Korpiklaani is a Finnish folk metal band with a very interesting history.
They originated in 1993 as the "Shamaani Duo", a folk duo that were
stylistically very different from the band we know today. They eventually
became known as "Shaman" in 1996, and finally settled into Korpiklaani (Forest
Clan) in 2003, where they adopted a style more characteristic of folk metal.
On May 1st, 2015 Korpiklaani's ninth studio album titled "Noita", debuting their
new accordionist Sami Perttula, will be available. The guys at Nuclear
Blast were kind enough to include a bit of an explanation about the title of
this new album. Basically, Noita were people with a deep understanding of
nature and were believed to have paranormal abilities; more or less a shaman.
Perhaps this title is a throwback to their origins?
From silence, we kick off the first song of the album, "Viinamäen Mies". With
but a small gasp, we're hit full force with a "Hey! Hey! Hey!" from these high
energy musicians. With driving rhythms from the drummer and roaring vocals from
Jonne Järvelä, we're pushed forward through this album. Järvelä's voice
carries an enormous amount of weight in this album, as he is able to manipulate
it to create colors very unique to Korpiklaani. Colors ranging from loud,
aggressive roars, to feeble, almost speech-like chants, to a vocal style
reminiscent of Tuvan throat singing.
The album continues down a road of high energy drumming, guitar parts riddle
with fast, rhythmic palm muted guitars, and the unrelenting voice of Järvelä
guiding us along the way. This is definitely music fit for a festival full of
rowdy folks swinging around their ale joining in with the boisterous chanting.
One thing that should be mentioned is how balanced the instrumentation is.
According to Järvelä himself, they've reached the medium between folk and metal
that they've been searching for this whole time, and a lot of it has to do with
the instrumentation and arrangement that they've achieved with the help of
violinist Tuomas Rounakari and accordionist Sami Perttula. With the addition of
Sami Perttula, now using a traditional button-accordion instead of a
piano-accordion, he is able to achieve a very different sound than what was
previously possible. The fiddle and accordion parts are so vital to the sound
of this album. They are not overshadowed, nor are they imposing on what the
other instruments are doing. The guys have just found a very strong balance
that has allowed them to be as expressive as they could want to be.
Between the unrelenting energy, the great instrumentation, the powerful rhythms,
and the overall musicality between all the members of the band, Korpiklaani have
outdone themselves with this album, and it is most certainly worth spending some