There are few folk metal bands that remain truly vibrant in 2016. It's one of those genres that kind of blew up and then faded out, and I kind of like it better where it's at now, a potent niche of the metal market but not the juggernaut it was a few years ago. It means that when moments of greatness happen I am far more likely to poke my head out and notice, and, as is the case with the latest from Arkona, Vozrozhdenie fall in love. With one of the most brilliantly composed records of the last few years, Arkona come out on top once again.
Vozrozhdenie has thoroughly captured my imagination to the point that I've listened to the album three times just today. Arkona understand exactly why people love them and make their unique brand of Russian folk metal strangely poppy. When you consider the sheer majesty of the arrangements it becomes increasingly difficult to deny the enduring power of this band. With Vozrozhdenie prove that they are creating enduring art that doesn't just rely on gimmicky folk instruments to succeed. Instead Arkona take their rightful place as veritable heavy metal saviors who can make you think, but also kick up a hell of a jig pit.
The balance of folk and metal is perfect on this record, the powerful gutturals accentuating top notch folk melodies. Arkona has been a flag bearer for this scene for years and for good reason. This latest release is an extension on all that they have been known to do, with more brutal songs than ever before, but also tracks that really emphasize the more light hearted side of the band. Vozrozhdenie is a functional tour de force for Arkona and hints that the greatest is yet to come from a band who represent some of the best their scene has to offer.
Find them on Facebook!