Visions ov Hell: Arkona – “Zov pustyh dereven'”

akona

With 2014’s Yav, Arkona fully projected themselves onto my pagan metal radar screen. Even though they’d cranked out some seven studio albums since 2004, it somehow took ’em until last year to really leave an impression on me. With instrumental diversity and impressive vocal work from Masha Scream, Arkona offer a unique take on a genre that can tend to lack exactly that. As a result, the positive reception of Yav was very much deserved. And now, with the new music video for “Zov pustyh dereven’,” we can finally combine Yav’s sound with imagery.

Continue reading

Stage Dive: Let’s Get Artsy – Favorite Cover Art In Your Library?

Taking a break from sports for the first time in a few weeks (and to be honest, it’s probably necessary – which says something coming from me), I’m curious as to what lies in your record collection from a more visual standpoint.

I don’t know about the rest of you, but one of the reasons I still trek to my local record shop to pick up new music is for the artwork these musicians are providing us. To me, it just means more to have this artwork in my hands, on my shelf, on my wall, etc etc. Especially in the metal world where the artwork can be, well, impressive. I recently went through my collection and rekindled my appreciation for what these artists have come up with. So. I’m curious:

BASED ON ALBUM ARTWORK, WHAT IS THE BEST PIECE IN YOUR COLLECTION?

Um. What?
Um. What?

Use your discretion when answering this one. Personally, when I think of my favorite album cover in my library, I think of what I would love to see blown up and covering a wall in my house, for example. It’s not the most brutal, the most colorful (otherwise, it would obviously be Mastodon’s Once More ‘Round The Sun pictured above), or even the most classic (Master of Puppets comes to mind… or anything Iron Maiden).

It came down to two finalists for me. And no, not a single Behemoth record was in the mix. It came down to Agalloch’s Marrow of the Spirit because nature (and we all know how much I nature) and – a surprise entry from a recent release – Arkona’s Yav. Now, I have a signed(!!!) copy of Marrow hanging on my wall and I must say… it’s awesome. It’s haunting, it’s mysterious, it’s organic. I mean, it looks like a painting. And that’s bad ass as fuck. But. Have you unfolded Yav and seen it from left to right as one piece? You really should. Either way, here’s the cover:

10007434_10152660402464447_1964801921_n
Similar to the reflection I see when I look into still water…

I gotta give some love to the 2014 release and my girl Masha Scream. It’s a very recent release so there’s nothing classic about it (yet). But as far as what I want on my wall in the not too distant future… this is tops. It was done by Gyula Havancsak and you can find the pieces he conceived for each song on this record on Arkona’s Facebook page. Yes. He created something equally as epic for each song on the album… this is just the cover. Seriously, check this shit out. Especially the child picking at skulls and the wolf holding a heart… both on the fold out of Yav. I’ve even had not-so-metal friends ask me where they can pick this up specifically for the artwork. It really is a gem.

So that’s how I art. But what say you? How do you metal art? Better yet, what gems should I add to my library that I currently missing? Annnddddd… go!

“Ein Bier… bitte.”

– Corey

Live. Love. Plow. Horns Up. 

Quickies: News from At The Gates, The Misfits, Ice T (Weird, right?), and More

A new week and some new… news. I guess. I’m trying really hard to stay focused on this blog and not let the World Cup occupy all of my time on the internet. It isn’t going well. But Germany won… so now I’m willing to provide your Quickies.

Ignore the Rob Zombie part. And the Metallica connection. Then, maybe, you’re good. Anyway, I’m gonna resume celebrating this Germany win.

“Ein Bier… bitte.”

– Corey

Live. Love. Plow. Horns Up.