KORPIKLAANI – Forest clan. So this has been our Finnish class for today, tomorrow we will look a bit closer at the mating behaviour of the South Antarctic hummingbird.
But seriously, who has never heard of the Finns of KORPIKLAANI, may have heard of SHAMAN. No, not the Brazilians around André Matos, but the Finnish band, which I never had heard a note of before, but had read a lot of positive things everywhere. As they had purely used the Sámi language in SHAMAN, the renaming to KORPIKLAANI sees a switch to Finnish and English lyrics and an a bit more open stylistic direction.
And while the band somewhere has been praised as new FALKENBACH, this leads nowhere, because KORPIKLAANI are purest Folk Metal with a violin as very important instrument. Roughly imagine SKYCLAD with a Finnish touch and you have a direction you can go into, which will let the fan click the tongue and have the doubter in shock. Who knows me, also knows that I love SKYCLAD and “Spirit Of The Forest” is exactly my wave length.
What is another important element besides the violin and that makes this comparison even more valid is the voice of Jonne Järvelä (previously guest musician on FINNTROLL’s “Jaktens Tid”), which also is a bit on the rough side and therefore differs from the majority of his colleagues, without falling into growls or something like that. Additionally the Folk factor with KORPIKLAANI is a good bit higher, not least by the use of flute and accordion, just like the violin played by Jaakko Lemmetty (aka Hittavainen) (at CADACROSS we have a Jarkko Lemmetty, some relative here?). He also plays the Jouhikko, apparently an old Kalevala instrument, a kind of lyre. And this was the second lection in Finnish!
And on the album KORPIKLAANI cover a quite wide spectrum, from purest Folk Metal with at times an almost Power Metal influence up to flute enriched medieval touch, the whole way through very original and especially interesting! Their influences apparently come form the nature of the north of Finland, where the folks live in the midst of the forests and are called “yokels”.
“Wooden Pints“ is a great start into the Folk Metal of the Finns, with energy and violin, while “God Of Wind” shows the more Metallic side of the band before the more than eight minute “With Trees” gives us this medieval touch with its flute. And they never lose either the Folk or Metal part, a “You Looked Into My Eyes” speeds out almost Irish sounding. What also should be mentioned are the five instrumentals, where the guys have some real fun!
“Spirit Of The Forest“ is one of the freshest debut albums that I have heard in the past few months, but for people, who do not like SKYCLAD in first place, won’t be able to digest KORPIKLAANI either, but who is open towards something fresh and energetic, will get something really damn good with this album, I am already now eagerly awaiting new deeds of this band and if the band could send me their SHAMAN albums now, I would be in seventh heaven, hehe. (Online March 10, 2004)