|Review: Korpiklaani - Korven Kuningas|
Label: Nuclear Blast
Year released: 2008
Genre: Folk Metal
Review online: March 7, 2008
Reviewed by: Nicholas Lazarus
Rated 3.14/5 (62.86%) (14 Votes)
For each of the last three years, folk metal fans have been treated to solid, fun Korpiklaani albums. 2008 seems to be no exception.
Korven Kuningas seldom relents on the energetic, upbeat folk. The music can be recognized as folk before anything rock or metal, and it hardly slows down for a moment.
This album could be described thus: accordion, fiddle, hand drums, flute, thundering monstrously large percussion, kantele and Joik chants in an often extremely upbeat Sami/Finnish Folk Metal so catchy it hurts. Doesn't sound like your thing? Then don't bother. Just want to eat, drink and be merry? - then just stop reading now and buy this album.
As per usual, Korpiklaani keeps the songs simple, straightforward, and obscenely catchy. Again, I think Korpiklaani leans more toward folk than metal, at least more so than most Folk Metal bands, with accordion and fiddle sharing equal harmonic and melodic responsibilities with the guitars.
The songs are often fast, and the structures simple, with parts repeating many times. "Suden Joiku" and "Gods of Fire" are two of the only songs that are not really upbeat. Coincidentally, "Suden Joiku" is one of my favorite tracks here, while "Gods of Fire" is probably the worst track, and the only track I'd have to say I don't like. "Suden Joiku" is somber but still has fast sections. "Gods of Fire" almost sounds like they felt obligated to write both a somber song, and one with English lyrics - neither aspect is this band particularly gifted in.
That said, to only have one throw away track of 14, is pretty damn good. There is one other gripe however. The last track (the title track) is well over 20 minutes long. But the actual song is only about five minutes. After which, the thundering drum in the background takes to the foreground. And pounds away for over 15 minutes. Maybe I'm just missing something and this is an artistic expression - the eternally pounding drum, an ode to the King of the Wilderness. Or something like that. Either way, it's a minor gripe, because the album is essentially over at that point.
But aside from that, my foot gets tired from tapping, and my neck gets sore from nodding. This is yet another very solid offering from Korpiklaani. A joy to listen to. Fast, fun, catchy Finnish Folk Metal.
There's a party in the forest, and you're invited. What else would you expect from the Forest Clan?
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