perfect world every album would be like "Painkiller" by Judas Priest, Slayer's
"Reign in Blood" or "Now, Diabolical" by Satyricon.
These albums has one thing in common: They don't contain filler material. Every
song stands out as a brilliant and original piece of art. Together they form an
organic whole, but each work miracles in its own right.
This is not a perfect world, however, and most albums need a lot of mortar
tracks to bind together the memorable songs. As anyone with just a limited
knowledge of stone work (and music) knows, too much mortar binding together too
few bricks will seriously weaken a wall. This is what happens on "Ukon
I was among the first in my social circle to discover Korpiklaani when
their first full-length, "Spirits of the Forest" (2003) found its way out of the
darkened Finnish woodlands, simultaneously crawling
out of the cultural underground. I was impressed with their use of folk
instruments - they were certainly not the first to do it, but definitely among
the best. I liked the contagious party mood tightly packed into every track.
They even gave me one of the most insane concert experiences of my life (the
only thing keeping me alive was my rugby-player friend moshing in circles around
Sadly, since the release of the follow-up "Voice of Wilderness" (2005), this
band, that really could have been among my top-ten music groups, first stalled,
then began a downwards trip towards complete repetition and mass production
songwriting. As you can imagine, I write this with a bad taste in my mouth.
"Ukon Wacka" has
its moments, but mostly it follows the recipe set down by the four albums
between the two above and this one. Song are primarily based on overwhelmingly
noisy guitars, spliced together with various folk strings and accordion - all
behind the rusty drunk voice of Jonne
Järvelä. The only song that really stands out
is Tuoppi Oltta,
with its frail flute pieces and melodiously fetching
refrain. The all over musical quality is fairly high, the recording is good, but
perhaps Korpiklaani needs a break to refocus