|Review: Alkonost - Stone Heart Blood|
|Stone Heart Blood|
Label: Metalism Records
Year released: 2008
Genre: Folk Metal
Review online: December 26, 2008
Reviewed by: Pagan Shadow
for:Stone Heart Blood
Out of the faraway Russian Federation, comes this new (to my ears) band called Alkonost. Having no info sheet, it was pretty hard for me to know if this was their first album. Since the entire booklet was in their native tongue, I couldn't get any tips from that either. Same with the band's site. At least I found bits on Myspace, and I can say that the title meant: Stone, Heart, Blood.
Alkonost is a six piece act, with four men and two women. They are being described as a Folk Metal band. One can easily come to that conclusion just by having a look at the artwork. What makes this album different is, on one side, its moderate and somewhat laid back rhythm. No blast beats here! The other singularity about them is their Gothic influence. This is reflected by the use of dual vocals (operatic female vs. raspy growls), and the omnipresent, but not overwhelming, ambient or symphonic keyboards. Most tracks are pretty much follow the same pattern: mid paces, heavy guitars, folkloric leads, ambient/symphonic keyboards, beauty and the beast vocals. All this wrapped in melodic and laid back compositions. Once in a while, the riffing becomes more muscular, while a couple of tracks bring in the added organic textures of an acoustic guitar, much to my pleasure. Examples of this are found on these very good pieces: "Temple of the Forest" and "Youth". Another of those Gothic elements included in a few parts, are the choirs.
Even if not outstanding or a must, this album should please the fans of Gothic and Folk Metal.
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