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Review: Kalmah - Swampsong

Label: Century Media Records
Year released: 2003
Duration: 43:21
Tracks: 9
Genre: Death/Thrash

Rating: 5/5

Review online: July 24, 2003
Reviewed by: Christian Renner
Readers Rating

Rated 4.72/5 (94.48%) (29 Votes)

I think for the most part people simply view this band as a Children of Bodom clone which I can certainly see the resemblance but this band is much more than a simple clone. I think in the beginning of their career they may have embraced the comparison since it certainly doesn't hurt to mentioned in the same sentence as CoB but now that the name recognition have given them a leg up on the competition they have released a new album and let me tell you this album will not just distance them from the clone stigma but it really showcases that this band has really come into it's own.

This album starts strong and ends with their hands around your throat daring you to call them simply a clone. The songs are very riff oriented with tons of tempo changes and even a few moments that remind me a bit of Dark Tranquility (especially in the over riding feeling of melody). This album seems to be bit heavier than their previous albums but still has all the melody that has made them one of my favorite bands. The thing that really drives this album home though is the absolutely awesome guitar work. The solos are an absolute shred fest and the melody lines over the top are just absolutely perfect. The main riffs are very heavily thrash influenced and when you add all this together you really get the feeling Pekka and Antti Kokko have really taken their guitar playing to another level. The overall songwriting is easily the best of their career as well with songs that flow extremely well and never once follow a pre-established pattern.

Overall I had some pretty high expectations for this album since I really liked their previous work as well but this surpassed even my pretty lofty expectations. Through this album you can really see a band that is poised to take the next step and be considered one of the leaders in the metal world. Hails to Kalmah for an absolutely stunning album!


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Interview with guitarist Antti Kokko on November 3, 2001 (Interviewed by Christian Renner)
Interview with guitarist Antti Kokko on April 9, 2023 (Interviewed by Luxi Lahtinen)
Interview with vocalist/guitarist Pekka Kokko and guitarist Antti Kokko on September 7, 2021 (Interviewed by Luxi Lahtinen)
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