Arkona

Vozrozhdenie (Reissue)

Written by: EW on 26/12/2008 22:49:42

Following the release of "Ot Serdca K Nebu", the fourth full length from Russian pagan-metallers Arkona, Vic Records have seen fit to re-issue the bands first three albums in an effort to support the growing profile of the band outside their native motherland. "Ot Serdca K Nebu" really was a most excellent listen, full of what makes a lot of pagan/Viking/folk metal great (catchy melodies, driving blackened riffs) and genuine sounding Russian flavour and vigour that resulted in some deeply passionate songs.

Debut album from 2004 "Vozrozhdenie" displays a band clearly on the way to writing an album like "Ot..." as it is based primarily on vocal melodies and the lead harmonies of the keyboards but without the knack for writing with the same conviction that was to come to the band in the very near future. Album information is scant I'm afraid so deciphering whether a re-mix has been conducted in the name of these re-releases is hard to tell; but if it hasn't the production and sound quality is very good for a debut album from a band outside the primary countries of metal releases, at no point giving the indication of it being a debut album. Opener "Kolyada" in its 7 minutes is as free-spirited in it's structure as the themes of pagan and Slavic freedom mainwoman Masha Scream composes, including numerous different vocal patterns and riff structures. The dominating vocal melodies to be found in every song can be resembled to their usage in Blind Guardian enabling the band to sound so much more fluid than is actually the case with the instruments and allowing Masha's powerful screams and Eastern-tinged clean vocals to take pride of place sitting alongside heavy synth usage in the likes of "Chernye Vorony" and periods of what sounds like pipes but is probably effect-laden keyboards in "Solntsevorot". It must be said though that much of "Vozrozhdenie" begins sounding similar towards the end with the thought that we've already heard some of these hooks before with a style yet defined in amongst the masses of Turisas's and Korpiklaani's of this world wearing thin.

Download: Kolyada, Solntsevorot
For The Fans Of: Turisas, Forefather, Korpiklaani
Listen: Myspace
Buy: iTunes

Original release date 20.04.2004
Sound Age Productions (original release)
Vic Records (re-issue)

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