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Korpiklaani’s previous efforts were good albums indeed, but “Tales Along This Road” ups the ante even higher. While “Spirit of the Forest” was a nice album, “Voice of Wilderness” helped Korpiklaani settle into a much better identity, musically speaking, but “Tales Along This Road” adds, if only just a tid bit, to Korpiklaani’s career.
Now then, first things first, this album is far heavier than Korpiklaani’s past output. You can hear every single thing here, the voice, the guitars, the bass, the drums, the violin, everything, its just great. You can feel the heaviness on practically every song, though some of it vanishes on the song “Midsummer Night”, but “Tuli Kokko” brings it back up. However, please don’t think heavy as in Candlemass, Winter, Sunn O))) heaviness, its heavy more like Judas Priest, Manowar, Black Sabbath heavy. But the overall formula Korpiklaani have used is still very much intact. Happy songs mixed in with different atmospheres are still what Korpiklaani do best, and you can bet that it’s a good thing. The songs make you feel like you’re strolling on the countryside, without a care in the world, now, what could be better than that, I ask you.
Lyrically, Korpiklaani have (against my personal expectations) improved, at least on the songs where English is used. Even though, language shouldn’t be much of a problem, because Jonne Järvelä’s voice is used (like it should be) like an instrument, so it just adds to the composition. Special note goes to the song “Happy Little Boozer” which is funny, fast, heavy, and great to sing-along to and just makes you wanna grab a beer (or another kind of drink, like Dr. Pepper or Coca-Cola) and just, well, drink.
Oveall, Korpiklaani have put out yet another great album, and you gotta wonder, how in Odin’s name do they do it? I mean, Satan, these guys have been dishing out albums in less than a year’s time, and yet, they are really good albums, by any standards. I highly recommend “Tales Along This Road” to anyone really. If you like folk metal, if you like heavy metal in general, if you like rock music, or hell, if you like music in general, one can’t go wrong with “Tales Along This Road”. Its may not be the best folk metal album (I, and other people too, could probably name 5 albums that are better right off the bat) but still, its accessible without sacrificing quality or, more importantly, appeal to those metalheads whose metal has to be underground, or to those headbangers whose metal has to be necessarily rebellious. And that is why this album is great.
I have been a fan of Korpiklaani since the start. I loved their refreshing, drunk, and fun sound. However, while Korpiklaani had some awesome songs they were a bit inconsistent. On the first album, "Spirit of the Forest", I felt like a lot of the tracks were just filler, and not that great. They fixed that by a lot in the next album, "Voice of Wilderness", but there were still some songs towards the end that weren't as good as they could have been. In this album, there is no song that isn't great. Korpiklaani has matured in their sound yet again, but managed to keep it fun and consistent. There really isn't anything wrong with any of the songs, the only thing that will prevent me from giving it a perfect score is that a few of the songs get a bit boring rather quickly.
The songs have a very heavy folk influence yet again, with many different instruments ranging from flutes to violins to accordions. They are used well and are often loud in the mix compared to other regular instruments, guitars and drums. The vocals are very good. Jonne has a nice touch of growl in his voice, while still actually singing. Sure he isn't always in tune, but most of the time with the mood of the song, it just doesn't matter. Most of the songs are fast paced, however there are some slower and more serious ones as well.
Some highlights are "Happy Little Boozer", just a ridiculously fun and catchy song, the chorus is repeated many times, and it makes you just grab a beer and sing along. "Väkirauta" is a fast paced song, with a very melodic but heavy chorus with a furious combination of tons of folk instruments. The vocals on here are great, and catchy becuase of how fast they are sung. The fact that the song is sung in Finnish also gives it a more believeable feeling, despite the fact that I don't speak Finnish. It is one of my lifelong goals however..."Under the Sun" is just an amazing and more emotional song. It starts off with acoustic guitar before building up a little. It isn't a heavy song, and while the lyrics aren't gramatically correct, in this case it isn't necessarily funny, because with the way Jonne sings the verses you can feel his emotion quite well. Example:
"When all around is burning
you are the flame, you are the sun
you'll burn your way to a secret place
to a place where you can breathe
When all around is drowning
you are the one who can fish me up,
the drowning man, out of the lake,
the only one I let to do it"
This is probably my favorite song on the album. A close second however is "Rise". This is a fun song because it is very fast paced and melodic, while having a heavy and thick sound. The lyrics here funny, at least the verses, which are in english. The chorus which is sung wickedly fast is in Finnish. The last highlight is "Hide Your Riches". I like this song because of the long instrumental beginning to the song which is melodic and catchy, and while there is a violin playing here as well, the folk influence isn't as great here, so this actually sounds a little different from the rest of the album. When the main verses come in they are also catchy. The vocals aren't very loud in the mix for once, and the melody is played over the guitars, which creates a nice effect.
