Arkona isn’t quite like other metal bands. Or folk bands. Or… well, just about anything else. Over the course of their ten year history, they’ve grown from essentially being a death/doom metal band with pretensions to one that elegantly blends both metal and Russian folk music.1
These three songs give you a pretty good idea of the current range of the band, roughly arranged from heaviest to lightest in tone (so yeah, give all three a listen).
Upon returning from a sea voyage, the warriors brave out a storm in the night which leads to a shipwreck on the reef. Wounded and freezing, the crew disembarks onto a small rocky island hoping to survive, but when they realize that they will not last out till morning, they pray to Wind-Stribog to bring the message about their death to their families and relatives. Perishing, the warriors thank Rod for the life they have been given.
It’s worth noting that the lyrics apparently (I’m relying on other people’s translations) don’t get any less intense, even when the music isn’t as heavy. That’s not a mosh pit in the last video, that’s “wall-on-wall” style Russian bare-knuckle boxing.
1 Yeah, in case you can’t tell, I’m not really a fan of anything before Goi, Rode, Goi! Too much death growl, not enough melody for my taste. YMMV.