ArkonaGoi, Rode, Goi!
4.0/5.0 – Gripping and great, but too damn long
Label: Napalm Records
Website(s): |
Release Date(s): EU: 30.10.2009 | US: 11.02.2009

Arkona_RecordSure, folk metal is Europe’s deathcore, but somehow it’s so much more enjoyable as a genre! It probably has something to do with the accordions. Oh, and the lack of breakdowns. If folk metal is Europe’s deathcore, than I’d have to say that Arkona is the equivalent of The Red Chord or Between the Buried and Me: so much better than the genre-title implies. Many have come to associate folk metal with the silliness of Korpiklaani and written it off as too much for their tastes. Then there are other people who get a little bit nervous about the sort of nationalistic shit that could easily be associated with a band like Arkona in a land where right wing extremists are definitely an issue. But as far as this Angry Metal Guy is concerned: Arkona is not your average folk metal band and Goi, Rode, Goi! is definitely not your average folk metal record.

No, instead Goi, Rode, Goi! is an gripping and eclectic folk metal album filled with everything that I like about folk metal: the accordions, the mouth harps and the catchy-as-hell melodies. Then, using that formula, they add in very smartly used keyboard “orchestras” and even harmonized “lai, lai, lai” sections.  The music is well-paced, though mostly fast enough to encourage copious amounts of headbanging and, generally epic as hell.

There are a couple of things that stood out to me, as well. While many bands push their way from one record to the next using the same style and writing songs that are nearly indistinguishable from their previous album, Arkona seems to have completely avoided this trap. While Goi, Rode, Goi! definitely shares elements with Ot Serdca K Nebu it is actually much less death metal influenced than the previous album. Instead this record shares a lot more in common with Finntroll and Ásmegin and other more black metal influenced folk metal on this album. This isn’t necessarily an improvement, as I was pretty fond of how brutal arkona091809-2Ot Serdca K Nebu got, but in general it works. And since the band produced Goi, Rode, Goi! in about a year since the last album, I’d say it’s definitely worth the change.

Honestly, this record is pretty awesome. I think my only complaint is that it’s a little too long. By the end I’m pretty much ready for it to go away. I think one bad thing about the dawn of the CD was the idea that bands should use the whole thing, instead of saving material for other projects. While some people like long CDs, I find that if a disc overstays its welcome then I never listen to the whole thing after the first couple listens unless it’s The Wall. Sure, the melodies and rhythms and speed are addictive and they’re fun to listen to, but there are actually few chances when someone has an hour and 19 minutes to spend listening to an album.

But how often does a reviewer get to say “they give us too much!” This album is great and while it’s maybe not genre defining (since the genre defining stuff happened before these guys got signed), it is still an excellent album in the folk metal genre and totally worth your time and effort. I strongly suggest you pick this album up if you like the genre even a little bit.  Arkona does it extraordinarily well.

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  • Sergei Khorochkkov

    Fuck you! Nationalists are not an issue only you fags think so. Arkona music is itself part of this soul, lyrics sing of Slavic glory!
    Not all metal is as liberal and politically correct as to be easy listening! This is Russia!
    Arkona is part hardcore, it is a very light neo-nazi. It could be more but explicitly states that it is indifferent to neo-nazism.

    • I’m sorry that your life is so meaningless that you have to cling to your nationality, something about which you had no choice, as your best and most defining characteristic. Arkona is a great band, and it’s fine to think your culture and people are interesting, and even worth celebration—but nationalism is dead and, frankly, stupid.

    • Considering the Nazis mostly considered Russians as dirty as they considered Jews… I think it’s pretty easy to conclude that you’re wrong.

      Arkona expertly avoids making their music overly nationalistic. Of course, it is Folk Metal, and folk does mean ‘the people’, so it’s hard for any Folk or Folk Metal band to escape its nationality.

      I have always felt that Arkona draws on Russian *culture* not Russian *politics*, and they do so extremely well. There is no Nazism here, so don’t bring it up.

      • My early point was that the connection between culture and politics is quite strong in some places and the implications are strong. 

  • lesliebaart

    maby this will do the trick for you people then ;) 
    2 bands named arkona from rusia 1 folk /1 NSBM ;) simpel as that 
    research people research…

    • I did not say that they were an NSBM band. In fact, I said that they were folk metal from a land filled with NS sentiments and that people are uncomfortable with the nationalistic “sentiments” that go hand-in-hand with folk music in a lot of countries. I live in Sweden and that is certainly the case here. 

  • disqus_fXOWsgH1Ys

    The reviewer is fucking stupid talking about gay ass deathcore. deathcore SUCKS!! Folk metal rules! it makes no sense come up with some shit about deathcore.