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Thing of beauty - 90%

Guy, March 26th, 2004

Kalmahs Century Media debut Swamplord is by far one of the best debut full lengths I’ve heard since Bodom’s Something Wild In Flames Lunar Strain. Many might see this album as Children of Bodom wannabe, but Kalmah, while sounding similar to their fellow Finland brethren, still find ways to plow your ass over in their own special way.

Evil in You starts Swamplord off with an up-tempo Bass rhythm chug that whirls into an all out Thrasher.
Pekka Kokko lets out an Ihsahn-esque screech before the song breaks into all out fury. Combined with some melodic keyboard and some maiden-like fretting this song is a perfect showcase for Kalmah’s creativity and talent (listen as the song fades out into a funeral dirge thingy)

Withering Away is a definitely designed to show off Kalmahs technical prowess as Antti Kokko’s lead riffs are at center stage through most of the song, and he’s able to do it with a good sense of harmony and tempo which makes it easy to listen to and not get bored with it.

The duel guitar dance in Heritance of Berija is impressive enough, throw a brutal but catchy rhythm underneath some beautiful keyboard fills in there and you have one of the better tracks of Swamplord.

Black Roija throws itself in a few different directions and makes for a good listen, some tempo changes keep the song interesting enough amid some more Emperor like howls.

Dance of the Water slows things down a little bit, not to much though, the mid tempo rhythm allows Pekka to show his raspy growl off a bit, if you’re a fan of Thomas Lindberg vocals you should have no trouble listening to Pekka jabber away.

Hades is another straight forward track, meant to kick some ass and take a few names, the little bass fills and the jazzy little lead interlude spice this track up a little bit so your not bored

The keys are shown off beautifully in Alteration and the lead guitars matching solo make this the standout track on Swamplord. This track mixes some brutal chugging rhythms and harmonious keys and soloing to make it a thing of anarchic beauty.

Using the Word ends off the album nicely with some more beautiful solemn keys and up-tempo solos, and a better track for Pekkas vocals (listen to him spit at the end..priceless)

All in all this isn’t a particularly groundbreaking album, nothing you haven’t heard before on previous releases by other Melodic Death Metal heavy weights. But it’s still a quality CD that shouldn’t disappoint fans of Bodom, (old) In Flames, At the Gates, even an Emperor fan or Two. Beautiful guitar leads, Brutal rhythms, Harmonious keys, furious drums(blast beat here and there) Savage vocals. Solid release, one of the better debuts.