Monday, 14 September 2009

Review: Korpiklaani - Karkelo

The Finnish folk metal band Korpiklaani has recorded a new album every year since 2005 until now. Released in June 2009, "Karkelo" [Finnish for "Party"] is their sixth studio album and it sounds just like their older albums, except that this one comes with a change: only two songs from this album are in English, while the rest have lyrics in their mother tongue, Finnish.

I clearly remember listening to "Hunting Song" many years ago. The first time I listened to this band I felt there was something special with them, but I didn't really pay any real attention to them until in the summer of 2009 when I saw them live at a festival. At least for me, it was a bit hard to listen to them before seing them live, I couldn't really get used to their style; it's not that I didn't like it but it was very different from any other music I usually listen to. But as their concert started and I realized what Korpiklaani is all about: happy drinking songs combined with folk metal and that typical athmosphere of their concerts, so after that I started to really enjoy their albums.

"Karkelo" starts with a characteristic song; "Vodka". This song is perfect as an album opener, as a very catchy chorus can be heard in the first seconds, and will also keep playing in your head for a while: "Vodka, you're feeling stronger/ Vodka, no more feeling bad/ Vodka, your eyes are shining/ Vodka, you're the real man/Vodka, wipes away your tears/ Vodka, removes your fears/ Vodka, everyone is gorgeous/ Vodka, yeah vodka". The other English song from the album, "Bring Us Pints Of Beer" reminds of the band's older more known songs, and this song also has a very representative message: "If you don't drink you can leave". The bouncy "Juodaan Viinaa" is a cover of the Finnish rock/pop singer Hector. In spite of the title, not all songs from the album are drinking anthems, some of them being even melancholic at parts and sometimes (but rarely) the folk elements can't be heard as much as usually. Jonne Järvelä's voice sounds as charming as it always is and can be heard very well because it is not covered by the many instruments.

As most of the lyrics are Finnish, one would think that most of the songs would be boring or not recommended to people who don't speak this language, but instead they are very catchy and entertaining even to someone who doesn't speak one single word of Finnish, so much that you find yourself trying to sing along the lyrics you don't understand. Korpiklaani managed to release an album on which almost every song is in Finnish, and the message is easily sent even to those who don't know the meaning of the lyrics, which makes the album enjoyable to any listener.

Review: 9/10

1. Vodka
2. Erämaan Ärjyt
3. Isku Pitkästä Ilosta
4. Mettänpeiton Valtiaalle
5. Juodaan Viinaa
6. Uniaika
7. Kultanainen
8. Bring Us Pints Of Beer
9. Huppiaan Aarre
10. Vesaisen Sota
11. Sulasilmä
12. Kohmelo

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