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Arkona album review – Vozrozhdenie

Folk metallers Arkona's debut album re-recording begs a few questions

Released in 2004, Vozrozhdenie was the debut album of Moscow’s Arkona (not to be confused with the Polish black metal act).

The timing of the original album’s release coincided nicely with the folk metal explosion and the band have continued to expand their audience ever since.

This is a re-recording of that album and, as always, it begs the question if there’s any artistic justification for doing so or whether it’s a move of self-indulgence (or even one motivated by contractual, art or record label specifics). In this case, it’d be hard to argue for the former; the album sounds fine but is similar enough to the original that owning both will be redundant for anyone but diehard fans. Not only that, but in many ways the first version stands up as the better (albeit less slick) listen. Newcomers would also be advised to seek out later/earlier works as the band’s songs became less twee and more hard-hitting as the years passed.