Released: 2007, Napalm Records
Editors Note: Metal-Rules.com was founded in 1995 as a forward thinking site. Our goal is, and always has been, to support Real Metal. The decision was made that very rarely do we ever go back and review an album from before 1995. Does the world really need another CD review of Master Of Puppets, Powerslave or Screaming For Vengeance? We don’t think so. We have always supported what is happening now.
Starting in January, 2014, as we head towards the 20th Anniversary of Metal-Rules.com, we are looking back and filling in a few gaps in the review database. We want to complete the post-1995 review catalogue of some of the bands that we have supported since 1995, when very few, if any websites were supporting real Metal. It’s fun to go back and revisit some of these albums that we did not review when they were first released. Enjoy!
After a busy year, Korpiklaani return quickly with their fourth album, TERVASKANTO. It was to be the bands last album on the Napalm label and the second with what many people consider the classic six-piece line-up.
The band named the album TERVASKANTO after the name of their mascot, Vaari, the old man with antlers who made his debut on TALES ALONG THIS ROAD and has graced every Korpiklaani album cover since. The booklet is great it has both the Finnish lyrics and English translations as well as notes about each song and the historical references. Tervaskanto is roughly translated as the resinous tree stump, or hardy old man of the forest, hence the mascot. I really appreciate when bands from other nations incorporate local ideas and themes into their music AND make the effort to explain it to others, it makes the listening experience seem more authentic, when you can understand the mythology or history behind the lyrics.
Musically the band has identified their signature sound, once again recording in Tampere and using Samu Oittinen as producer. The album sounds identical, in terms of presentation and production, to the last album, and perhaps if you only take a casual listen the album sounds the same musically as well, in terms of performance and song-writing. The bass and drums are mostly fast, simple metal jigs with the diversity of the songs coming from the vocal melody and occasional introduction of the various traditional instruments in various songs. The songs structure are pretty short and focused there are several songs under three minutes on the album, they hit hard and get out.
Of course as with most folk-infused Metal bands, the songs are very upbeat, bouncy and loaded with the gruff sing-along vocals that make them so fun to see live. Throw in all the different sounds of fiddle, flute, jewsharp, violin, accordion, bagpipe, and more, and you have a very sonically diverse mixture, the main appeal of this class of bands. I feel the longer, slower songs give the listener a bit more to latch onto, songs like ‘Palovana’ (meaning Inner Fire) rather than the short blitzkrieg jigs. However, the breathless, drunken whirly-gig jigs with obligatory drinking themes (‘Let’s Drink!) are what catches the immediate attention, the sweet enticement to draw you in.
TERVASKANTO sees Korpiklaani hitting their stride and they would tour the world again, shoot videos, drink, more touring and generally bring the party to wherever they were welcome. This album is as good as any of the albums in their ever-growing catalogue.