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Lei-oo(thump)Leillaa(thump)Leeeioloo(thump)Leeilaa - 64%

Napero, November 30th, 2008

Now this here is a true oddball creation. Waltari, once again, chooses a new genre to work on in the best possible "Pimp My Punkrock" style, and ends up bending it until it not only snaps, but also enjoys being mutilated. The crossbreeding here went far, but not quite far enough.

Waltari's past has been a colourful roller-coaster ride of odd stuff, and it might be justified to doubt their validity from the Archives' point of view, were it not for one or two light-weight metal albums, a few scattered metal songs on the other full-leghts, and the undeniably death metallic and excellent Yeah! Yeah! Die! Die! A Death Metal Symphony In Deep C metal opera. They have mixed practically every possible genre into their music at one point or the other, and Channel Nordica explores areas that have probably never been explored before. And, perhaps, should never be explored again.

The novelty value of this album comes from the partner they chose for this odd collaboration: Angelin Tytöt, or Angelit, as they are known nowadays. Angelit is locally a rather well-known folk group, and their trade is joik, the traditional singing style of the Sami people in Lapland, the northern part of Scandinavia. Joik is difficult to describe, but it mostly consists of rather long-winded howling or wailing, with no lyrics. It's quite removed from the typical western music, and somewhat resembles yodling without the insane flick-switching between throat and chest singing. The effect is a sort of chanting, and... eh, very difficult to describe without playing a sample.

The collaboration shows a great deal of open-mindedness, but strangely, this time the less prejudiced party is not Waltari. Angelit go way out of their comfort zone, and explore the musical possibilities much farther outside their style than Waltari does. The combination works, there's no doubt about that, but the fundamental sound here is Waltari with joik glued on top.

Waltari's style is an amalgam of a million things, but on this album they have given more than the usual share of room to the techno influence they've often shown. There are a few almost ambient tracks, but the basic material is not that far removed from the usual stuff found on Radium Round and Rare Species, for example. The gimmick is there, and joik does fit the whole a lot better than what could be expected, but that's probably more due to flexibility and will to adapt by Angelit than anything in Waltari's camp.

As usual to the albums of Waltari of this era, there's relatively little metal on the album. This is rock mixed with techno and joik, and probably will not be liked by metal purists of any kind. The experiment itself is interesting on a conceptual level, but the result is not quite as far out there as it could be, and Waltari's exploration falls short of that by Angelit. It may seem like a silly idea, but this time Waltari met more than their match in sheer will to experiment, and got cold feet in the process. The result has plenty of novelty value, but eventually fails at impressing.