Top positive review
6 people found this helpful
Korpiklaani and the Kalevala
on 24 September 2012
Folk Metal bands usually orient around different themes and have different roles within the genre. The Swiss Eluveitie are very much the Gaul historians, Ensiferum are the battle anthem and after-battle ballad songwriters, Turisas, the Varangian adventurers and Korpiklaani a band with priorities involving drinking. Korpiklaani, famous for the song "Vodka" and others combines the usual folk metal set-up of folk melodies combined with metal to create the ultimate binge drinking experience with albums coming out almost yearly. This has a cost, as recently albums were becoming generic, repetitive, dull and plain stupid in some respects. So for their 8th album, Korpiklaani follow the footsteps of other Finnish acts such as Amorphis and go into their nation's mythology, the Kalevala. For anyone who doesn't know, Manala is the Finnish underworld.
Right from the opening note of "Kunnia" this album feels stronger, tighter and more focused with more restraint and time spent on its compositions. Abandoning the drinking songs which were getting stupid in favor of epic mythology and heavier songs. We get the heaviest songs of their careers as well as a continuation of much of their own work with the folk melodies combined with the riffing guitars and the excellent clean vocals. Violins play a more prominent part with a new band member, and the accordion slides back out of focus. The vocals are powerful, strong and enjoyable to listen to and the songs are in general, stronger with tightness and strength added on as a result. Songs are more agressive here such as the song translating to "Predator's Saliva." Following the discourse of the Kalevala, we get loads of great imagery, musical works and as mentioned earlier, the violins play a part, particularly in the very Northern "Husky Sledge" track.
From the excellent artwork, to the good range of songs and diversity provided, Korpiklaani takes a step up from the standards of their previous albums, abandoning generic drinking songs and going forward into a new era, possibly needing to slow down to produce another album of this quality. Back and with the same old loose style that makes them stasnd out in the Folk Metal scene, the Finns have done it again.