Arkona
Ot Serdca K Nebu

Here’s a fine folk metal album from Russia’s Arkona that continues Napalm’s recent run of solid folk metal albums (Svartsot, Heidevolk, Alestorm and to some extent Hollenthon) and should please fans of typically Russian/Eastern European bands like Butterfly Temple, Obtest, Skyforger Pagan Reign as well as the usual folk overload fare like Finntroll and Asmegin.

Undoubtedly, Arkona will have the largest appeal to those that enjoyed Eluveitie’s recent album due to the heavy presence of a synth generated Hurdy Gurdy, flute, tin whistle and other folky instruments. However, the main draw of Arkona is female singer Masha who provides the ample screams, growls and plenty of ethnic clean and traditional vocals (“Sva” being particularly impressive and varied) throughout the albums 12 tracks, all in her native tongue.

Translated as “From Heart to Sky’, Ot Serdtsa K Nebu is a rangy album with lots of the expected folk metal fall backs and structures; bouncy, happy camp fire songs (“Goj, Kupala!!!”), more somber numbers (“Ot Serdtsa K Nebu”, “Oy, Pechal-Toska”) all with the usual more black/death metal based riffage (“Pokrovy Nebesnogo Startsa”, “Sva”), all littered with ethnic and folk instrumentation and Masha’s vocal schizophrenia It’s all very solidly done, especially when the band ramps up the Russian influence (“Slavsya Rus””, “Katitsja Kolo”) and even delivers a couple of enjoyable, traditional Russian songs (“Gutsulka”, “Cigular” and personal favorite “Kupala I Kostroma”).

That all being said, a lot of the songs are a bit drawn out (namely the 6-7 minute tracks and the Epilogue/Prologue) and other than “Sva”, the songs or entire album don’t absolutely grab me like say the recent Equilibrium release. That being said, Masha is a stunning talent, and I’d like to hear her in a more pure traditional/folk acoustic release.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Erik T
August 25th, 2008

Comments

  1. Commented by: Grimulfr

    I came across this band through Rossomahaar and Nargathrond and picked up the one all in Russian so I can’t type any titles, the one with all the soldiers lined up on the cover, well worth finding the other releases as well.


  2. Commented by: Sergei Khorochkkov

    Vozrozdenie, is the name of the album.
    Anyways I just want to point out that all the instruments were authentic in this release, only in Vozrozdenie were they synth.
    Arkona and Russian Folk metal has intergrity unlike all those VIking Metal bands. So I disagree with this review but it is not a bad review at all. I recommned this album.


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