After their former release “Mezhmirie” had won my heart with its awesome Gothic Metal, I was of course more than eager to hear how the new album “The Path We’ve Never Made” would sound like. And they reveal a slightly different side of the ALKONOST–sound, which is not a problem for me at all, because they have succeeded to avoid repeating the winning formula of the former record.
Instead the Naberezhnye Chelny sextet incorporates often Black Metal–like vocals as a counterpart to the soprano of Alyona, and the tempo also ventures some faster runs as well, but without neglecting the atmospheric frequency or forgetting the divine melodies, quite the opposite, they use some more folk melodies that loosens the whole affair a bit more.
“The Forest Voice” unites all the above-mentioned elements, with a playful “folky” Lead guitar and the antiphony, but probably cause of the harsher vocals will not be as accessible for the large masses as “Mezhmirie”, I myself have no problems with that. “The Night Before The Battle” is one of my favorite songs on this record, highly varied and with great melodies, whereas “Nivushka-Niva” could almost pass as a Symphonic Metal in the vein of EDENBRIDGE, which fits ALKONOST very well.
“Darkness” is probably the best of mostly good songs, with outstanding dynamic and variety, also with some clear male vocals, which in the following “The Dream Sea” will be braided into a beautiful duet, before “Heat-Lightning Thoughts” delivers a major highlight and those more than eight minutes just seem to have flown away, with thundering drums and “folky” melodies, soulful calm passages and with various vocals, awesome!
Yes I know that I am almost flashing over, but ALKONOST are able to breathe some own air into this style, which does not sound like most of the bands and still has a character of its own, which nowadays is not that frequent. Both albums are most heavily recommended!!! (Online August 30, 2006)