Release: 16 June 2023
Label: Napalm Records
The Russian band Arkona are back after five long years with their new album “Kob'”, out on June 16 for Napalm Records. Once again, the band delves deep into the darkest and deepest realms of philosophy and on singer Masha Scream’s point of view on the future of humanity’s modern existence with an instrumental part that blends roots in the pagan traditions typical of the band. This eight-track album defines a new musical chapter of the Russian band that states: “Kob’ is our darkest creation. From a thematic point of view, the album describes the six phases of descent into the abyss and each piece represents a phase”.
On the cover, in shades of gray and black, there are five female characters. At the top there is a woman with horns on her head that would represent a pagan goddess, below it there is an elderly woman resembling Baba Jaga, further down there is a girl with a newborn and, finally, at the bottom on the right of the woman with the child there is a face and a hand. In the background there are clouds covering a sky with stars visible in the parts not covered and at the bottom of the plants and trunks of trees with branches without leaves.
Musically speaking, the instrumental part is very nice, with the addition of synth parts that help create the right atmosphere for a journey into the underworld of humanity and the vocal part manages to maintain the atmosphere created by the instruments. The listener is introduced in this journey into the abyss by the opener album “Izrechenie. Nachalo” (ENG: “The Speech. The Beginning”) which, metaphorically, he gently grabs the hand of the listener, bringing it into a kind of trance created by disturbing whispers and murmuring voices – which are recurrent in the album as they are placed in the passage between one track and another. In this album synth plays a fundamental role, as you can hear in “Kob'” (ENG: Sorcery) in which you relive ancient days with dark melodies painted by the remarkable voice of Masha. “Ugasaya” (ENG: “Fadin’ Away”) represents the modernity of Arkona’s pagan roots and is a song dominated by a very melodic synth and a really beautiful and catchy bass line. This track, mysterious and melodic, manages to travel the mind in a different sphere especially thanks to a mix of almost implacable guitars and gooseflesh harmonies especially when you hear the voice in clean Masha. A remarkable track is “Ydi”, the longest of the album with a duration of 11:48 minutes. In these 11:48 there is a great diversity in the vocal parts, as well as in the instrumental part where you can distinguish different patterns, from the “blacker metal” ones to the more acoustic ones. “Mor”, the second longest track on the album, is particular in that you can hear death metal riffs on an acoustic guitar and the wind instruments and synth represent another ace forward to hell. He closes this descent into hell, often created by the same men, “Izrechenie. Iskhod” (ENG: The Speech. The Conclusion), which is a track very similar to the first that differs from it thanks to a final that fades into silence. Thanks to the disturbing whispers and murmuring the album is perceived more like the journey in hell that it is this masterpiece.
“Kob'”, although well rooted in the pagan metal to which Arkona have accustomed us, offers the listener a good overview of the descent of humanity into hell that is building in this world, capturing the listener with new musical proposals and offers a darker view of the modern situation of humanity giving life to what is one of the best albums of the band.
- Izrechenie. Nachalo 04:19
- Kob’ 07:14
- Ydi 11:48
- Ugasaya 09:07
- Mor 09:41
- Na zakate bagrovogo solntsa 09:03
- Razryvaya plot’ ot bezyskhodnosti bytiya 07:13
- Izrechenie. Iskhod 02:06