I own the self-titled album of the Russians from ALKONOST and it is one of those grey mice which are enjoyable to listen to, but will be quickly forgotten, not leaving any deep traces in your memory. Now I got two new albums from the band coming from Naberezhnye Chelny and I have to admit that I was not nourishing any high hopes.
Big mistake, because the sounds resounding from the record were really gripping! Seemingly the sextet has not wasted any time after having released the former album, and with “Mezhmirie” they have not only produced a Gothic Metal album which does not sound clichéd, but they also convince with good melody lines and pleasant rhythms.
But these elements are not that deciding to be the major factor making ALKONOST that convincing, but rather the whole compositions, which can incorporate all the elements and are able to fascinate the listener. The opener “Eviltimes” begins with waves and a proclamation before giving in to some dragging rhythm also making use of some folk-melodies, an interesting beginning and that is only the kick-off, because with “Nevertimes” the Russians deliver a Gothic Metal hymn par excellence, very varied, with divine melodies, a very rhythm-accentuated drumming, partly with faster passages and a slight choir in the chorus behind the soprano of Alyona, very good song!!
The raw voluminous choir in the chorus of “The Abyss”, the near-perfection of the awesome and dragging “Waiting”, the divine guitar melody in the partly surprisingly fast “Before The Epoch Of Twilight” (another absolute highlight) or the closing ballad “Mother To Sadness” only with keyboards and the vocals of Alyona, really cool songs, which definitely more than just deserve to be heard!
The concept of Gothic Metal should not be put on a level with shallow and soulless trilling, which you are being served very often, cause the Russians manage to steer clear of cliché-rocks and set a course with substantial melodies, which draw the listener to the core of the songs and are able to keep him heedful all the way.
A very strong piece of Metal from the far-away Russia and yet another proof, that this land has a major potential and the sextet thrones high on the Metal Olympus of this nation!
"Mezhmirie" – a highlight of Gothic Metal 2006! (Online August 29, 2006)