This album also has one instrumental, which is actually less than what Korpiklaani usually has, but it is a great one. Melodic, but rather low pitched, so it doesn't sound as crazy and drunken as most of their songs, and at times it kind of reminds me of "Pixies Dance", which was an incredibly folky and catchy instrumental on "Spirit of the Forest".
As you can see in my highlights I probably listed half the songs on the album, which shows it is great, and a lot of the songs I still love, the only one that really has gotten boring to the point where it is annoying is "Happy Little Boozer", but that probably is my fault as I played it a lot when I first got the album. Anyway it was a very well done album, and I can't believe the next album is going to come out so quickly, this May, definitely can't wait to pick it up.
Folk metal, party metal, beer metal or whatever you want to call it, Korpiklaani has been one of the prominent names of this entire scene ever since they changed their name from Shaman to Korpiklaani and released their 2003 album, ‘Spirit of the Forest’ on Napalm Records. This album was a huge success and made them popular instantly among the fun loving metal crowd. After that a lot of touring all over Europe followed, a video clip was shot and a follow up album ,‘Voice of Wilderness’, was released in 2005. Now only a year later they’re pumping out a new album named ‘Tales Along This Road’. I can start off by saying that if you liked their previous efforts you will not be disappointed.
The album starts out with the tentatively named song ‘Happy Little Boozer’ which immediately puts you in the right mood. The songs which follow after this are all equally fun to listen to and the happy melodies won’t back down for anything. The tracks ‘Under the Sun’ and ‘Korpiklaani’ feature fun and catchy choruses to sing along to and are real highlights of the album and will probably do very well when played in a live environment. My favourite song however has to be ‘Rise’. The folk instruments in this one are just executed wonderfully and the guitarplay is fast and melodic making this one stand out, for me, as my favourite Korpiklaani song ever.
Of course the folk instruments are still prominent throughout and just like the previous albums, it all flows perfectly again. The violin plays a major part in Korpiklaani’s sound as well as the accordion and the flute. The vocals are still exactly the same and of course the lyrics still pay tribute to mother nature and the woods, lakes and trees that surround the Finnish forest clan.
‘Tales Along This Road’ is essentially more of the same and will have you singing and dancing along just as much as the last two so don’t expect any drastic changes because this is not going to win any prizes for originality. Change isn’t necessarily always a good thing and Korpiklaani must realise this as well. If it’s not broken then why try to fix it? Korpiklaani do what they do amazingly well and if they keep putting out albums like this the status they’ve earned so well won’t falter any time soon.
So in conclusion, if you like folk metal and you like music that makes you happy then this should be a blind buy. Invite some friends and grab a beer, or two, or a case and put on ‘Tales Along This Road’ and you’ll surely have a great time. Korpiklaani is the ultimate ‘feel good’ band in metal and the way things are going for them they’re going to stay on that spot for a good while longer.
Originally written for http://www.gothtronic.com
My awesome and highly anticipated Napalm Records promo packet arrived this week and I was thrilled that it included the new release from Korpiklaani. I had heard their debut CD "Spirit of the Forest", and my sacred brethren were raving about "Voice of the Wilderness", which regretfully, I still have not had the pleasure to experience. I definitely intend to indulge myself wholeheartedly in this epic soon. Thankfully, I now have their latest sagacious shindy. Since I serve my proclivity for any artist who transcend the parameters of Metal; and given that Skyclad are one of my favorite artists, listening to Korpiklaani's impetuous incantations has been a real splendour and intuitive elevation.
For those who may not be familiar with this pagan tribe, it's time to get acquainted. Korpiklaani which renders into "Forest Clan" began their career as Shaman and played traditional folk metal while utilizing the Sa'mi language structure. Out of the silent sea and ashes of Shaman, founding member Jonne created Korpiklaani with a fervent mettle drive and vagrant disposition. He wanted to create a sound which embodied humppa folk melodies all the while emphasizing metal synchronicity. This band authentically celebrate their Finnish heritage and the folk archives which inspired them by transforming classic canticles into mercurial frivolity and eremitic musical mirth. Korpiklaani are extremely proud of their Finnish ancestry and these norse patriots proclaim it boldly through their profound contagious heathen cadence. Many of the songs on their CDs are sung in their native vernacular. Although, even when Jonne sings in English he still has an insipid and almost inchoate resonance, which is often thwarting.
Another distinct quality which Korpiklaani distend to the folk metal enthusiast is the arrangement of all tracks on this CD with newest member Juho. He dutifully displays his dedication to the ensemble as their accordion player. The accordion is not your typical metal instrument, and yet it completes their enamoured sound so befittingly. Juho matches staff and key with Hittavainen's harmonious expressions and vitriolic violin and canonic flute consonance. On tracks like "Rise" and "Hide Your Riches" the fervent guitar work of Jonne & Cane rages like a violent storm on a midsummer night. I am reminded of the ealier albums by Skyclad, especially "Burnt Offerings For the Bone Idol" These paternal forthright forest dwellers echo the enchantments of their ancestral heritage with alluring alacrity and heartfelt passion.
