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PETRIFICATION - review
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ARKONA
ARKONA
Vozrozhdenie
(Vic Records)
58:33min

The year 2008 had seen a lot of great releases and especially the booming Pagan Metal sector must admit that their scene is a very productive place for a wide range of bands. What makes this scene still so interesting - even if there is an enormous flood of releases with less and / or abyssal musical qualities - is the different understanding of the term Pagan Metal. From bands like FINNTROLL which are taking this style not too serious up to bands like the German KERBENOK or HELFAHRT which are acting more on the Black than on the Pagan shores. The Russian band ARKONA is for sure not a real newcomer mainly due the fact that their fourth album "Ot Serdca K Nebu" ("From The Heart To The Skies") had been released by our Austrian ex Black Metal friends Napalm Records. Founded in 2002 by the female singer Scream the band is an absolute underground diamond for years and resurrected Vic Records (by re-releasing the whole ARKONA back catalogue) are giving the rest of Europe the chance to decide if the cult status is a deserved one? The ARKONA debut "Vozrozhdenie" ("Revival") originally released in 2004 is one of the few releases which left me behind with only one question - how did I survive without this album. Such a passionate and compact release would be astonishing even for an established act but we are talking about a debut from a so far completely unknown band. Furthermore nearly the whole band left before the recording of "Revival" and the only remaining band member Scream had been in charge for all musical matters (supported during the recording session by some friends from NARGATHROND). The major trademarks of the presented 12 songs are the rough female vocals and the purely Russian lyrics plus great keyboard passages. But even if the 'resources' are well known I can't advise a similar band - the band is in the position to add an unique (you can also call it exotic) touch to their music. With "Vozrozhdenie" ARKONA released a fantastic debut with so much heart blood which is maybe not physical visible but you can feel it during the nearly 1 hour trip to our ancestors ancestors. www.vicrecords.com, www.arkona-russia.com

Matthias Auch

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