and so on. Of course changes of tempo also happen and sometimes there’re almost Death Metal blasts. Personally I’d like to hear more cymbals.
On the end I’d like to thank Masha for her pertinacity! If she’d don’t be like that band would split up yet in 2003 (something like one year after its born) and we’d lost forever an opportunity of listening to ARKONA‘s creativity. And in my opinion it really deserve an attention and getting to know this. By the way, don’t worry and be afraid this stuff if you don’t like so called Folk Metal. We have some elements of Folk here, but this is real Metal, which dominate here.