Slavic

Sketches of Slavic Fairy Tales

Slavorum posted a wonderful article where they displayed the artwork of Russian artist ROMAN ‘AMOK’ PAPSUEV. It is his interpretation of Slavic mythological beings. Some of these are Russian, and some belong to other Slavic traditions. I’ll post some of his art here, but to see more, go to Slavorum or Roman’s main site.

I’m not claiming that these are EXACT interpretations of Slavic fairy tales. This is the artist’s creative rendition.

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In his free time Russian illustrator Roman Papsuev ( @amokrus ) creates amazing sketches influenced by Russian and Slavic folk tales. Characters of Slavic & Russian folklore are redesigned in modern gaming-fantasy style. //Baba Yaga

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The first drawings were created on the author’s thoughts and fantasies. He began, of course, with folk character Ilya Muromets — the main Russian epic hero and the strongest bogatyr or warrior: “On his belt hangs a bottle of dead water that heals wounds.”

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Alyosha Popovich, third most important Russian hero. // The more the author got immersed in the subject, the more accurate his pictures became. He began to reread the tales and study the works of famous folklorists.

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“What I like most is when people look at my pictures and then begin to read the tales and understand why, for instance, Vasilisa the Beautiful has a doll in her bag or why Vodyanoy rides a giant catfish. This grassroots revival of ancient folklore through my humble project gives me great pleasure.” // Vasilisa the Beautiful

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Leshy, the forest guardian, is more radically minded than Lesovik, another woodland sprite. “His ‘dead’ right eye is usually larger than his normal left. His beard and hair are grey. His hands and feet are covered with fur. On the belt you can see trophies — the skull of a lost traveller, a drinking horn, a bast shoe. He collects them.

FOR MORE PICTURES

SLAVORUM

ROMAN ‘AMOK’ PAPSUEV


Folk Metal Playlist

3_midgard

VIEW PLAYLIST HERE (VIDEO WON’T EMBED)

This is a playlist of folk metal songs similar to Falkenbach’s Gjallar. Enjoy! I liked almost all of the songs on this list, and even heard a few new songs that I had never encountered before.


Netherfell – Mokosz (OFFICIAL MUSIC VIDEO)

The band’s first music video:

Genre: Folk Metal. Encyclopedia Metallum also says that this band plays Melodic Death, my interpretation is that they are more of a Folk Metal band, but maybe I haven’t heard enough of their material.

Themes: Pagan Gods, Kings, War, Nature

Country of Origin: Poland

This video is definitely a good start for a band’s first official music video. They successfully blend together traditional instruments like the bagpipes, tin whistle and violin with guitars, bass and drums. They are obviously highly influenced by Arkona, especially with vocals. The female singer of this band, Adrianna Zborowska has a particularly powerful and enchanting voice. My only criticism is that I don’t think the female and male vocals are  as in sync with each other as they could be. I know that doing the whole pretty melodic vocals with harsh growls is a very difficult thing to get just right, and honestly the only song that I feel has this dynamic perfectly is Dark Tranquility’s The Mundane and the Magic .

And of course the imagery of the video itself was beautiful –  forest, ritual, ancient pagan garb and all.

Keep up the good work Netherfell!

RELEVANT LINKS

Encylopedia Metallum 

Facebook Page


Drudkh – Autumn Aurora (Full Album)

Drudkh means “wood” in Romanised Sanskrit

Genre: Ambient Black Metal

Country: Ukraine

Themes: Nature, Ukrainian History, Folk Lore and Poetry

Drudkh is a very secretive band, even as far as Black Metal standards go. They have given no interviews and have not released the lyrics to several of their albums. Their music is a combination of Black and Folk metal influences with a heavy focus on natural ambiance. The band was formed by Roman Saenko, a prolific metal musician. He is the leading member behind Hate Forest, Dark Ages and Blood of Kingu.

FACEBOOK

MYSPACE

METAL ARCHIVES


“Na Moey Zemle” A Folk Metal Journey Across Pagan Lands

Arkona’s Na Moey Zemle translates into “My Land”

In this song, a man leaves his home in Russia in search of happiness. He travels through Sweden, Lithuania, Latvia, Germany, and the Netherlands in that order. Yet in his journey he learns that true happiness is back at home where he belongs.

A surprising number of guest vocalists have contributed to this Arkona ballad. We have the vocalists from Heidevolk, Menhir, Månegarm, Obtest, and Skyforger participating in this song.

Hrmm… so we have six vocalists and six countries. Does each vocalist in this song represent their home country?

In examining this idea, I matched voices to lyric and for the most part it is true. There are some instances, where other members of a band – in addition to the vocalist – are singing. Like I think the bassist of Skyforger might be singing the part for Latvia. So this makes matters slightly complicated. But for the most part, I’m sure each of these bands is representing their home country. 

Masha Scream of Arkona is obviously the Russian traveler. In order, we have Månegarm (Sweden), Obtest (Lithuania), Skyforger (Latvia), Menhir (Germany) and Heidevolk (Netherlands). 

At the end there is a chorus where different vocalists all sing “lai la la lai” together. They all come from different lands, but they are all happiest in their mother lands. 

Notes on the lyrics:
* Nerthus: Germanic Earth-goddess
* Svitjod: An Old Norse name for Sweden or its people
* Sunna: Germanic Sun-goddess
* Veles: a major Slavic god
* The One-Eyed: Odin, the chief Norse god
* Žemyna: Lithuanian earth-goddess
* Velinas: Lithuanian creator-god, represented as a blacksmith
* Ąžuoliniai mounds: earth mounds in the village of Ąžuoliniai
* Thuringia: a German state, renowned for its natural beauty.

