For me, WYRD is a band that started out its career brilliantly with the amazing 51-minute long opus, "Heathen", and then progressively lost a little bit of its excellence on each subsequent album. Even though the previous album "Kammen" wasn't a bad effort by any means, so many of the folk-elements that made "Heathen" such a masterpiece had been washed out, and it felt like WYRD was becoming more like KATATONIA ("Brave Murder Day"-era) and less like a entity of its own.
Well, I have some good news for anyone sharing my opinion, Narqath has brought back the characteristic WYRD-keyboards for the recording of "Kalivägi". While it's not exactly a glorious rethreading of old paths, this album takes the best of the "Vargtimmen"-albums and mixes them up with the more modern Rock-elements of "The Ghost Album". The result is an atmospheric and very welcome nod to the past, while still taking the band forwards in a new direction. The acoustic intro of "Hämärän Soutajat" reminds me of why I fell in love with this band in the first place, and even though the album has its weak moments, "Kalivägi" is a huge step in the right direction for a band that seemed to have lost its way.
For anyone who pines for the olden days of WYRD, I can't recommend Narqath's side-project RUTONKANTAJA (http://www.myspace.com/rutonkantaja1155) enough. For those who like the band's newer output, but loved the mystical atmosphere of "Heathen" and "Huldrafolk", this is the album you've been waiting for. It feels marvelous to have these guys back in top-shape!
(Online June 23, 2009)