|Review: Arkona - Ot Serdtsa K Nebu|
|Ot Serdtsa K Nebu|
Label: Sound Age Productions
Year released: 2007
Genre: Pagan Metal
Review online: December 3, 2007
Reviewed by: Nicholas Lazarus
for:Ot Serdtsa K Nebu
Arkona are a truly remarkable band with character and insight. I'd been eagerly awaiting the chance to hear this album, and I was somewhat taken aback when I finally heard it.
It seems Arkona have taken a new abstract approach to their sound, and hence my shock. There are subtle hints of progressive, which blend their deeply layered, distinctly Pagan sound with something a bit further left of center, so to speak.
The second track, for example opens with a demented folk acoustic passage, and is then joined by bagpipes with a somewhat Black Metal riff. It's something like Enslaved while still being recognizable as Arkona.
The album features riffs that range from Russian folk ensemble, to Death Metal and Black Metal. Instruments that range from mouth harp to wind instruments. Vocals that range from choir to Black Metal hisses. Drum beats that range from polka beats to blasts. All of which exchange parts seamlessly yet always make sense.
The dreary mood of the album seldom wanes. This album finds Arkona in a darker realm, which in previous albums they've only but stepped into. In places they seemed to have borrowed ideas from Doom Metal, while keeping the Pagan overtones set.
The vocalist, Masha, is simply stellar. She would be unmistakable among ten thousand voices. She sings beautifully, vividly, and with unfaltering passion. She can sing soothing passages in Russian, which are just gorgeous. But she can also be ravenous with her harsh vocals where she can barely be recognized as the same person, or as being a woman. She is one of my favorite vocalists under the Black Metal bracket.
This album was difficult to digest at first for all it eccentricities. But after you break it in, it's a great journey into dark Pagan realms. Another high quality album from Arkona.
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