ALBUM REVIEWS

ARKONA – “Khram” (2018)

Arkona-Khram-2018-featured
Written by Hardwired Crew

ARKONA
“Khram”
Epic Pagan/Folk Metal
(Napalm Records, 2018)

It was known the familiar Russians would not disappoint with a new album, because it just can not happen to them to lose inspiration and publish issues of an inferior  type, but such an epic and above all a high quality blow could not be foreseen even by Nostradamus, let alone Mayan prophecies.

When you follow closely and love a band from the very beginning of their career, there is always some sort of emotional fear a new item could spoil the perfect picture that you have created together with artists in question for years, and thus kill a part of your soul.

However,  that never applied to a fantastic pagan folk metal band  ARKONA. It was known the familiar Russians would not disappoint with a new album because it just can not happen to them to lose inspiration and publish issues of an inferior type, but such an epic and above all a high-quality blow could not be foreseen even by Nostradamus, let alone Mayan prophecies.

Completely surrendered to a wonderful and wild depth of music oceans, Masha and Sergey obviously left for a new brave world, but without forgetting the past or heritage, more exactly. Thus,  Arkona became an absolutely brilliant band! As the Arkona town was one of the latest (if not even the last) pagan fortresses, so the band  Arkona is still one of the best (if not even the best) in pagan folk metal, penetrating with the new work “Khram” deeply into epic waters, not fearing of experimenting, exploring, and even intimate stories.

So, it’s no wonder we got more music, but fewer songs. Epic anthems like “Tseluya zhizn'” i “Rebionok bez imeni” are trademarks of the issue, not because of their length, but because of thousands of various layers and colours the epopees are wrapped in, better to say paint. However, I would especially single out the magic “V ladonyah bogov” that represents the band in a completely new light, but at the same time is by quality in the same rank with the unforgettable songs like “Kolyada”, Rus iznachalnaya” or “Yav”.

In a word, the Russians this time offered to us the top quality or the finest gold if you would like it better. The vocals are perfect, melodies amazing, playing different instruments brought to perfection, while epic moments, more numerous from album to album, fascinate even the greatest sceptic. When you add to all that an excellent cover of the song “Volchitsa”  (you should listen to the original of the band Vedan Kolod), as well as guest performance of sons of the major pair of the band, it is completely clear we have the opportunity to listen to something unique and rare or, more precisely said, a real masterpiece!

Written by Boban Pantoš

Track listing:
01. Mantra (Intro) / Mantra
02. Shtorm / Storm
03. Tseluya zhizn’ / Kissing the Life
04. Rebionok bez imeni / A Child without a Name
05. Khram / Temple
06. V pogonie za beloj ten’yu / Chasing the White Shadow
07. V ladonyah bogov / In the Hands of Gods
08. Volchitsa (Vedan Kolod cover) / Shewolf
09. Mantra (Outro) / Mantra
 
4

It was known the familiar Russians would not disappoint with a new album, because it just can not happen to them to lose inspiration and publish issues of an inferior  type, but such an epic and above all a high quality blow could not be foreseen even by Nostradamus, let alone Mayan prophecies.