Napalm Records (2011)
Arkona is a Russian folk metal with elements of black metal and gothic and lots and lots and lots of non-metal, clean female non-strumental and barely instrumental singing, all in Russian. I don't like it, but I do recognize the amount of work and passion and heart that went into creating music that I personally couldn't care less for.
To begin with - not too crazy about Russian language, since I was forced to learn it in Polish elementary school by a decree of a socialist government. Also I do not care for folk music in any capacity. Well, not exactly in ANY capacity - I do own a few albums that have a bit of folk in them, but they are aggressive, melodic and catchy with folk element hardly the main ingredient (the excellent Equilibrium "Sagas" comes to mind). This here is folk music first, and a metal record second. There are some aggressive moments on it, especially since the growler sounds like (s)he is being skinned alive piece by piece. But the overall package is just incredibly boring to me.
I also am particular about language for my metal: English, German (and its Scandinavian derivatives) or Polish, that's it. Any other language sounds silly with metal. Especially Russian. Also, if you're going to record an album full of sprawling folk songs to acoustic background, for fuck's sake don't cram 14 songs totalling almost an hour!
Finally, there is nothing remotely catchy about this album. It just plods along to no consequence. If you're into aggression first, melody second, or, like me, likes proper balance, skip this and get new Aborted, instead. I want to give it 1/6 but I realize my bias against Russian and folk, yet I actually have to LIKE something even a little bit for it to earn 3/6.
Rating: 2.5 / 6
Composed by Dethster4life