Power of Metal.dk Review

Style: Folk Metal
Release date: 01 May, 2015
Playing time: 45:20


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 time with. 


01. Viinamäen Mies
02. Pilli On Pajusta Tehty
03. Lempo
04. Sahti
05. Luontoni
06. Minä Näin Vedessä Neidon
07. Jouni Jouni
08. Kylästä Keväinen Kehto
09. Ämmänhauta
10. Sen Verran Minäkin Noita
Label: Nuclear Blast Records
Distribution: Nuclear Blast Records
Artwork rating: 80/100
Reviewed by: James Aaron
Date: 02 April, 2015
Website: www.korpiklaani.com