Arkona and Diamond Plate at Joe’s Grotto, Phoenix,
By Dave Schwartz
Arkona made a stop at Joe’s Grotto
in Phoenix, AZ. This was the 16th date of the North
American leg of their Pagan World Tour. Since Arkona
is somewhat unknown to western audiences, I will share
that they are a Russian pagan metal band. Their vocalist,
Masha, primarily sings in her native tongue. Their
lyrics are heavily influenced by Russian folklore and
Slavic mythology, and their music incorporates several
traditional Russian musical instruments.
The members of Arkona took the
stage one at a time, building tension to the moment when
Masha (vocalist) appeared. She was adorned in
traditional garb and furs and playing a Frame Drum.
Arkona opened the show with “Arkaim” as Masha roamed the
stage wildly beating a rhythm. Vladimir (wind ethnic
instruments) played a form of bagpipe and, at times,
shared center stage with Masha during the opening song.
Vladimir opened the second song, “Ot Serdtsa k Nebu” with
a wicked flute solo.
Arkona played a great set.
The heart of the band - Sergei (guitar), Ruslan (bass)
and Vlad (drums) formed a solid background allowing
Vladimir and Masha to shine. The set included
“Yarilo”, “Goi, Rode, Goi!”, “Po Syroi Zemle” and “Stenka
Arkona is a very cool band that
just does not make it to the west very often. Catch
them while they’re here because it will likely be several
years before they return.
Diamond Plate was a late but very
welcome addition to the nights line up. Having just
finished their tour with Death Angel, and out in support
of their August 2013 release, “Pulse”, Diamond Plate was
working their way back home to Chicago for some
If you haven’t seen this young
band, catch them. Their set is high energy and
tight. Bassist, Matt Ares’s vocals were dead nuts on
and together with Knorad Kupiec (guitar) and James
Nicademus (drums) they ripped through a set that was way
too short for my tastes. I’m looking forward to
catching these guys in 2014 – you should too.