Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Out of the Ordinary #1 Arkona

I like weird bands. I don't know why, but something just draws me to them. Metal as a whole is already a niche genre, which some people find weird, and it seems to attract a bunch of interesting music that just wouldn't fit under any other category.

The first band I'll focus on is probably the most popular, though I'm not quite sure why. Probably because they have a female vocalist and metalheads go crazy for that kind of crap. The band is Arkona, or Аркона if you're Russian, or Arkona if you're Australian. Though the band is from Russia so good on you mate for checking them out all the way from down under. The band is a pagan/folk metal band. Not too weird so far. Their vocalist, as I mentioned previously, is female and does both clean and harsh vocals. Also they're entirely in Russian. With a mix of singing, chanting and screaming. If that doesn't sound completely different from anything you've ever heard, then let me also add that bagpipes and accordions can be heard loud and clear in the majority of their songs. Wikipedia also lists bandmember Vladimir "Volk" Reshetnikov as playing "wind ethnic instruments". Last but not least, their vocalist Masha Scream is also one of the craziest performers I've ever seen. Just watch this.

I can attest to the energy and craziness, I've seen Arkona live. I had the pleasure of seeing them at Paganfest last summer. Let me just say that the band is darn good live and that Masha knocked over the mic stand at least 5 times. Like, completely knocked over to the point where one of the roadies had to come out on stage and pick it back up.

This is either a metal band or some really bad cosplay.
It's not just the fact that Arkona does a bunch of stuff that you haven't seen before that makes them weird, it's that the things they do shouldn't work so well together. Russian chanting with every kind of folk instrument over furious metal and a crazy amount of energy sounds like a recipe for disaster. Just watch one of those Russian dashcam videos to prove my point. But Arkona makes it work, and their music is extremely catchy as a result.

-Zombie Viking

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