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Arkona: Ot Serdca K Nebu

They may hail from Russia, but Arkona are firmly rooted in the Slavic/pagan metal movement, if there is such a thing. Led by the multi-faceted vocals of Masha 'Scream' Arhipova, who provides clean vocals, growls, and screams, the music on Ot Serdca K Nebu is highly folk inflected, featuring plenty of recorders, tin wistles, and acoustic guitars, mixed in between the pummeling death/black metal mayhem. Part of the time it works, like on the blistering "Nad Propast'ju Let", a raging black metal styled number with jackhammer blast beats, screeching vocals, and furious guitar riffs, complemented nicely by folky recorder and acoustic guitar. All too often though the music here sounds very similar from track to track, and the Russian vocals make it hard to really get into what is going on. With 14 songs, there's also a tad too much to digest, the band probably would have been better off trimming off fifteen minutes or so of the longwinded tunes which would have made for a more cohesive album. Still there's enough to recommend here for anyone who has even a passing desire to check out another pagan/folk metal band, especially from an unlikely place such as Russia.

Track Listing
01. Prologue
02. Pokrovy Nebesnogo Starca
03. Goj, Kupala!!!
04. Ot Serdca K Nebu
05. Oj, Pečal'-Toska
06. Gutsulka
07. Strela
08. Nad Propast'ju Let
09. Slav'sja, Rus'
10. Kupala I Kostroma [digipak bonus]
11. Tsygular
12. Sva
13. Katitsja Kolo
14. Epilogue

Added: August 9th 2008
Reviewer: Pete Pardo
Related Link: Band's MySpace Page
Hits: 1897
Language: english

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