Arkona - Khram review



Reviewer:
8.7

150 users:
8.10
Band: Arkona
Album: Khram
Release date: January 2018


01. Mantra (Intro)
02. Shtorm
03. Tseluya Zhizn'
04. Rebionok Bez Imeni
05. Khram
06. V Pogonie Za Beloj Ten'yu
07. V Ladonyah Bogov
08. Volchitsa
09. Mantra (Outro)


Arkona were already pretty much set; with the level of popularity they achieved, they could've just kept making the same folk metal they always did. Instead, they chose to build upon everything they had created so far and craft their most ambitious album to date. Did it pay off?

This is the furthest from folk metal that Arkona have ever been. Not to say that there are absolutely no folk elements here, otherwise Arkona wouldn't have a member specifically for those folk instruments, but they are certainly not at the forefront here. Instead, we get some really elaborate black metal. We don't get any """jolly""" circle-dancing folk like on other albums; even though Arkona never had Korpiklaani levels of jolly folk, they still had cuts like "Stenka Na Stenku" or "Kupala I Kostroma", but here on Khram the closest we get to that sound is "Shtorm", mostly because it's the shortest track that's not an intro or an outro.

Khram as a whole is rather reminiscent of songs like "Yav" or "Na Moyey Zemle", which is obvious with just one look at the track lengths. Right after the aforementioned "Shtorm" comes the longest track, clocking in at 17 minutes, and right after it comes the second longest at 12 minutes, with the rest of the tracks of varying lengths between 7 and 9 minutes, bringing the album's run time to around 75 minutes. And while I've previously criticised Harakiri For The Sky's latest for having such a long run time, I can't help but feel that Arkona managed to fill the time much better, in such a way that no minute feels rehashed or redundant.

And the songwriting on this thing is absolutely superb. Often bordering on progressive, Khram showcases both the technical abilities of the members and their abilities to write engaging passages that make the album's run time not seem like a chore. Beautifully diverse, from the black metal blast attack of "Shtorm" to the piano section of" V Ladonyah Bogov" to the electronic (yes, you read that right) section of "V Pogonie Za Beloj Ten'yu". The whole album is encased between an intro and an outro, both called "Mantra", whose chanting gives the album a mystical aura as well.

It's rather amazing to see a band push to evolve its sound and be so ambitious in a relatively late period in their career, with Khram being their 8th studio album, although with Arkona, the tendency was always there. Thus, we have Khram, likely Arkona's best album so far, amazingly written, proficiently performed, where the lyrics have literally been written in Masha's blood, and the most ambitious folk metal album I've heard since Finsterforst's #‎YØLØ, though they are polar opposites in almost every way.


Rating breakdown
Performance: 9
Songwriting: 10
Originality: 7
Production: 8


 



Written on 22.02.2018 by My opinion is objective, sorry if you don't agree, but you're wrong.


Comments

Comments: 11   Visited by: 181 users
22.02.2018 - 22:09
nikarg
Old Nick
We're in total agreement. Black, progressive with a cause, with a few folk elements here and there. My kind of metal.
----
Follow me on Instagram

Loading...
23.02.2018 - 13:00
Iceland_Norway
My votes for this album and all discography by Arkona Russia are all 10 cuz they are so stunning on every album they compose. Live gigs are stunning too.
----
Føroyar mítt land

Tú alfagra land mítt

Føroyar mín Móðir
Loading...
23.02.2018 - 17:51
RaduP
CertifiedHipster
Written by Iceland_Norway on 23.02.2018 at 13:00

My votes for this album and all discography by Arkona Russia are all 10 cuz they are so stunning on every album they compose. Live gigs are stunning too.

Seen them live twice already, wish I could see them touring this album too. I really think this is their best album yet.
----
Seinfeld: I can't be with someone like me! I hate myself!
Loading...
24.02.2018 - 22:21
Iceland_Norway
Me too I have see them twice at MetalCamp 2011 and MetalDays 2016.
----
Føroyar mítt land

Tú alfagra land mítt

Føroyar mín Móðir
Loading...
24.02.2018 - 22:22
Iceland_Norway
On youtube there is the description fo the lyrics made by Masha in person on the Napalm Account
----
Føroyar mítt land

Tú alfagra land mítt

Føroyar mín Móðir
Loading...
24.02.2018 - 22:34
RaduP
CertifiedHipster
Written by Iceland_Norway on 24.02.2018 at 22:22

On youtube there is the description fo the lyrics made by Masha in person on the Napalm Account

Actually wanted to include it in the review but forgot
----
Seinfeld: I can't be with someone like me! I hate myself!
Loading...
24.02.2018 - 23:34
musicalkaratekid
Arkona have stepped it up with this release, that's for sure. Very lengthy but the length of most of these songs is really justified because of how mature and meticulous the songwriting is. I've always had a soft spot for the band (favourite folk/pagan metal group overall), but I have to admit Khram renders Arkona at the top of the pack. Certainly on my bucket list of bands I need to see live before I die. On that note, can anyone who has seen the band live before let me know what the show is typically like?
Loading...
25.02.2018 - 13:03
RaduP
CertifiedHipster
Written by musicalkaratekid on 24.02.2018 at 23:34

Arkona have stepped it up with this release, that's for sure. Very lengthy but the length of most of these songs is really justified because of how mature and meticulous the songwriting is. I've always had a soft spot for the band (favourite folk/pagan metal group overall), but I have to admit Khram renders Arkona at the top of the pack. Certainly on my bucket list of bands I need to see live before I die. On that note, can anyone who has seen the band live before let me know what the show is typically like?

I've always seen Arkona is small clubs, and I think this works better for them than in the open, but that's just me. Yeah, they're great live but not especially entertaining.
----
Seinfeld: I can't be with someone like me! I hate myself!
Loading...
26.02.2018 - 19:38
Iceland_Norway
Arkona at MetalDays fest are like at home so they renders at the maximum level the live gig
----
Føroyar mítt land

Tú alfagra land mítt

Føroyar mín Móðir
Loading...
27.02.2018 - 20:37
Fat & Sassy!
Nomcat
Pretty much my thoughts too. It is really cool to hear a well-established band not go on auto-pilot and release something pretty creative. Kind of reminds me of what Enslaved has been doing since they peaked.
----
You do you, brozzio.
Loading...
08.03.2018 - 21:39
Bad English
Masterchief
This band is underated. I miss prom when he represented pagan, folk, black and pagan genre here in MS.
----
Life is to short for LOVE, there is many great things to do online !!!

Stormtroopers of Death - ''Speak English or Die''

I better die, because I never will learn speek english, so I choose dieing
Loading...

Hits total: 4481 | This month: 118