Korpiklaani - Voice Of Wilderness
From Finland hails the band Korpiklaani, which translates in to The Forest Clan, a skillful band that never caught my attention before even though they have been around for some years now. Emerging out of the band Shaman, that focused on vocals in the Sàmi language, the guys decided to focus on more heavy music and lyrics in English, and therefor Korpiklaani was born. They are mixing fast paced heavy metal with folk music and by that there is nothing unusual, but what separates Korpiklaani from most bands is that they base their music on the folk music instead of throwing in folk inspired elements into the metal as most other bands do, sharing the passion for folk music.
With a raw feeling and full force, the band is leading us forward starting with a wonderful fast paced track in Cottages & Saunas and the folk music takes just as big space as the metal. And that is how it goes along, head on with the flute or the violin taking the lead just as much as the guitars, or even more with the great melodies. It is energetic and cheerful music and it fits Korpiklaani like a glove to let the flute, violin and accordion take up as much space as the other instruments. This is the real deal with those instruments in the regular line-up instead of keyboards. And with the instrumental track Pine Woods they bring out the best of their instruments and really show what they are capable of, this is just how you want this kind of music to sound.
After being dazzled by the first half of the album, some flaws come shining through, though, like in Native Land for example. With a calmer, but not calm, tempo with clean vocals, it starts to sound a bit like a garage band. When the raw essence in the voice is lost, the vocals become pale and amateurish. Even if the later half isn't bad in any way, it feels like they have run out of fresh ideas and are stuck on repeat and never reach to the same heights as the magnificent beginning of the album. And the closing acoustic ballad with flutes and Finnish lyrics as well as with Finnish melancholia is perhaps something for those who understands the language, but to me it just sounds boring and bad actually.
Voice Of Wilderness with Korpiklaani is filled with Finnish melancholy and a rawness to their sound and by far, according to how it sounds, they are a much more professional band then Finntroll, which is the closest comparison. When Finntroll sometimes appear to be doing it with a good portion of humour, or a "rather than well" attitude, Korpiklaani gives the impression of being a very professional band and not least being dedicated to the task.
also review of: Tales
Along This Road