MetalBite Review by Emma on 12/14/2009
’s latest release has pushed the concept of ‘epic’ to an entirely new level. The flood that is "Goi, Rode, Goi!"
sweeps away any competitors vying for the title of ‘most epic folk metal album’. Arkona
’s music has always had a legendary quality, and with "Goi, Rode, Goi!"
it has reached a crescendo.
The highlight of the album was the vocals. You could say that for most of Arkona
’s music, but the unique vocals are what really made me return to "Goi, Rode, Goi!"
multiple times. Masha ‘Scream’ has managed to braze Death Metal growls and swelling Slavic-folk style vocal arrangements. One of the most noticeable differences between Arkona
’s previous albums and their latest is the use of the folk vocal style. Masha voice unleashes a rich and deep calculated wailing that listeners have only received small glimmers of in past works. All guards are let down and the folk singing style takes over for a majority of the album. Guest male vocals also manage to make it into ‘Na Moey Zemle’ and wind up making it one of the most memorable tracks on the album as they contrast and communicate with Masha’s voice. ‘Pritchka’ offers a bit of respite from the drama of the other tracks; listeners hear Masha speaking, a momentary showcase of the beauty of the Russian language.
uses a particularly wide variety of instrumentation, including a violin on a number of occasions. A jaw harp, ocarina, whistles, tulnic, domrin, and mandolin are just some of the instruments featured. Members from other known Folk Metal bands contributed vocally and instrumentally. Not just one or two bands, you’d think the whole eastern European scene contributed. Members of Skyforger
all contributed to "Goi, Rode, Goi!"
All of these instruments provided greatly varied variety and texture that could never be achieved with keyboards. Combining musical forces worked greatly for creating a mythic feeling of ‘time before time,’ the trouble taken to find all real instruments paid off.
Before I end this review, I’d like to touch on the ‘epic-osity’ of this album. Because I don’t mean epic like ‘Never-Ending-Story-epic’ no. "Goi, Rode, Goi!"
is full on "Return-Of-The-Fucking-King-Extended-Edition-Epic." Whew. "Return…" extended is 250 minutes. It takes a particularly devoted fan to want to sit down and watch the entire 250 minutes of "Return..." in one sitting. Such is the situation with Arkona
’s "Goi, Rode, Goi!"’
which is 120 min. in length.
I write this because what keeps Arkona
’s latest from being their magnum opus to date is the album’s length. Several tracks could have been cut out entirely as they did little for the album overall. Others were just a case of too many good ideas packed in too short a time. Further editing would have made a really concrete album. However, some may disagree and argue that it is simply the nature of epic music to be particularly lengthy. Either way, check "Goi, Rode, Goi!"
Categorical Rating Breakdown
Rating: 9.7 out of 10