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Too drunk to folk - 50%

Pale_Pilgrim, August 26th, 2012

I'm a fan of Korpiklaani - they've made some solid bombastic anthems, convincing ballads and folk-heavy headbangers (my favorite). Prior to this album, they were pretty good at understanding the importance of balance - moderation, if you will. But on Karkelo? Well, it lacks flow, the riffs vary from mildly catchy melodic stuff to the dullest of chugs and it randomly bounces between simple drinking songs and pagan epics. It's like schizophrenia in album form. Listening to this album is frustrating as hell.

Starting out, hopes are high with "Vodka". It's one of their better drinking songs, not amazing but it's definitely a fun sing-along song. But then track 2, despite a couple okay folk melodies, barely leaves a mark. This is a trend that continues throughout the album - Uniaika is pretty catchy and heavy, but Kultanainen tries to stretch a few half-decent melodies out for over 6 minutes. Bring Us Pints of Beer is kinda catchy and has funny lyrics, but the song after it trudges along so slow and with such a lack of ideas/folk instruments, I had to replay it 10 minutes later just to remember how it goes. I figure the bassist actually fell asleep on this one. This good/bad/decent/dreadful trend just shreds the flow of the album.

There are a couple of other good songs here besides the single. "Mettaanpeiton Valtiaalle" at least attempts to hearken back to the mid-tempo pagan pride rockers of the past, and for the most part it holds up. The cover song is so giddy and folky it's impossible not to enjoy. Decent instrumental. But overall, there's an EP's worth of enjoyment on a 1-hour album. All but lost are the epics and power ballads. Gone are the guest instrumentalists. When the single is the stand-out, you've mucked something up badly.

So, three cool tracks, an okay instrumental and a load of half-assery and fails. Disappointing, that. Personally, I blame Jonne's dreadlocks.