With bands like CHILDREN OF BODOM and NORTHER falling into the more mainstream Metal track in recent years, it fell into the lap of the underground bands in the genre to pick up the slack and take their stance. When KALMAH released “The Black Waltz” in 2006 they stood firm and not only released one of the best albums of the genre but one of the best albums of that year. So with all ears tuned into the Finnish band, they had to come up a monster follow up to the acclaimed album.
“For The Revolution” is a massive album for KALMAH. Not quite as dense as some of their previous releases, the album is full of great performances, beautiful writing, and an injection of catchiness that the band had only flirted with on prior outings. Do not be afraid though, there is still the classic band at the heart of the album. Still mixing their brand of Melodic Death Metal with Power Metal elements the band runs through the album without a single note sounding forced or out of place.
From the opening title track (which incorporates some nice Thrashy elements including some very awesome group chanting in the chorus) all the way through the final song, KALMAH is out for blood on this release. And not just like they were on their last album, they do it this time with a bit more melody and a wider range of attack. Whether it’s the brutally melodic “Wings Of Blackening” or the ballad-esque “Ready For Salvation”, the band is firing on all cylinders. Every song has at least one catchy moment and combining Power Metal melodies with their brand of Death Metal is working extremely well for them.
“For The Revolution” does incorporate more elements from their earlier career and mixes it with ones from their last album. One element that the band has really embraced is keyboardist Marco Sneck. His presence is more relevant on “For The Revolution” and the new layer it adds is significant to the catchiness of the album that hasn’t been seen since their early career. Even vocalist Pekka Kokko adds in more shriek like vocals from before and blends it with a more guttural style. And of course, the chemistry of the rest of the band is top notch work.
Fans of anything KALMAH are going to love this album, and even though I still prefer “The Black Waltz” over this release, “For The Revolution” is an amazing release worthy of any praise it receives. Leaning back towards an older sound, this album is a mixture of the new and old and it does it remarkably well. A great release from a consistent band, KALMAH is still on top of the game.
Songs to check out: “For The Revolution”, “Holy Symphony Of War”, “Coward”.
(Online December 10, 2008)