If you're thinking of the genre of folk metal, what are some of the bands that come to your mind? For me its bands like Borknagar, Primordial, and Equilibrium. To tell you the truth this band, Arkona, would probably be at the very bottom of that list. They are a very obscure band from Russia that a lot of people, including myself a while ago, have never heard of. Their most recent album Ot Serdtsa K Nebu proves that this band deserves at least a couple of listens from all fans of the folk metal genre. The band mixes folk metal and black metal and the end result is one hell of an album. To be honest, the genre has other albums that are much better and more interesting, but Ot Serdtsa K Nebu still holds its ground.
The first track is simply called Prologue. Its almost three minutes long and to tell you the truth thats about two minutes too long. Its just three minutes of chanting basically nothing. Just a little bit of the vocalist, Scream, who is a female by the way, talking. After you get past that you actually get into the real album. Instrumentally this album follows the same forumla the whole time. Simple riffs, blast beats, and folk intstruments. The main focus is of course on the folk intstruments. The folk instrument that plays the biggest role throughout the album is definitely the flute. You hear a flute playing in every single song on the album except for a few of the instrumentals. As for the guitars, they aren't the main focus as they are in most other metal albums. They are pretty much pushed to the side on this album. Basically they just play simplistic riffs the whole time. No solos or anything mindblowing to be found here. The bass is inaudible as usual on metal albums. As for the drumming, its pretty good. Nothing technical, but the drummer, Vlad or Artist, plays with pretty good speed whether it be blast beats or just fast, regular beats. Other than the folk instruments, the drums are definitely a highlight instrumental wise.
Vocals on this album are handled by Masha also known by her stage name Scream. This woman is truly one of the top female vocalists in the metal genre today. Its very sad that this band is pretty unknown. She pretty much does it all. She has death growls, black metal screams, and amazing clean singing. Amazing is actually an understatement when describing her clean vocals. Her growls are reminiscent of Angela Gossow of Arch Enemy fame, which isn't a bad thing. The black metal screams that she does sound pretty much like the typical black metal style of vocals. Her best vocal performance is probably on the title track, which is also by far the best song on this album. I would mention her lyrics, but unfortunately I don't speak Russian. I'm sure they're great though. Folk metal lyrics are great for the most part.
Overall this album is worth a listen if you're a folk metal or black metal fan. Masha's vocals are reason enough to want to hear the album. There are a few down sides to this album though. First of all its a little too long. If there was about 15 to 20 minutes taken off of this album to make it around 40 or 45 minutes, it would be even better. Another down side is that the album gets repetitive. Its pretty much the same thing for the entire duration of the album, except the epic title track. Those are the only things that keep this album from getting a 4. If I was just judging by the vocals though this would be a 4.5 easily. So like I said earlier, worth a few or more than a few listens, but nothing groundbreaking.
My fuckin man Hawks. Review is a bit short man, and some incorrect grammar here and there, add a little more description and I''ll pos. Arkona, actually is not obscure at all. They're signed onto Napalm Records and I think they are the first Russian metal band to be properly promoted here in the states. Nearly every metal mag i've bought recently feature adds from this band. Marsha Scream writes all the lyrics too, fyi, i'd write a little more about her since she really is the force of the album. The album is too long for it's own good and does tend to drop off somewhat but willie, not sure you'd like it then.This Message Edited On 08.20.08
But scream, the difference here being, Russian folk melodies take over the typical Scandinavian and Celtic style that gets oversaturated and at least is a nice change of pace. Not just flutes, some crazy stuff not to mention the language she sings in. It does sound refreshing from the folk metal genreThis Message Edited On 08.20.08
She's a big part of why this album rules but not the whole reason. The instrumentals rule and are the best part of the album, which I kind of compare this to Eluveitie's Slania. Also, the music video from this album happens to be one of the sickest music videos i've seen.
Good review on the details part, but the intro kind does the same thing as some of your other intros, like saying "hey you like this type of metal? when i think ____ metal, i think ___, ___, ___, and ____" or something along those lines.