Congruent to Italy's pathfinders for the wyrd winter wake - Elvenking, or Ireland's Waylander who release the spirit within, Korpiklaani sing and commemorate the comensurate qualities of Mother Nature and the solemn bucolic way of life. They even provide us with patronymic provender performing an uncouth undulation vaingloriously named after their own appellative on the apt track "Korpiklaani". This point assumed, they are not
without their capicious and innate sense of humour as the opening track "Happy Little Boozer" elucidates. On the previous release they had a track called "Beer, Beer" an effluent elegy and chortle of serosity, overbrimming with fun and frivolity. There is also a somewhat serious side to the band as the track "Under the Sun" emitts emotion and ardent intimacy for those most endearing and enduring.
Altogether, I am very pleased with Korpiklaani's expedition and exhibition. There will be a special limited edition digipack available which includes the bonus track "Free Like an Eagle" written by Juho himself. So if you enjoy Turisas, early Falconer, Finntroll, and artists who respect nature with adulant, ascetic admiration mirrored by an intrinsic predilection for the folk metal hecatomb, come forth and amuse yourself with the brimstone ballet and spring dance. Hush! Hark! listen...as the sobriquet sextet summons yeomen with "Tales Along This Road" and the ancestral forest beckons us inward, but still you may want to hide your riches.
As originally posted at www.metalcovenant.com
Okay so I first heard Korpiklaani while driving to Athens, Georgia from my home in Dunwoody, Georgia. The first thing that caught my attention was the same folk feel Finntroll has in their music. But I must say, when looking for folk metal, these guys beat out The Troll. Yes, I said it. The folk elements in this Cd are especially beautiful.
Well when I got out of the car I told my friend to bring his Cd in and by the time I was drunk I was delved into the ultimate upbeat songs these guy play. I mean the song "Happy Little Boozer" just made me feel so at home. So after the second song ended i thought to myself, "These guys cant keep this up the whole CD. Only Finntroll has that kind of consistency in their folk elements." Boy was I wrong, again! This CD from the beginning to the end is chucked full of catchy riffs, awesome polka/folk harmonies that will just make you want to get your viking helmet and sword and a nice tall pint of you favorite lager and trek across highland Finland foir fights and crazy parties.
Above all, the part of this CD that stuck to me the most was how much energy these guys brought to the studio. When I heard this CD i was blown away by how intense these guys play. Usually energy like that comes from playing live in front of hundreds of drunk, energetic fans screaming your name. But these guys are representing their country's history and once again proving that when you want substance with your metal, you turn to the crazy guys in eastern Europe (Poland, Norway, Sweden, Finland, ect.).
Well it's hard to review every song in this CD b/c all of them go together perfectly. Every song one after another contain the same immense energy that I have come to love in Folk Metal. The guitars are solid as the mountains of northern Finalnd. The vocals are heavy and also clean enough that you can distinguish his accent and hear him speaking in his native tongue. And the drums were just beautiful. They kept the pace the entire way. Not trying to be too flashy to not drown out the epic sounds of the Polka/Folk instruments meticulously placed in each trac take you on a journey through the old times of these proud Finns.
Two Horns and Metal Hails to these fine examples of perfected musicianship and pride of one's country. I can't wait to hear what they are brining next. But for all of you who this is your first time hearing Folk Metal or for those who are huge fans of Folk Metal, this is a must buy for your collection! Definitely have this right by your "Nattfodd" from the Finnish Troll machine Finntroll. Hails again to Korpiklaani for this excellent CD!
Third album for the already well-known finnish folk metal band Korpiklaani. I thought their first 2 albums were excellent, and so did pretty much everyone else. At first listen, this sounds like an exact copy of 2005's 'Voice of Wilderness', but after a few listens it starts to sink in a bit more, and you realize this is a heavier album, and that it has more memorable melodies and less acoustic parts (Under the Sun!), and that's it somewhat deeper.
If you liked Korpiklaani for their use of instruments like violins, you already know what to expect. The formula and strong structures are still the same, but hey - i'm not complaining. Melodic heavy metal plus instruments like violin, flute and accordion. I'd say this is a love or hate situation, but most people love it. The scandinavian melodies seem to be something I simply can't get enough of. I can listen to this album any time of the day, in whatever mood i'm in, and it'll always be enjoyable. Even though this is heavier than their previous offering (tracks like Rise and Hide your Richess), some melodies are redundant.
If you heard their first 2 albums you know what to expect. It's not new or refreshing, but it still feels good to hear some good folk metal once in a while. I still think this is better, because it's heavier, more memorable, and you'll be singing along 'you are the one!' in 'Under the Sun'. Fun album.