Reviewed: March 2021
Released: 2021 , Nuclear Blast records
Reviewer: Svetlana Likhacheva
After releasing several tracks in 2020, Finnish folk metal band Korpiklaani has dropped a full-length record called Jylhä, which takes us into a powerful and beautiful world full of marvellous and dynamic sound. The band dug into old folklore stories and sounds of ancient Lappish/Samish culture and combined those with some rebellious metal riffs and aggressive drumming.
The first four songs I found absolutely incredible. Verikoira invites us into the ethnic motives straight away, mixing some very classical rock sound with traditional aged folk manner of singing. The low, brutal and growling vocals are astonishing. The symphonic part was also very interesting as it includes traditional instruments and motives, and the melody created a spiritually charged and unusual image.
There are several songs with dancing melodies in the record. For example, both Niemi and Leväluhta sound like very dynamic and groovy songs – they really made me want to dance a little. They have powerful, energetic vocals and immaculate instrumentals. In addition, and actually applying to the entirety of Jylhä, it is very nicely composed. Nothing sounds wrong or illogical, transitions and mood changes are harmonious and all in their places.
Then there goes Mylly – my favourite song from the whole record. It’s an extremely dramatic song with a strong tragic vibe. It rather reminded me about the sound of Nighwish and Three Days Grace, and I really loved that. The accordion and violin here are so sad and filled with internal pain that they immediately found a way to my heart. That song is an absolute masterpiece.
Moving further on the record, songs start having more of Alestorm and Rammstein vibe, which was also great to me as I am a fan of both bands. Several songs, like Tuuleton, Sanaton maa and Kiuru, sounds like some epic rock ballads, then the songs become even more ethnic (starting with Miero to be precise) and they remind more of “tavern” songs – several voices in the vocals, very fun and dynamic instrumentals. The greatest one from this part of the record I found to be Huolettomat – it’s the ultimate banger tavern song, super electric and powerful. I have to mention the level of vocals again, because they are done splendidly here.
The ending song, Juuret, has a major epic vibe to it, it’s a heroic song, but with dynamic rhythm changes that help it to stay interesting for the whole 6 minutes it lasts. The mood switch in the end of the song concludes Jylhä really well, leaving the listener on an upbeat and positive note.
In conclusion, I can say that I loved the album in its entirety. I don’t really have anything I could be dissatisfied with. All the instrumentals (especially the combination of guitar, accordion and violin) are composed and performed with a huge talent and skill, and the vocals are just perfect for the genre. I absolutely recommend you to check this record out, especially if you are a fan of bands like Nightwish, Alestorm, Rammstein, Motörhead or Judas Priest – you won’t regret it.