I learn something musically new almost every day. Did you know there was a subgenre of metal called pagan metal? I certainly did not and please don’t come at me about it.
For me, music falls into these categories: I like it or I don’t.
If I’m having to describe music for a friend then music usually falls into these categories: rock, alternative, country, rap, urban, metal, folk, pop, and maybe I throw in singer-songwriter. To me no matter the subgenre it falls under, it all goes back to the main genre.
So, when I read pagan metal, I was intrigued and then I saw the press photo of Arkona and they are definitely giving me pagan vibes.
Arkona consists of Masha “Scream” (vocals, keyboards, percussion), Sergei “Lazar” (guitars), Ruslan “Kniaz” (bass), Vladimir “Volk” (wind instruments) and Alexander Smirnov (drums) and have been around for EIGHT studio albums and I am just discovering them on the 9th studio album!
After 5 years of silence, the band is returning from the abyss with Kob’ and its eight dark and sinister tracks. The album will be out on June 16 on Napalm Records. (Side note, June 16th as a date seems to have zero significance to paganism though it is National Fudge Day and I’m willing to celebrate that.)
On their album Kob’, the band says,
Kob’ is Arkona’s darkest creation to date. Conceptually, the album describes six steps of the descent into the abyss, where each of the songs is the epitome of every step. We invite everyone to recognize the truth of the Primordial Darkness by plunging gradually into the world of the black reality of Suicidal Humanity through its complete annihilation.
In short, Kob’ is the story of humanity’s descent into the apocalypse.
At the rate of events happening across this planet floating through the vastness of space, Arkona may have written a prophecy of events instead of story, but only time will tell.
Alongside the album’s first single, the self-titled track, Kob’ (meaning spell in English), the band released a video that shows the story of digging up the past and resurrecting it. (You know this never bodes well for anyone.)
Musically, “Kob’” is poetically beautiful and just like its meaning, the music flows with the ease of a spell slipping from one’s lips but what I find absolutely fascinating are the vocals of Masha. She is the voice of my nightmares. Whether she is singing or howling like a demon, there is a magnificent power within her vocals that is captivating.
Ahead of the release of Kob’, get to know Arkona more by having your soul stolen from you as you watch the video for the title track below.
“Goi, Rode, Goi!” – shows more of Masha’s cleaner vocals along with her harsher vocals
“Liki Bessmertnykh Bogov” – the wonderful clean vocals of Masha allows one to see the beauty of her native language