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Album Review

Time and time again, just when you think heavy metal has been maxed out in the "is there anything new left to do?" department, along comes a band that breaks new ground and offers a previously unheard metallic spin. Case in point, Finland's Korpiklaani. While folk music has always crept into scattered recordings by select bands over the years (side two of Led Zeppelin III, Spinal Tap's middle section of "Stonehenge," etc.), no band had been able to truly merge the two styles together as one — let alone Finnish folk. But Korpiklaani certainly succeeded, and continue to do so, as evidenced by their 2009 release, Karkelo. For many metal bands, partying was always at the head of their to-do list (especially in their lyrics), and Korpiklaani's music sounds like it would provide the perfect soundtrack to a jam-packed Finnish bar on a Saturday night, especially such ditties as the lead-off single, "Vodka," as well as "Juodaan Viinaa," and the self-explanatory "Bring Us Pints of Beer." However, not all of Karkelo is party-hearty, as tracks such as "Mettänpeiton Valtiaalle" are both mellow and melodic. Alternating between lyrics that are sung in English and Finnish, Karkelo is one rowdy good time.


Genre: Metal

Years Active: '00s, '10s

Finnish folk-metal ensemble Korpiklaani (Forest Clan) formed in 2002 after the members of Shaman decided to update both their sound and name. Taking cues from both the Scandinavian metal scene and the burgeoning progressive folk movement, vocalist/guitarist Jonne Järvelä, violinist Jaakko Lemmetty, drummer Matti "Matson" Johansson, bass player Arto Tissari, guitarist Toni Honkanen, and percussionist Ali Määttä released their debut, Spirit of the Forest, on Napalm Records in 2003. The group gained...
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Karkelo, Korpiklaani
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