Album review – Arkona “Yav” (Slavic Pagan\Folk Metal)

arkona - yavReview by Jeff Black – 4.5/5 Dragons

Masha and the boys are attending a 5,000 ruble/plate gala at the Napalm Records estate. A shadowy agent spikes the vodka with weapons-grade LSD and the band drinks deep. Vladimir peers into a bowl of borsch and sees a reflection of himself: dead, dusty, skeletal, blood dripping from his fingertips. Sergey screams something incoherent. Ruslan sees the silhouette of Triglav four-dimensionally burned into a slice of toast. The agent smiles. All is going according to plan.

The band are ushered onto a prototype starship operated by RusKosmos. “Your new album will be 70 minutes long,” says the agent. He cranks the ship into Ludicrous Speed and herds the band into the ship’s onboard recording studio. Masha plunks out a few notes on an ancient synth.

Stuff of nightmares. They jam. Galaxies spin by. The band trips over a few white-knuckled motifs they left lying around, Masha picks them up and sticks them into places they shouldn’t belong, somehow clicking perfectly into place. Andrey is panting after raiding a few fills from Vorskaath’s trunk. “Are we there yet?” Masha rolls her eyes. “32 minutes to go.”

Three years later: The band’s coming down. Starship returns to Earth. The agent dons his shades and wipes their memories, Men in Black style. Lights a smoke,  drags hard. “Your strongest material yet,” he says.

“Did we put any goofy humppa crap on it? Any accordions?” Masha asks. Agent shakes his head. Ashes out. Toothy grin. “You done good, Arkona. You done damn good.”


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