Arkona – Decade of Glory (Napalm Records)

Monday, 20th May 2013
Rating: 7.5/10

Probably the most visible Russian band going in the underground at the present time, folk metallers Arkona are doing what any self-serving and righteous band would do: releasing a live album. We’ll not head into rant-territory about the various drawbacks of having one’s music recorded for a live album, so the onus falls on Arkona’s obvious following in their homeland, and their ability to get them whipped into a boot-stomping frenzy. That’s exactly what Decade of Glory does.

The primary selling point with Arkona is lead singer Masha “The Scream” Arkhipova. Blessed with range and looks (for you gawkers out there), Arkhipova lends a unique flavor to the band’s otherwise straight take on the folk metal sound. Invariably, you’re getting to get slightly different degrees of it since the band is from Russia, so turning to “Az” or “Yarilo” isn’t such a bad idea. Crowd participation is in tow as well, which helps paint the picture of what an Arkona live show is about…dancing, clapping, mead-drinking, head-bobbing. Anything that ends with an “ing,” really.

Decade of Glory is three discs long, so for those who can bear to make it through the whole thing, good for you. We’ll just snap up the zany “Goi Rode Goi,” and be on our merry little way. Foot-tapping did happen, too.

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