 

masha

Examining the Lyrics: 

(Russian Traveler,Vocals Masha Scream of Arkona)

Oh, Once at dawn the scarlet sun was rising. The sun was scarlet, that early morning

The maid was seeing her fellow off, To far, far away. Far, far away distant lands.

Seeing him off, giving her tender word. A tender word, and a word of protection.

“Oh darling, oh I will, I will wait for you I will wait for you, And meet you at the crimson sunset.”

The maid’s fingers trembled, And caught the tears And caught the tears Flowing from bright eyes.

With gentle hand she removed her amulet Removed her amulet and prayed for good fortune.

“I pray, I enchant this And give it to my beloved for the journey in that distant place, Protect my beloved from death.”

And that fine fellow departed to foreign lands to seek happiness for the years, hey!

Trail after trail, toward the sun. Through cold and heat, in light and dark.

Into gray mist, Into Fading light, Again turning to the Gods.

Bare feet worn bloody. You follow an unknown road.

And hearing the sea’s call. You fell into the embraces of Northerly winds.

You went after happiness! Again you ask this land about it.

 

(Sweden, Månegarm Vocalist)

Hear Nerthus* breathe heavily

Svitjod’s* primordial soul

The North Star’s bleak light

The wolf in the night wind

The dawn over the Northern Land

Raven’s wing in Sunna’s Sea

Here my forefathers stand guard

By the one-eyed’s side*

Here I sacrifice to my Gods

the soil of my roots

 

(Russian Traveler,Vocals Masha Scream of Arkona)

This house is beautiful

But foreign and cold

I hear the voice of winds of other countries

Reveal the roads thither, O Veles*!

The voice of a new land

Your foot treads upon it

Again, you turned from the road

Far off a foreign river I lured you.

People! Pray tell,

For what is your joyous land reknowned?

The Gods, who are they?

What do these lands hide?

 

(Lithuania,Vocals could be Obtest, I’m not entirely sure since they sound slightly different.)

Boundless woods raised us

Like horses of the wind, in freedom

Black bread like the soil,

Thick foamy mead…

Žemyna’s* falcon

Protects our children in the sun

One-eyed Velinas*

Teaches us of steel, awakening us…

The Ąžuoliniai Mounds*

Look into the distance

As Far as the eye can see-

The land of our forefathers.

 

(Russian Traveler,Vocals Masha Scream of Arkona)

Gazing on the beauty of golden fields

I will bend the knee

I will offer tribute to this land

Again, I will leave without a trace.

In the sunset’s brilliance again

A new land’s expanse will blaze

For what is your joyous land reknowned,

Dear to a foreigner’s eyes?

 

(Latvia, Maybe Skyforger…but the vocals don’t sound like their typical vocalist. I do know that they also have their bassist singing…so that might be him.)

I have no problems living

on the edge of the great sea

Just as the sea washes in

So it washes out silver

I put on a coat of water

A pelt of pebbles

Now I go to the sea

To play with the northern wind

 

(Russian Traveler,Vocals Masha Scream of Arkona)

And again I run off

From a land foreign to my heart

Though the expanses are great

They are not mine

I run far off

Away from the blue seas

Again I ask the people my question

 

(Germany, Menhir Vocalist)

Thuringia*, how beautiful you are,

Like a young maiden.

Your limbs are the valley and hill,

And the pretty meadows your dress.

The fresh forest is your breath,

Your speech, birdsong.

The pond, that is your bright eye,

Your greeting is bell-ringing.

The forest, it is your green coat,

Your glossy hair, golden grain.

In colorful bouquets here bloom

Many flowers delicate and rich.

The pretty meadows are your dress.

Your limbs valley and hill.

You are like a young maiden.

Thuringian* land, so beautiful,

So beautiful!

 

(Russian Traveler,Vocals Masha Scream of Arkona)

Trail after trail

Toward the sun

Through cold and heat

In light and dark

I run off…

I run off to foreign lands

Bare feet chafing

In my heart keeping hope

I think of my land

Expecting a wonder, again I run

To the seashore

To the new land I’ll pay respect

For what is this land reknowned?

 

(Netherlands, Heidevolk Vocalist)

You followed the sun, guided by your gods

Westwards you have traveled

To the boundaries of the land

Where the sea swallows the ground

To the land of the dragon’s cry,

The place fused with my soul,

Your path as led you

Welcome to my fatherland

Warm yourself by the fire, my guest

And refresh yourself with our beer

Far away too we have traveled

But our happiness is here

Where my brothers are around the fire

Drink in this night hour

Where stories and laughter

Sound until the break of day

Our joy we can find 

In the woods, in the field of the heath 

Our joys we can find 

On the shores of the Rhine 

 

(Russian Traveler,Vocals Masha Scream of Arkona)

Oh, how the scarlet heart yearned

Oh, for its native country

Oh at dawn, hurry 

To your Mother, dear heart

And there you sight Rus’ 

With a song in your heart

Through a maelstrom of emotion

Here they are – your native lands. 

In chains of Oblivion

Of the oncoming force of happiness

You cry: “Here is my land!”

You cry: “Here is my land!”


Arkona – Yarilo (Official)

Great live footage of Russian Folk Metal Band


Arkona Slavsia, Rus’ (Live)

Arkona owns the rights to my first born child.

Genre: Pagan/Folk Metal

Country of Origin: Russia

This is a very beautifully done live video. The quality of sound and video makes me feel like Arkona is playing in my living room right now (before they eat all my Cheetos and drink all my beer).

I have looked all over the internet for a translation of the Slavsia Rus’ lyrics, but can’t find anything satisfactory. If anyone would like to leave a comment and give me some insight on the meaning, that would be great.

The world Arkona itself is a reference to the last Slavic Pagan city.

CHECK OUT THE OFFICIAL MUSIC VIDEO BELOW