Are you looking for a CD to bring the dead back to life? Then I heartily recommend KORPIKLAANI’s third offering “Tales Along This Road“, of which I seriously think that it could master this feat. Now some might think that three CDs in not even four years might lead to the creative tanks of the Finnish troop getting drained, but no, this band seems to be able to draw from reservoirs as big as the countless Finnish lakes that you can find almost everywhere in that country.
Every time I am looking forward to what the band will come up with next, especially Hittavainen, the violin, jouhikko and woodwinds wizard of the band, who time and again gives the KORPIKLAANI sound yet another kick. This time around we get flute, accordion, lyre and the violin, everything combined with the band’s pretty unique Folk Metal style, which at times shows some Humppa leanings, but on a completely different level than FINNTROLL, just adding more character to the tracks.
The opener “Happy Little Boozer” is the maybe proverbial raiser of the dead, the ultimate up-tempo song with a strong flute and Jonne’s gruff/melodic vocals (which will let your hair stand on end, if you need it really polished), culminating in one of the catchiest and most gripping choruses I have heard in a long, long time, if this song doesn’t get you going, you should check your pulse, because you might already be dead, just not know it yet…
Overall I like KORPIKLAANI best, when they bristle with energy and power, as the strongly Humppa influenced “Väkirauta” with its mouth harp and accordion solo proves right after, this is genius! That they also can excel in different territories is proved by “Tulikokko”, which sets out with acoustic guitars and mouth harp, before turning into a surprisingly lugubrious mid-tempo track, but do not fear, my friends, the short instrumental “Spring Dance” offers a swinging lead accordion to bring us back on track.
And there are two more brilliant smashers to follow, in form of “Rise” and “Kirki”. “Rise” offers an incredible speed mandolin combined with heavy guitars embedded into yet another super catchy up-tempo track with a great chorus, while “Kirki” breaks through super straight and fast, with a light choir in the chorus and brilliant interplay between the accordion and the really heavy riffing, I love this!
KORPIKLAANI continue to amaze me with their inventiveness and sheer energy, managing to stay fresh time and again and topping off the already strong previous albums, just listen to the samples and get going! (Online May 12, 2006)