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Life Goes On With Kalmah's Harmony - 97%

KaMiKaZEStRiP, January 12th, 2007

Imagine music that never gets boring and will be relevant to every emotion life throws at you, something that even the most stubborn thrash metallist can enjoy, and something that exudes vibrancy and positive ambiance without being embarrassing nor soft-spoken.

The thing that I like best about Kalmah is that every part of the band is always heard and can shine through; there is no dominant member and this creates for a very multi-faceted, atmospheric sound quality. Rarely is bass guitar showcased in metal music, and it is often taken for granted. The Black Waltz uses bass efficiently and the bass lines are intricate and satisfying and even a little bit jazzy at times. Played loud, this CD shines brightest, evoking testosterone-driven strength and empowerment that surges through my entire body. Listening to this CD becomes a ritual and an at least weekly regimen for me; I can’t ever completely fulfill my Kalmah fix.

Kalmah probably really does have something for everyone. It’s got sassy, upbeat keyboards, which sparkle and enhance the music to evoke several different moods. Kalmah is in a league of its own and uses Celtic riffs as well as a sometimes more new-age sound, depending on the song. Not only is the music always well crafted and planned out, the lyrics inspire and empower when sat down and read through. This isn’t juvenile bullshit; it often touches on Nordic folklore and mythology and philosophy.

Bitter Metallic Side is probably my most favorite song off of TBW. It begins with an eerie buildup to the most powerful riff I have ever heard in my life. The trip this song takes me through can’t be described. Another brilliant track is With Terminal Intensity because the intro is so great. I think some people dispute over whether Kalmah sounds best with death or black vocals, but the death vocals in this album seem to go along really well with the music. I really like this album a lot, and there are few filler staple interludes. I really think that a lot of care and time went into writing these songs, and if not, then that proves just how genius this band really is. In other words, there are no particular songs that I hit the skip button on, because everything shines in its own way, and I can listen to this CD all the way through during car rides, whilst relaxing or working out, and it’s just a very pleasing thing to own and well worth the money. I also think that this CD is an excellent choice for any person curious about Kalmah’s music which will allow them to test the waters. The Black Waltz exemplifies their style, although I wouldn’t say that this is one of their very best works, so I can’t give it a perfect score.

Kalmah is very original in that they somehow incorporate the most stellar keyboard solos into the album, yet it is never cheesy, nor comparable to most power metal bands. In addition, none of their songs seem to sound the same yet they all have a unified feel which makes anything they produce recognizably Kalmah. Kalmah’s got it all: heaviness, catchiness, soul, power, energy, and loyalty.