ARKONA – Slovo

ARKONA - Slovo

Origin: Russia
Genre: Folk Pagan Metal
Label: Napalm Records SoundAge Productions
Year: 2011

Slovo” is the latest album from Arkona. The most successful Russian pagan folk metal band is already celebrating 10 years since its creation. This is their sixth full-length album, two years after “Гой, Роде, Гой!” and it is released again by Napalm Records for European and worldwide distribution and by SoundAge Productions for the Baltic lands.

As expected, Arkona created another great album. The band has already carved its own personal style and they are now a basic reference and influence for many new bands in the genre. Their characteristic melodic pagan Slavic folk metal tunes and their rich orchestrations containing both metal and traditional folk instruments, combined with their front-woman’s (Masha “Scream”) amazing vocals have made their sound very distinctive. The band continues this musical path since its beginning, enriching its sound with new elements from album to album. So comparing it with their previous works, I would say that “Slovo” is a little more symphonic and a lot of attention has been given to the choral parts. Arkona have collaborated again with many guest musicians from other folk metal bands (Eluveitie, Rodogost, Svarga, Rarog, Kalevala, Vedan Kolod), as well as the Chamber Orchestra of Kazan State Conservatory N.G. Zhiganova and the choir of Moscow State Conservatory students! Their sound is very solid and this is the best production the band ever had. All instruments are perfectly clear; guitars and drums are powerful when needed, folk acoustic instruments sound magical and their symphonic – choral parts so bombastic. There are 14 songs in this album lasting over 57 minutes. Like always, the variety of their music is impressive; folk metal, extreme metal, acoustic and symphonic parts are of equal importance in their music. Sometimes these styles are separate and other times are blended in many different combinations. Once more Masha’s vocals are excellent! She can sing whatever she wants, being perfect at every style, whether it is pagan black metal screams, clean epic female vocals, traditional Slavic style, or even atmospheric recitations. Of course everything is sang in Russian and I hope (and believe) it will always remain this way…

Slovo” is an album recommended to every pagan folk metal fan. I think it is the best and most complete work of Arkona so far, a very balanced and “clever” album. All compositions are interesting and the band avoided “indifferent” moments or “filler” songs. The artwork is once again illustrated by Kris Verwimp and the album comes with an amazing 36-page booklet (at least the digibook from SoundAge). You can visit their myspace page or their official site to get a taste of their new songs. They have also released a video for the song “Stenka Na Stenku”, which you can enjoy below…


Rating:  (9,5/10)

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