Posts Tagged ‘Korpiklaani’

Korpiklaani - Noita

Korpiklaani are one of those bands who you can always rely on to write a good, FUN metal album usually based around skipping around forests blazing drunk. Or so the stereotype goes. They are what people who hate ‘folk metal’ point at as an example of what is wrong with the genre, but for me Korpiklaani have always been a riot. Sure, their record output has suffered somewhat in parts due to their prolific nature, but their last three records have been hits for me and I’m a big fan. So it is with anticipation I welcome ‘Noita’ onto my stereo.

‘Noita’ is, on first impressions, a little more sombre and a bit more sober for want of a better term. The album art, for a start, is a bit more moody and darker than previous records, and while there are still plenty of upbeat, happy singalongs, the overall feeling is one of introspection in parts. Opener ‘Viinamäen Mies’ is traditional Korpiklaani fare, with a bouncy rhythm and Jonne’s rasping, hoiky vocals. All the band’s trademarks are there, the accordion, the Finnish lyrics, the fiddles. The galloping ‘Pilli On Pajusta Tehty’ is next, followed by the grander and more melancholic ‘Lempo’. ‘Lempo’ is a fine example of how Korpiklaani mix up their sound, rather than sticking straight to their ‘formulaic’ folk metal anthems and it’s a highlight of the record for me.

‘Sahti’ will be an instant live favourite, with its pogo inducing main melody and shoutalong moments. It’s the closest you’ll come to a ‘single’ track here, although the barreling ‘Luontoni’ pushes it with its heavy metal heart beating hard. ‘Minä Näin Vedessä Neidon’ is a folk ballad to be proud of, led by mournful violin and a softening of Jonne’s rasp. The bonkers ‘Jouni Jouni’ shakes it up again, being a Finnish language cover of Tommy James and the Shondells’ ‘Mony Mony’. Which I don’t know at all, but it’s a total party tune.

I like to think of a Korpiklaani album as like a night round a campfire drinking. The faster party tunes like ‘Sahti’ or ‘Viinamaen Mies’ are for earlier on, whereas the more moody ‘Ämmänhauta’ is for later on, when the fire dies to embers and everyone has hit that sleepy drunk stage. As for ‘Noita’, it stands up against the best work Korpiklaani has done in the past and surpasses it, with a more mature songwriting style while not losing that FUN that made us all fall in love the first time.

Seeing Sabaton live reaffirms my love of good old fashioned heavy metal shows. I mean, I love a live ritual, a show that is more intense or savage, but there’s something incredibly life affirming about Sabaton in the live arean. The QMU in Glasgow was packed by the time we got there, and the queue outside led to me almost missing all of Tyr. Thankfully I caught the last two tracks which were well received by the crowd, particularly the horns in the air charm of ‘By the Sword in My Hand’.

Korpiklaani are normally somewhat of a party band. Invariably totally pished when playing, tonight they appeared to be relatively sober and thus somewhat disappointing. That’s not to say they weren’t good; leading the crowd in a rousing version of ‘Vodka’ and the always popular ‘Juden Vidaa’ the band were tight and entertaining. I just felt they missed some part of the spectacle (last time we saw them, the vocalist was so hammered he walked along the bar top while singing and promptly fell off!).

Sabaton however were better than off the scale. Racing on the stage with ‘Ghost Division’, the band are a whirlwind of anthemic power metal thunder. Led by the charismatic and banterful Joachim Broden, they play hit after hit, new songs like ‘Night Witches’ and ‘To Hell and Back’ fitting in perfectly with classic cuts like ‘The Art of War’ and ’40-1′. Offering to sing in Swedish rather than English for a rousing rendition of ‘Gott Mit Uns’ goes down well with a Scottish crowd, and between every song there are massive ‘SA-BA-TON’ chants. The band look genuinely taken aback by the reception, and we lap up every fist pumping chorus. Sabaton are energising, life affirming, brilliance. Pure heavy metal at its most electrifying.

The quest continues. Today’s choices have been a reasonably eclectic bunch while I’ve chilled on a day off with a sick dog and hunted for Pokemon on Google Maps. Seriously Google, this is awesome.

sHeavy – The Golden Age of Daredevils

Finntroll – Nifelvind

Ensiferum – Victory Songs

Accept – Blood of the Nations

Nux Vomica – Nux Vomica

Falkenbach – Asa

Negura Bunget – Om

I’ve been reading an article on Finnish folk metal in the last to newest Terrorizer magazine, hence the Finntroll and Ensiferum records. Folk metal has a tendency to be taken less than seriously in some quarters, either due to the subject matter or the way its presented. Turisas are corpsepainted you know, its just red not white! But I’ve found a lot of great metal records from the folk metal community, and Ensiferum and Finntroll are two great bands. Turisas and Korpiklaani are raucous fun, particularly live.

I’m reviewing the new Nux Vomica for Sleeping Shaman soon, and I read news of a new Accept record being released in July, so I cranked on the record that they were touring when I saw then in 2011 at MetalCamp, Slovenia. The new Falkenbach is spellbounding, and Om is STILL one of the best black metal records of the last decade. Rock and fucking roll