Arkona: Decade of Glory – Live (English Version)

By -
Arkona: Decade of Glory – Live (English Version)
  • Bio:
  • Label:
  • Release Date:
  • Genre:
  • Website: Visit Website
  • Rating (out of 10):

    Warning: in_array() expects parameter 2 to be array, boolean given in /nfs/c11/h04/mnt/192881/domains/apochs.net/html/wp-content/themes/apoch/single-3.php on line 43

    Warning: in_array() expects parameter 2 to be array, boolean given in /nfs/c11/h04/mnt/192881/domains/apochs.net/html/wp-content/themes/apoch/single-3.php on line 44

    Warning: in_array() expects parameter 2 to be array, boolean given in /nfs/c11/h04/mnt/192881/domains/apochs.net/html/wp-content/themes/apoch/single-3.php on line 46

    Warning: in_array() expects parameter 2 to be array, boolean given in /nfs/c11/h04/mnt/192881/domains/apochs.net/html/wp-content/themes/apoch/single-3.php on line 47

    Warning: in_array() expects parameter 2 to be array, boolean given in /nfs/c11/h04/mnt/192881/domains/apochs.net/html/wp-content/themes/apoch/single-3.php on line 49

    Warning: in_array() expects parameter 2 to be array, boolean given in /nfs/c11/h04/mnt/192881/domains/apochs.net/html/wp-content/themes/apoch/single-3.php on line 50

    Warning: in_array() expects parameter 2 to be array, boolean given in /nfs/c11/h04/mnt/192881/domains/apochs.net/html/wp-content/themes/apoch/single-3.php on line 52

    Warning: in_array() expects parameter 2 to be array, boolean given in /nfs/c11/h04/mnt/192881/domains/apochs.net/html/wp-content/themes/apoch/single-3.php on line 53

    Warning: in_array() expects parameter 2 to be array, boolean given in /nfs/c11/h04/mnt/192881/domains/apochs.net/html/wp-content/themes/apoch/single-3.php on line 55

    Warning: in_array() expects parameter 2 to be array, boolean given in /nfs/c11/h04/mnt/192881/domains/apochs.net/html/wp-content/themes/apoch/single-3.php on line 56

    Warning: in_array() expects parameter 2 to be array, boolean given in /nfs/c11/h04/mnt/192881/domains/apochs.net/html/wp-content/themes/apoch/single-3.php on line 58

    Warning: in_array() expects parameter 2 to be array, boolean given in /nfs/c11/h04/mnt/192881/domains/apochs.net/html/wp-content/themes/apoch/single-3.php on line 59

    Warning: in_array() expects parameter 2 to be array, boolean given in /nfs/c11/h04/mnt/192881/domains/apochs.net/html/wp-content/themes/apoch/single-3.php on line 61

    Warning: in_array() expects parameter 2 to be array, boolean given in /nfs/c11/h04/mnt/192881/domains/apochs.net/html/wp-content/themes/apoch/single-3.php on line 62

    Warning: in_array() expects parameter 2 to be array, boolean given in /nfs/c11/h04/mnt/192881/domains/apochs.net/html/wp-content/themes/apoch/single-3.php on line 64

    Warning: in_array() expects parameter 2 to be array, boolean given in /nfs/c11/h04/mnt/192881/domains/apochs.net/html/wp-content/themes/apoch/single-3.php on line 65

    Warning: in_array() expects parameter 2 to be array, boolean given in /nfs/c11/h04/mnt/192881/domains/apochs.net/html/wp-content/themes/apoch/single-3.php on line 67

    Warning: in_array() expects parameter 2 to be array, boolean given in /nfs/c11/h04/mnt/192881/domains/apochs.net/html/wp-content/themes/apoch/single-3.php on line 68

    Warning: in_array() expects parameter 2 to be array, boolean given in /nfs/c11/h04/mnt/192881/domains/apochs.net/html/wp-content/themes/apoch/single-3.php on line 70

    Warning: in_array() expects parameter 2 to be array, boolean given in /nfs/c11/h04/mnt/192881/domains/apochs.net/html/wp-content/themes/apoch/single-3.php on line 72

Arkona: Decade of Glory - Live
Folk Metal, Pagan Metal
Napalm Records
April 9th, 2013
Release length: 2:42:05
Facebook
Myspace
Twitter
VKontakte
Website
Youtube
Arkona may have only been in existence since 2002, but they have quickly become one of Russia’s largest Folk/Pagan Metal exports, if not the biggest. With a total of six full-lengths, the most recent being 2011’s Slovo, an EP that same year, and a surprising amount of live albums and DVDs, the band sets their sights at yet another live recording. Decade of Glory – Live, a celebration of ten years in existence. With thirty one tracks sprawled across two discs, does this live album end up one worth grabbing?

The audio quality is pretty strong overall. While it does sound like it was taken directly from the soundboard, there’s still a slight rawness that assures little to no editing in the studio post-performance. It also picks up on the crowd reaction well enough to add to the overall impact. The vocals have a slight echo that comes off is if picking up the bouncing sound waves from the back of the venue, though the instruments don’t usually carry that. The drums sound really tight with a largely lower tone, especially in the click of the bass kick, and the cymbals sound natural instead of altered like some studio or live releases might have. The bass is pretty loud as well with a mid-range sound that really helps make the live versions far more infectious than their studio counterparts, and the guitars are pretty strong in the performance, but in no way mask any other instrument.

