Arkona "Stenka Na Stenku" (official video)

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Videos like this are why the phrase "vim and vigor" exists.

Arkona's new video apparently depicts a rustic Russian custom whereby dudes strip topless, beat the crap out of each other, then celebrate by drinking.

I guess there wouldn't be much else to do in rustic Russia.

This video provides an amusing contrast to Beth Winegarner's post about women in metal. It's an inversion of the typical music video. We have hordes of topless men, not women, and the singer is an overdressed woman, not man, in furs. Ah, metal.

I don't understand Russian (and so could not pilot Firefox (the plane, not the browser)), but this visual narrative implies a female gaze, as opposed to the typical male gaze. I don't know if Masha Arhipova (not to be confused, which Google Images does, with Maria Sharapova) is cheering these men on, berating them for their stupidity, or actually describing some unrelated historical battle in dry, matter-of-fact terms. (OK, it's not probably the latter.)

But whatever she's singing, she's selling well. I'd buy it. Thanks to her lovely voice, Arkona are one of the few folk metal bands I can stand. I'm posting about folk metal, by a band on Napalm Records. The sky is falling.

Stenka Na Stenku (any Russian speakers in the house? Otherwise, I will just assume that it means "polka metal band with a P-bass providing soundtrack for Russian male topless fighting/drinking club") comes out May 27 in the EU and June 14 in the US. You can order it here and here.

— Cosmo Lee

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