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Album Review

Finland's Kalmah brews a decidedly European blend of classically tinged, cinematic death metal on Swamplord. Atmospheric keyboard washes heighten the drama, while adding texture to the quintet's crushing twin-guitar foundation. The opener, "Evil in You," starts things off at a blinding clip, but resolves to a military funeral march fadeout, where the post-Iron Maiden dual-guitar harmonies give way to a mournful pipe organ. The savage vocals should appeal to fans of At the Gates and Emperor; allowing the guitars to carry the songs' melodic content, the "singing" is a rabid howl of death metal aggression — white noise converted into vowel sounds. Kalmah also use tempo variations effectively; while many of the songs race along like machine-gun fire, "Dance of the Water" chugs with an effective mid-tempo simplicity. For fans of the genre, Swamplord is well worth investigating.


Formed: 1999

Genre: Metal

Years Active: '90s, '00s

Finland's Kalmah specializes in a high velocity, classically influenced brand of European death metal similar to that of extreme metal bands like Cradle of Filth and Children of Bodom. The quintet formed in the autumn of 1999 following the demise of its first incarnation, Ancestor. In less than a year after its birth, Kalmah was signed by Spikefarm Records, a division of the Finnish label Spinefarm. In the fall of 2000, the band recorded its debut album for the label at Tico-Tico studios, a favorite...
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Swamplord, Kalmah
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