Arkona of Russia have risen up the ranks of pagan folk metal since 2002. ‘Goi, Rode, Goi!’ is their fifth full-length output, their first on Napalm Records who will no doubt fire them towards the right consumers. Testament to their success is the appearance of musicians from such established bands in this genre like Månegarm, Skyforger, Menhir, Obtest and Heidevolk. Nearly clocking in at eighty minutes, this album is a demanding one and very rewarding after repeated listens. The structuring is more sophisticated and mature than bands like Korpiklaani or Ensiferum. Not hailing from a Nordic country depletes the majority of that obnoxious, jovial atmosphere that the aforementioned bands frequently adhere to but not entirely, as can sadly be heard on ‘Tropoiu Nevedanno’. The music never stagnates, sounding adventurous, vibrant and passionate. It builds a very substantial sense of place, employing melody and rawness intelligently. There are a bevy of unusual folk instruments on this release alongside a choir and a string quartet! This is a highly ambitious album that succeeds in instilling coherency to establish highly enjoyable music. The only detracting feature of this splendid Arkona album is frontwoman Masha ‘Scream’ Arhipova’s growls as for usual. They are absolutely atrocious and sound reprehensibly amateur. They only succeed in drawing attention away from the well-crafted music. I can only imagine she has a sore throat for days after a recording. If only they were deeper or she just stuck to her formidable clean voice. Additionally, the album would not lose much if it was trimmed by ten minutes, preferably removing the mindless, single-dimensional Korpiklaani moments. There are enough bands that do this already. Nonetheless, this is a packed-to-bursting album worth the money with possibly infinite replay value.
GOI, RODE, GOI!
Review by Elena Francis
2nd Nov 2009
1) Goi, Rode, Goi!, 2) Yarilo
3) Nevidal; 4) Na Moey Zemle
5) Pritcha; 6) V Tsepiakh Drevney Tainy
7) Tropoiu Nevedannoi
8) Liki Bessmertnykh Bogov; 9) Kolo Navi
10) Korochun; 11) Pamiat
12) Kupalets; 13) Arkona
14) Nebo Hmuroe, Tuchi Mrachniye
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN:
"...this is a packed-to-bursting album worth the money with possibly infinite replay value."