Chuck Schuldiner Project

Thursday, June 1, 2023

Arkona - Kob'


After five years of silence, Russian folk/pagan metal legends Arkona make their return with Kob'. In a time where embracing Russian heritage can feel complex, Arkona lean into what has always made them special and craft an album that is far reaching and ambitious, a step up from anything they've done before and a reminder that there is so much powerful music and fascinating influences yet to be unearthed. The droimg and thoughtful power of this record is transcendent and exciting. There aren't many albums that can really pull this off, but Arkona find a way.

Though Kob' is a bit of a stylistic shift for the band, dramatically ratcheting down the intensity and focusing more on delicious moments of ambient magic, as they do on the track "Ugasaya which even showcases what seems like electronic influences. No one has ever said that Arkona is a band who aren't full of surprises! They find ways to make their sound twist and turn and entrance listeners once more, even if they aren't relying as heavily on bombastic riffs anymore and more focused on crafting deeply emotional soundscapes to thrill listeners and lure them into a wonderful sense of darkness and sublime sonic poetry for the masses. 

That being said - Kob' isn't a radical departure from all things Arkona, it just feels a good bit more reflective than much of the past work. It makes for some wonderfully compelling listening and something that really ensconces the listener in sound. There are plenty of classic frills to please existing fans, but the new explorations and longer songs will certainly turn heads. Arkona are speaking their truth in a confusing world and it's hard not to be charmed by that vision they are unveiling for us humble listeners. It's pagan metal for pagan metals sake - and none other.

Pre-order the album!

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