Released: 2005, 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 our 10,000th review and 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 website 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!
Korpiklaani is returning to North America to headline Paganfest V this year so I thought I would share some thoughts and get clear the backlog of some Korpiklaani albums we have not reviewed yet. VOICE OF WILDERNESS was the second album (fourth if you count the Shaman albums, which most people should) and there were not too many changes since the first one. The band added a new drummer Matti and guitarist Cane, although for some reason Cane was not pictured in the booklet.
Although it was early in the bands career they had identified and pretty much perfected their signature sound early on. The band has been pretty consistent as well. The band was still with Napalm and the logo was the same as well and the booklet featured a nice booklet with a nice wilderness shot, they had yet to introduce their mascot, Tervaskanto. The lyrics still had not quite evolved into party mode, with only one cut ‘Beer, Beer’ (a remake of an old Shaman song) being about drinking. The rest of the lyrics are about the north and struggles against occupying forces and so on. The lyrics are a mix of English and Finnish.
There is a sense of propulsion as the 11 tracks blur by in 41 minutes, most of them running in the 3-4 minute range. Of course the multitude of folk instruments mixed in with the humpa style are the real highlight. All the songs sound bouncy and fun, even when the lyrics deal with more serious topics. One of my favourite Korpiklaani songs of all time, the instrumental ‘Pine Woods’ is found here on VOICE OF WILDERNESS with the second half of the song featuring a full-on blazing Metal guitar song, which I would like them to do more often. The somewhat darker track ‘Hunting Song’ was the first video and single but it still has that big sing-along chorus that was a center-piece on the album.
As the band evolved there were some subtle differences over time but on VOICE OF THE WILDERNESS their vision is still as pure as snow (or vodka). It is the first Korpiklaani album I bought, so it has a special spot in my heart.