Released: 2009, Nuclear Blast 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!
Album number six for the forest clan known as Korpiklaani and if anything the band is remarkably consistent. It was just over a year since the band released their fifth collection of folk Metal cuts. The band is still on Nuclear Blast. The sextet had no line-up shuffles and once again their iconic mascot, Vaari, is on the cover. Each album, Vaari looks a little more the bands bassist, Jarkko Aaltonen! As you might have surmised there was little to no change in musical direction or style either.
KARKELO, meaning ‘Party’, is actually a very appropriate title because on the last album, KORVEN KUNINGAS the band dropped their usual set of drinking songs. On KARKELO we get four drinking songs that form the spine of the album at track one, track five, track eight and the last song, track thirteen, the last being the also appropriate title of ‘Kohmelo’, meaning ‘Hangover’. The album opens with the fast and catchy anthem, ‘Vodka’ with it’s super infectious, sing-along chorus has become a fan favourite and is still in the set list years later. It is one of only two songs with English lyrics on the record. Track five is actually a cover song from a band called Hector and accordingly to the liner notes, the song is the most famous of the modern Finnish drinking songs. The title ‘’Juodaan Viinaa’ means, ‘Let’s Drink Booze’ is another punchy, fast, sing-along song. In terms of the drinking songs, up next is the other English song, ‘Bring Us Pints Of Beer (If You Don’t Drink You Can Leave), which is pretty self-explanatory.
Putting down our drinks for a moment, the rest of the album is not all jokes and fun, there are some serious topics and lyrically references to Finnish mythology especially the Kalevala, the epic poem first published in 1835. As always the band includes and liner notes to each song in the booklet, it’s quite educational actually. Most of the songs are mid-paced to quick tempos with the exception of ‘Huppiaan Aarre’ which is almost like a dirge and quite uncharacteristic of the rest of the album. One of my favourite songs is ‘Kultanainen’ , a very minimalistic song with a very simple driving beat and fewer guitars, but still heavy. When the guitar kicks in it sounds even heavier! Obviously, we are not talking ‘Death Metal Heavy’ here, it is folk-Metal after all, but heavier than many songs they have recorded in the past. Spread arose the album the signature sound of accordion, flutes, whistles and more always present.
KARKELO sees the band at full steam and deliver another fun, catchy album of infectious high-energy folk Metal and the the undisputed kings of Finnish Folk Metal.