While other folk metal bands began with metal before adding folk music, Korpiklaani started with folk music before turning metal.
The roots of Korpiklaani can be traced back to a Sami folk music group under the name of Shamaani Duo, an “in house restaurant band” created by Jonne Järvelä in 1993.
An album of folk music (Hunka Lunka) was released under this name before Järvelä relocated and formed a new band Shaman. The folk metal act Shaman was based on the folk music of Shamaani Duo. Two albums were released in 1999 and 2001 before Shaman changed their name to Korpiklaani. The change in name was accompanied by a change in the music. The traditional yoik vocals and the use of the Sámi language were dropped while the synthesizer was replaced with real folk instruments.
Jonne Järvelä credits his work with Finntroll as the catalyst for the shift in emphasis from folk to metal.
Their song lyrics are often related to alcohol and partying.
According to Jonne Järvelä, Korpiklaani’s music would be seen as “old people’s music with heavy metal guitars” in Finland.
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