During the past two years, Arkona have blossomed into one of the most promising Pagan Metal bands in Europe. Wherever the Russians perform live you can see the manes of their fans circling in the air and you can also see many astonished faces because of the vocal authority of female singer and growler Masha. Personally, I am not a big fan of Pagan Metal but already their 2006 record “Zhizn vo Slavu” got me very interested. The mixture is what makes this band and the harmony between the only Russian growls and the clean vocal parts, the choral singing and the fast changing singing parts, as well as the guitars and drums. All of that is then still combined with ethnic instruments and an impressive orchestra in the background. Just unbelievable.
Their last release “Goi, Rode, Goi” somehow managed to sneak by me without getting noticed but I got an idea of their new sound at a few live gigs that I attended. Vocally, there are not many changes on the new record, the pleasant mixture of clean and growling vocals of Masha makes it very easy also for non-Pagan metal fans to listen (and warm up) to the songs. Musically, Arkona have stepped up another gear on “Slovo”. The new compositions are real masterpieces -- versatile and never boring. Thus, the 14 songs fly by in a rush and all you want to do is to listen to another 14 songs. I´m already looking forward to upcoming live appearances.
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