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Kalmah's Absolute Best - 100%

Blood_and_Vitriol, November 20th, 2006

The Black Waltz might just be Kalmah’s best work ever. They have really progressed quite well and moved far away from the typical and common Children of Bodom structure of Extreme Power Metal or whatever you would like to call it, and have created a truly beautiful and devastating opus, blurring the lines that separate Black Metal, Death Metal and even Power Metal.

Kalmah has really moved forward and their music is much more mature now. The new guitars have an amazing tone, they sound dreadful, beautiful and evil all at once. The guitar parts are not as complicated as before, and the strange repetition that Antti Kokko used to utilize [ex. “Heroes to Us”] has also disappeared. What we are left with are absolutely breathtaking guitar parts that are not just about showing off Kokko’s guitar skills, but about adding to the over all atmosphere of the music. Luckily, Antti did preserve the guitar solos and they are as blisteringly fast as ever before.

The new keyboardist has really fit into the band quite well and adds some great musical elements to Kalmah. There is no way to even compare Kalmah with Children of Bodom anymore, because everything has changed. Especially the keyboards, which no longer sound like they’re pumping out stupid video game music for a Super Nintendo version of Mario.

The next and most prominent change is the vocals. OH THE VOCALS. Pekka Kokko has really done it. Somewhere in hell the metal gods are laughing with glee at what they have created. The new style is very deep, very low and very powerful. No more of those cheesy vocals that 1000 out of 100 Finnish bands utilize. Kalmah has blown them all out of the water.

I personally love every single song on this album… There is no song I skip, but my favourites would definitely have to be “Defeat”, “To the Gallows”, “Svieri Doroga” and the title track “The Black Waltz”.

If you don’t own this album, go out and get it. This is quite possibly the best metal of all time.