My HeadBangers how about some Russian Folk/Pagan Metal this week. I knew you would like it. Welcome:
I love this woman’s growl vocals, and the videos are excellent. The first one “Ugasaya”, makes me think of the end of everything, love it. Let’s check out some bio on this band.
Arkona is a Russian folk/pagan metal band. Their lyrics are heavily influenced by Russian folklore and Slavic mythology, their music incorporates several traditional Russian musical instruments. The name of the band “Arkona” refers to the last Pre-Christianized Slavic city-castle.
Founded in February 2002 by two members of Dolgoprudny Slavic Neopaganism Society: Masha “Scream” Arkhipova and Alexander “Warlock” Korolyov, originally as Giperboreya (Гиперборея – Hyperborea). At the end of 2002 the group (featuring also Evgeny Knyazev on guitar, Evgeny Borzov on bass and Olga Loginova on keyboards, and now as Arkona) entered the Moscow CDM Studios. Having recorded the Rus demo (its three tracks re-surfaced in 2006 as bonuses for the live set Zhizn vo Slavu), the band started playing live, performing with fellow Russian folk metal bands, like Butterfly Temple, Pagan Reign, Svarga, and Rossomahaar.
ARKONA began performing live in early 2003. Many concert-goers experienced the band for the first time at the Yazycheskaya Rus” Festival. By the summer of 2003, ARKONA was ready to record their debut, but disinterest in the band by some of its members saw the band disappear from the scene as quickly as it had arrived. Yet Masha’s perseverance would not subside. Continuing on her own, and with the help of the members of Nargathrond, she proceeded to compose new material. Her fellow musicians readied their instruments, read through the partitions, and without ever looking back, recorded their debut album “Vozrozhdenie” (Revival) in March 2004.
“Vozrozhdenie” (Revival) quickly became one of the most successful Slavic pagan metal albums of all time. As soon as the studio work was completed, Masha dedicated herself to the creation of new songs and by the end of summer 2004, the material for the second album “Lepta” (The Contribution) was completed. With the support of the same line-up, the band finished the recordings in autumn. “Lepta” was released in December 2004 and presented the listener with a darker and gloomier style. ARKONA was also supported by poet and vocalist Les’yar (Nevid’, ex-Butterfly Temple), who not only performed, but also wrote the lyrics for “Zarnitsy Nashei.Svobody”.
In 2005 the release of the band’s third and highly diverse album Vo Slavu Velikim!, featuring an acclaimed Russian folk multi-instrumentalist Vladimir Cherepovsky as well various members of Svarga and Alkonost groups. In September 2005 the album went gold in Russia. The group’s October performance at the CD’s presentation ceremony was recorded, to be released in March 2006 as live DVD/CD Zhizn Vo Slavu. Arkona’s fourth studio album Ot Serdtsa K Nebu, recorded again with Cherepovsky (various members of the Belarusian folk choir Gostitsa also took part) was released by Soundage Productions in 2007. The artwork for the sleeve was provided by the Belgian artist Kris Verwimp who’s continued working for the band ever since.
In March 2008 Arkona performed at the Ragnarök Festival and were signed to the Austrian label Napalm Records which re-issued Ot Serdtsa K Nebu, and organized the band’s 30-date European tour, which ended with their appearance at the Brutal Assault festival.
Arkona’s fifth studio album, Goi, Rode, Goi!, released in October 2009, proved to be an ambitious affair: all in all, more than 40 musicians took part, including a choir and a string quintet. 2010 was a year of intensive touring: the band played more than 150 concerts all over Europe. In August 2011 Arkona’s sixth studio album Slovo was released. That year saw the band appearing at numerous heavy metal events, including Hellfest, With Full Force and Metalfest. In 2011 the band conducted a 36-date tour over Canada, United States and Mexico. In October 2013 the band interrupted their studio recording for another American tour, now as headliners.
In February and March of 2018, Arkona went on another European tour and played more than 30 concerts, 17 of them together with Korpiklaani, Heidevolk and Trollfest. In April and May the band performed at Stockholm Slaughter and Dark Troll festivals, and in summer musicians were well received at huge festivals like Graspop, Hellfest, Bloodstock, again at Masters Of Rock and Rockmaraton, and many others.
You know I always say I love a band with history. Well I think this one takes it hands down. You can check out their website, Facebook for more info. Now let’s meet the band.
Top left and across:
Maria “Masha Scream” Arkhipova – Vocals, Keyboards (2002-present)
Ruslan “Kniaz” Rosomaherov – Bass (2003-present)
Sergei “Lazar” Atrashkevich – Guitars (2003-present)
Vladimir “Volk” Reshetnikov – Wind Ethnic Instruments (2011-present)
First off I want to say much props to “Masha Scream”, this woman has worked so hard for the last 21 years to to bring the world her music, along with the rest of the band. She has remained steadfast in her dream and so it comes to be. They’ve had to cancel a lot of gigs worldwide because of all the BS going on right now, but no one can take away the fact that they are still here and still producing music. They have played with some great European bands, even some from my fav from Finland. This Band I would not even begin to know about if I didn’t always dig around lol. You hear a song on Youtube then do some research and you find this incredible band with so much history. I love my folk metal and this band really delivers. I guess you can tell I am really impressed with them. Their videos are so good, but then they have been doing this job for a very long time. I wish them the best and hope they can get back to touring soon.
That’s it for this week my HeadBangers, join me next Wednesday for Hump Day and next Saturday for the weekly band. Until then don’t stand to close to the fire if you can’t handle the burn…..