[Live Review + Photography] Arkona – Live in Hong Kong

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In a quiet, warm winter night with splash of rain, Arkona (Аркона), the exotic sprites from the Russian territory is bringing in their spectacular folk metal music like a harsh blizzard. Everything – from composition and instruments to lyrical content and stage costumes – every single bit is full of cultural stories, emotion and of course, the vigorous chemical reaction of fusion genre.

上週一個寧靜溫暖的冬夜,稍稍下着毛毛細雨,來自俄羅斯的 Arkona (Аркона) 以異國精靈姿態帶來壯觀的民謠金屬音樂,像嚴寒凛冽的暴風雪般侵略香港舞台。由編曲、樂器、歌曲內容到舞台服裝 —— 每一方面都流露著濃厚的文化背景、豐富情感,當然,還有融合各種音樂風格的化學反應。

Photo Gallery 現場相集 – Arkona – Live in Hong Kong

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Following a short instrumental folk intro, the band steps out in the wave of cheering. Their outfits easily remind you about the imagery between the Lord Of The Ring mythology and traditional East European folklore. Front woman Marsha Scream is no doubt the one that catches all the attention. There’s an invisible magnetic field about this metal girl – powerful-looking, creative and one can growl to the finest as a female vocalist!

樂團以簡短的民間器樂音樂作開場,在觀眾的歡呼聲中步上舞台。他們的服飾很自然令你想起 Lord Of The Ring 的虛擬國度和傳統東歐民間傳說的圖像。領軍女將 Marsha Scream 無疑一開口便捕捉了全場注意力。這個金屬女孩有著一個無形的磁場 —— 強悍的外形,無限的創意,更是其中一個能夠完全駕馭哮嘶的女樂手!

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Musical collision is definitely not a new concept, but to turn it into a successful live show is not something every band manages to do. Arkona has this ability to tell their tales from the first note they hit. The last musical group who can strike the same chord of imagination in live is Kula Shaker. Yes, they are not metal at all, however, both of their philosophies behind lie on the same methodology which draws huge reference to historical events and cultural traditions.

音樂混和絕對不是一個新概念,但不是每個樂隊都能打造成功的現場表演。Arkona 卻有這樣的能力,從第一個音符起便開始帶你入他們的世界。上一次看到有這樣的想像力必要提到 Kula Shaker。他們與金屬音樂完全無關,但在是90年代把英倫風與迷幻印度完素磨合得非常精彩。兩者背後哲學無論在相同的方法論上均引用大量歷史事件和文化傳統。

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Arkona also proves what it means by “music has not barrier.” The band insists to put out their music through their mother-tongue. Although majority of the crowd doesn’t understand Russian, it doesn’t stop them to mosh around or bang along. There’s no such thing as “language barrier.” Music speaks itself through tone and melody. You can share the same empathy with what Arkona initially means – the infinite darkness of a fallen ancient city.

Arkona 也證明了「音樂無障礙」的含意。樂隊多年來堅持以其母語製作音樂。雖然現場大多數觀眾不懂俄語,但卻絲毫不會阻礙他們 Mosh 或 Headbang。音樂本身已能憑着音調和旋律跟聽眾溝通,與 Arkona 的根本故事產生感通 ——  一個墮入無限黑暗的古城傳說。

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Except for the ethnic instrumental layer like Bagpipe leaded by Volk Reshetnikov, the band also samples a few symphonic tracks to introduce some sort of theatrical tension to the performance. A few paragraphs of spoken word also turns the song into a pilgrimage-like dialogue with the departed soul.

除了由樂手 Volk Reshetnikov 負責如風笛的民族樂器外,樂隊也預先錄製了幾重交響樂章,在現場加強了戲劇性張力。當中又是會加入幾段獨白,使歌曲變成了與靈魂溝通的對話。

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This night is more than just a regular metal show you’d expect. It’s a cultural collision, a journey to an unknown possession. Musically Arkona does not fail to deliver what a metal should have – loudness, accuracy and energy – and what takes it all is for sure their seamless clash of metal, folk and the loyalty to their own culture.

這夜不僅是個普通的金屬演唱會。這是一個文化衝擊,一個通往神秘領域的旅程。音樂上 Arkona 交出作為金屬樂團應該有的聲音、準確和力量 – 但令這晚留下深刻印象的,定要數度樂團把極端金屬、民族音樂和對自我文化的忠誠的無縫結合,現場觀眾亦都似乎盡興而歸。

Photo Gallery 現場相集 – Arkona – Live in Hong Kong