This release is their 2012 performance at the P!PLE Concert Hall in Moscow, utilizing a 9-piece choir, string quartet, as well as two background vocalists, turning many songs into truly epic movements. “Novidal” is a breathtakingly epic interpretation of the classic, especially at the start where things reach a near symphonic level. It does die down a bit towards the end, but even then it’s still a highly memorable performance. This song is also the first time you’ll pick up on the obvious track manipulation, finding the crowd going silent for a brief second for no reason just as Masha, the band’s frontlady, starts talking. “Slavsia, Rus’!” gets the crowd involved, chanting to the rhythm as the music slowly builds from the string quartet, painting a truly moving masterpiece of Folk Metal that simply needs to be heard, and shaming you into not seeing such a powerful performance in person. However, this doesn’t even compare to “Pamiat” and the harmonized chanting that erupts around truly inspiring quartet performances, or even “Arkona,” the most stunning song on the entire album. Honestly, this could have closed out the entire set, but, from this point on, the music offers an upbeat conclusion that feels more like a party until the somber, slower “Rus'” kicks in, casting a dark vale of sadness over the venue for more than six minutes, setting up “Zov Predkov” perfectly. This ends up another moving track, but doesn’t quite have the emotional impact “Arkona” has. Sadly, it ends in a way that shows there’s more to be heard.

There are two versions of this release in existence. This one is the English version Napalm Records is releasing, while the other is from Sound Age Productions. This other version, which was released first, uses Russian texts, carries the title 10 лет во Славу, and is three discs long (clocking in at two hours, fifty-nine minutes, and forty-five seconds) instead of just two (two hours, forty-two minutes, and five seconds), offering fifteen seconds shy of three hours worth of material. If you do the math, you’ll see this means the English version had some songs cut to fit the time restraints of the medium, which, when comparing tracks, seems to have only been five. Sadly, sometimes you can easily hear where. Why this happened is unclear. Perhaps it’s a financial reason in the manufacturing of the album for store shelves. Maybe it’s as simple as a legal issue. Or, perhaps, and the most believable option, Sound Age Productions wanted to keep some songs exclusive to their version. But, because of this, the track listing is also slightly altered, closing on “Zov Predkov” instead of “Ой, то не вечер…”

Another one of the downfalls to this album is that, sometimes, these additional elements end up criminally underused. This does allow the band to stick closer to the original compositions, but once you hear songs like “Slavsia, Rus!,” “Bul’no mne,” “Sva,” and other similar epic performances, it’s hard to be content with the traditional material. This isn’t to say they’re bad or boring in any way though, just leaving you wishing more were done. “Odna” is another fantastic song that transitions nicely to the stage, finding the Folk instruments in use quite well with a tight overall sound. There’s also “Yarilo,” which jumps between upbeat Folk with a nice groove from the bass that early NWOBHM bands would swoon over, shifting into heavier, faster passages that just erupt with energy. These are two shining examples, and there are many more to be found throughout the performance.

Decade of Glory – Live brings one of the most remarkable live performances in Arkona‘s career. While it definitely has some faults, and the English version does lack the entire performance, this is still one that Folk and Pagan Metal fans simply need to experience, or go through again if they were there for this show. It’s sad this is an audio release and not a DVD, as having the epic visuals of the on stage performances would have easily amplified the overall impact, making it a truly memorable experience. Arkona has definitely achieved a lot in the ten years they have been together at the time of this concert, and if this is what we had to look forward to at that milestone, just imagine what twenty, thirty, or, if they make this long, even forty years may hold in store for their fans. Overall, despite the English version not being the complete concert, and the performance itself not using the guest musicians to their full potential, if you can afford to import the three disc edition, this is still worth the money to have in your collection. Decade of Glory – Live will have die hard fans and newcomers alike coming back for more, as well as acts as a strong crash course in Russian folklore to those who never heard Arkona before.

Disc One: 1.15.56
01. Az’ – 2:19
02. Arkaim – 5:52
03. Ot Serdca k Nebu – 5:14
04. Goi, Rode, Goi! – 6:03
05. Leshiy – 4:40
06. Zakliatie – 5:28
07. Marena – 7:43
08. Liki Bessmertnykh Bogov – 5:34
09. Novidal – 4:40
10. Kolo Navi – 5:33
11. Slavsia, Rus’! – 4:17
12. Kupala i Kostroma – 2:59
13. Odna – 6:01
14. Sva – 6:29
15. Kupalets – 3:04

Disc Two:1.26.09
01. Katitsia Kolo – 6:06
02. Kolyada – 6:36
03. Skvoz’ tuman Vekov – 5:17
04. Maslenitsa – 2:59
05. V Tsepiakh Drevney Tainy – 6:31
06. Slovo – 5:40
07. Bol’no mne – 5:49
08. Pamiat – 6:00
09. Arkona – 7:00
10. Po Syroi Zernle – 8:08
11. Oh, Pechal’ Toska – 5:44
12. Yarilo – 2:42
13. Stenka na Stenku – 2:49
14. Vyjdu Ja Na Voljunshku – 3:52
15. Rus’ – 6:43
16. Zov Predkov – 4:13

Initial Pressing Score: 7.5/10

Arkona (band)
Arkona

Digital review copy of this release provided by Napalm Records.