Vic Records/Plastic Head
ALKONOST hails from Tatarstan, a central region of the former Soviet Union. Since 1995 they have played epic pagan metal with a female vocalist (Alena Pelevina). No lyrics in English, apart from the bonus video, on any of the seven songs. This will be interesting…
“Golos Lesov” says me absolutely nothing, but ALKONOST opens almost jauntily with melodic guitar patterns, soft keyboards and surprisingly light drumming. Then there is some growling before Alena´s seemingly classically trained voice takes over. “Put`Neprojdennyj” has a ring of Morris dancing metal to it. It has the same vocal mix but even more prominent keyboards and seemingly endless guitar work by Andrey Losev. My guess is that several in the band are classically trained musicians, the Eastern Bloc bands usually have many hours of classical training behind them. I get the feeling of a hit as “Noch`Pered Bitvoj” progresses. Nice guitar fills, lots of neat vocals by Alena and a multitude of Keyboard governed melody. The fact that their vocals are in Russian makes it hard to understand the degree of Paganism – at the same time as every band´s usage of their mother tongue works fine in heathen circumstances. They get heavier in “Temen”, but the massive keyboards keeps them safely in the gentler variety of the chosen genre, even though growled Russian is heavy! It would have been interesting to hear the keyboards replaced with ancient instruments, it would have given them a touch of NEBELHEXE. This disc ranges from ancient market place music (“Temen”) to dreaming landscapes (“More-Son”). It is an album that I will definitely listen to again.
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