Artist: Arkona 
   Title: Yav
   Label: Napalm Records

Arkona are a Russian pagan metal band existing on the fringes of electronic / folk / death metal and sound like no one else that I have heard of.  The group have combined numerous influences and carved out a niche sound that is hard to do in an oversaturated metal market.

From start to finish Yav is immersed with folk influences that dominate the music the vocal melodies. This inspiration is not only demonstrated through electronic sounds and overdriven guitars, but also by the traditional instruments that feature on the album.  What this adds is a lot of depth and different dynamics that break away from the generic traditions of heavy metal.  At the same time Yav is very progressive and experimental with its multiple time/tempo and instrument changes.

 The songs are not just progressive for the sake of it, but sound carefully crafted and thought out.  What is also interesting about Arkona is that the lyrics are sung in native Slavic language.  This somewhat similar to Wardruna who write and sing their lyrics in Old Norse tongue. 

Led by female vocalist Maria Arkhipova she offers a lot of range in her vocal capabilities from death metal growls to operatic styles.  There is a wealth of musical material on this record that at times can be a little bit overpowering, but it is none the less very enchanting at the same time.  Yav appealed to me as I am influenced by not only by metal, but by electronic music's too.  I would recommend this release for those who are fans of Rammstein and Eastern industrial electronic metal.

Review by: Rob Herald


1. Zarozhdenie 
2. Na strazhe novyh let
3. Serbia
4. Zov pustyh dereven
5. Gorod snov
6. Ved'ma
7. Chado indigo
8. Jav
9. V ob'jat'jah kramoly



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