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Arkona - Vo Slavu Velikim (CD)

Arkona
Vo Slavu Velikim
by Dimitris Kontogeorgakos at 10 December 2008, 12:37 PM

Even though I like Folk Metal I admit with shame my ignorance on the band from Russia named ARKONA. This Folk treat is kind of a legend in their homeland and now we have the chance to meet them through the re-releases by Vic Records.
The band was formed in 2002 by Maria Scream Arhipova and Alexander Warlock Korolyov under the name HYPERBOREA that lasted only a few months. Their music was deeply inspired by ancient national beliefs that were presented in the band's mother tongue.
Vo Slavu Velikim -that stands for For The Glory Of The Great- is ARKONA's third album and the successor to Lepta that saw the light of the day in December of 2004. According to the band's bio sheet this is the most complicated album in their back catalogue so let me shed light on its musical content.
The sound of a Russian gaita opens the album sending loud and clear the message for what is about to follow. This is definitely not the 'traditional' Pagan Metal we usually get from bands like ENSIFERUM, ELUIVEITE or even WAYLANDER; the Russian stamp creates an original sound that balances between barbarity and graciousness. Maria is the perfect vehicle for this balance that is expressed through her harsh yet delicate vocals. The music comes pompous most of the times but not overloaded; various traditional musical instruments make an appearance right on time to create an impressively solid sound filled with uplifting and epic feelings. Vo Slavu Velikim will help imagine snow covered battlefields with Vo Slavu Velikim! or the accordion driven Zov Bitvy that translates to call for battle. The distorted guitars are fast and take a closer step towards the Black Metal territory with cutting edge riffs. When you are not in the middle of a bloody battle ARKONA light a fire for you and your brothers in arms and call to sing with them in the traditional tunes of Tuman Yarom, and flute based Vyidi, Vyidi Ivanku … and prepare once again to fight with the hymn-like Vosstanie Roda.
My love for the Russian language and for Metal made me really enjoy this album and sing with ARKONA the classic and groovy lai, lai, la during the closing track Sila Slavnyh while banging my head against the gaita tempo. If you think and feel like me about the die-hard Folk Metal and go no further; ARKONA are here for to take you in a trip to Rus' Iznachal'naya (Ancient Russia).

4 Star Rating

Tracklist:
Intro (Kolymiyka)
Skvoz' Tuman Vekov
Rus' Iznachal'naya
Vo Slavu Velikim!
Po Syroi Zemle
Tuman Yarom
Zov Bitvy
Vedy Proshlogo
Velikden'
Gnev Vremen (Anger Of The Ages)
Na Svarogovoi Doroge ( On The Svarog's Path)
Vyidi, Vyidi Ivanku …
Vosstanie Roda (Popular Uprising)
Sila Slavnyh
Lineup:
Maria Scream Arhipova - Vocals
Sergey Lazar - Guitar
Ruslan Knyaz' - Bass
Vlad Artist - Drums
Record Label: Vic Records
     


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