Arkona – ‘Stenka Na Stenku’ (EP 2011)
Release: 30 May 2011
Label: Napalm Records
An accordion? Is this Korpiklaani? No, this is how the new Arkona album begins. The Russians we know from the rugged metal violence with those delicious Slavic folk sound agree quite accustomed to the vodka. The result? Something entirely new for these folk. Early this year, Arkona found with Vladimir the perfect man to fill in the ethnic instruments, Vladimir was already featured on previous CDs but only in the studio, now he is in the band on a regular basis and he will undoubtedly go on tour with the Russian war formation. The EP is a perk for the full length album these Russians are creating. The platter contains six songs, one song will also appear on the full length album.
Anyway, “Stenka after Stenku”, is the first song on the CD, and like I said it starts with an accordion. Taking a sip of my beer I listen how this progresses to a cheerful drinking song. I look through the window, it’s dark outside, close my eyes and see a group of Slavic warriors, empty vodka bottles and a cosy campfire in the middle. Something I never expected to see with Arkona. After such a drinking song I expect rugged metal. Wrong, just another drinking song, Valenki. The party still goes on merrily. The following track is a nice surprise, “Goi, Rode, Goi” only…, no metal again, this time the song is done acoustic. You have to accustom to this, but still, I find it rather beautiful myself, it has this ‘thing’, not so much rough and tough in that sense, as it was. This time, more rustic and with pride. And then, “Skal”, the song can also be heard on the promotion of Noise Art and Napalm Records. Freki Varg is singing along in this one. This song is a great drinking song as well (such as Skal implies of course). However, it is quite short and then for the first time I hear something more metal and less vodka. It becomes a very proud song eventually. And then it’s already time for the last song, a fairly quiet song with a lot of pride. Definitely a worthy ending to this record.
Empty beer. What should I say here. Are you a real fan Arkona? Then you think this’ll be fun… or not, Are you a fan of the joyful work? Then you think this’ll be fun… or not, Are you a fan of the rough stuff? Then you will find this is probably not worthy. But it is something you should listen to anyway, a nice change to the rugged repertoire which had brought the Russians so far. There are several good songs to play live, they will cause a great atmosphere, but in the end I still like to hear the heavy stuff myself. Did you think it’s a bit disappointing? There is hope, it is just an EP and probably the next real album is again wonderful folk-metal as ever.
- Stenka Na Stenku 2:36
- Valenki 3:05 MP3
- Goi, Rode, Goi! (Acoustic Version) 5:46
- Skal (feat. Varg) 2:34
- Duren 6:26
- Noviy Mir 4:03