Arkona - Lepta
Vic Records
Folk Metal
9 songs (41:39)
Release year: 2004
Arkona, Vic Records
Reviewed by Thomas
Archive review

As I lay on the forest floor deep within the dark and cold Russian woods, thrilling flute-melodies emerges from beyond the trees and embraces every branch, every straw, every leaf, and even the air and fills it with comfortable warmth. Even the birds, big and small, are coming out from their nests, and they are all whistling along. The mysterious melodies seem almost…. Magic. This glimmering music seems to have spellbound me, and I feel an ever-growing urge to explore the widening forest to find the source of this sorcery. As I’m walking, listening, the blistering voice of what seems to be a female compels my mind although they’re alternating between fierce screams of despair and soft and enthralling touches of the spirit. The enchanting strings and the pounding wood-pecking does nothing but light another fire of aggression and the Slavic whistling is as enchanting as ever. I’m looking for some sort of light in this blackened forest without any success; however, the music grows louder and it feels more surrounding than before.

I see a flickering light long ahead. It appears to be a bonfire, and I see dancing shadows in the gurgling flames. As I’m drawing nearer, I see all kinds of creatures and above everything, on a wooden table, I see four humans fronted by a beautiful female. Her harsh voice seems to be spellbinding everything within her reach and shockwaves of melodies gives life to the ever-growing bonfire. My pagan blood starts to boil, and an inner flame is urging me to take part in the dance and the festivities. I approach them, scared out of my mind, but I’m still walking without hesitating. They glance at me as I draw near, never hostile, never friendly; they’re just glancing with lively eyes while the music keeps on casting spells. I feel an acceptance, and I learn the group of playing humans’ name. It’s Arkona, the same as the last pagan Slavic castle that was recently destroyed by Danish invaders. They have awakened the pagan in me, and I participate in the dance to the ever-enchanting music. I learn that they are the last remaining Slaves of Rügen, and that they are praising the ancient Slavic god Svantevit, the god of war, hence the epic and melodic yet powerful music. The war-chants and the melodies are perfectly balanced, perfectly executed, setting the proper mood and still keeping the magic inferno in the middle alive.

The twisted bellowing of their female front tells tales of anger, woven centuries and wars using ancient folk melodies to proclaim it all. The interaction between the magic four is flawless; their playing is well-executed which maintains the spell. Multi-instrumentalist Masha unleashes her crooked wolverine howling with the purpose of biting your head off while Sergei `Lazar` puts his body and soul into the furious riffs and compelling melodies. Vlad and Rusian are responsible for the thunderous rhythm section, hammering on with backbreaking twists and turns. The creatively shaped crowd is looking and listening in awe when the ancient and traditional Russian folk melody Oi, To Ne Vecher… fades into nothingness, the bonfire more lively than ever as the spell clutches firmly before slowly fading away. A faint blush of the familiar cold wind sends chills down my spine. What’s happening? All is gone, the music, the warmth, the creatures and the bonfire. The cadaverous wind is blowing with familiar strength and brushes my hair aside. But my blood is still boiling.

Killing Songs :
Thomas quoted 85 / 100
Goat quoted 82 / 100
Other albums by Arkona that we have reviewed:
Arkona - Yav reviewed by Alex and quoted 91 / 100
Arkona - Slovo reviewed by Goat and quoted 85 / 100
Arkona - Stenka na Stenku reviewed by Alex and quoted no quote
Arkona - Goi, Rode, Goi! reviewed by Thomas and quoted 89 / 100
Arkona - Ot Serdtsa K Nebu reviewed by Goat and quoted 89 / 100
To see all 8 reviews click here
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