Alkonost - Octagram
Self Release
Folk Metal
9 songs (46' 3")
Release year: 2018
Reviewed by Andy

After Alina Pelevina departed in 2011, followed by longtime keyboardist Almira Fatkhullina, the band's sound changed a bit. Octagram is a stripped-down version of earlier albums' sound, simpler but still containing a good portion of the soaring atmosphere of old.

Even on the first albums, Alkonost's music sounded like it would never change, and to hear some of these songs, there is a measure of truth in that. The crunching chords and interplayed vocals are still there, and so are the quick little lead-guitar melodies that sit atop them. This can be attributed to founding guitarist Andrey Losev, who has taken over Almira's keyboard duties in addition to the guitar and songwriting, and while his keyboard work doesn't provide as beautiful an atmosphere as his predecessor, his songwriting continues to be top-notch. Following the Young Dawn is as fine as anything he contributed in the early days of the band, and the chugging midtempo beats of a couple of the other tracks, combined with the clear call of his lead guitar work, still have the same magic. Ksenia Pobuzhanskaya's voice, compared to her predecessor, is usually in a lower register here, darker and smokier -- she's more expressive and in front of the instrumental parts, production-wise, than Alina was. Fern, a slower and more introspective version of their usually light melodies, gives her a chance to use her darker tones, even layered with a few self-harmonies.

Beyond that, there aren't a whole lot of changes. Earlier albums seemed to have a slower pace than most of the tracks on here, but Octagram still exudes the same celebratory atmosphere, a bright, upbeat, yet thoroughly pagan sound with a doomy undercurrent. Few listeners have paid as much attention to Alkonost as the band deserves, but Octagram still shows that the core of the band's sound retains freshness.


Killing Songs :
Following the Young Dawn, Fern
Andy quoted 84 / 100
Other albums by Alkonost that we have reviewed:
Alkonost - Between the Worlds reviewed by Andy and quoted 85 / 100
0 readers voted
You did not vote yet.
Vote now

There are 0 replies to this review. Last one on Tue Oct 23, 2018 8:30 am
View and Post comments