In 2003 Finnish KORPIKLAANI hit me like a battering ram with their debut “Spirit Of The Forest“, with extremely fresh sounding Folk Metal, with violin, flute and accordion, plus tremendous energy and quite often reminding me of a Finnish version of earlier SKYCLAD. The “clan of the forest” did not get complacent, though, but continues its mission with another jaunty slab of Finnish Folk Metal, in form of “Voice Of Wilderness”.
And the “Yokels“ don’t take any prisoners with their second long player, but go for the throat from the get-go that it is pure bliss. Still oozing with energy the Finns also have a great production this time around, giving all the details all the room they need and send the pure joy of the octet through the speakers, so that the listener just can’t sit still anymore. The use of authentic instruments such as violin, flute or accordion plays a very important role in the KORPIKLAANI sound and gives the songs a very own atmosphere and quality that many bands unfortunately sorely lack.
The guitars are strongly rooted in traditional Metal, which is a nice change of the often Black Metal based riffs of genre colleagues, sounding a lot warmer and more „happy“ (and in this case this should in no way be seen as negative by anybody!), while Jonne with his rough vocals reminds me a bit of Martin Walkyier, he won’t win any prizes with it, but has a lot of character, another plus for the band.
After a short violin intro “Cottages & Saunas“ explodes with violin and accordion over a fast Folk rhythm, great start, which is topped right away with “Journey Man”, fast, with at times blisteringly fast violin and a super catchy chorus and even some flute, phew, let me take a breath and wipe away the sweat! With “Pine Woods” they prove how Folk and Metal can be amalgamated together into a damn dynamic instrumental before the title track is on the menu. “Title track”? Yes, the so to say title track of the first album, “Spirit Of The Forest“!
It starts out with the typical Joik chants, to turn into a mid-tempo breaker, propelled by very powerful guitars, very danceable, just like the slowly starting and then exploding “Hunting Song“, which gives the expression “catchiness” a new meaning, this song directly goes into your legs, without taxing the brain at all, great! And who expects a song named “Beer Beer” to be highly demanding, will be disappointed, this track should be a live favourite for sure! And that they also can put more emphasis on heavier riffs and thundering drums is shown by “Old Tale”, where the guitars shred mercilessly.
Who already liked the first KORPIKLAANI album will also love “Voice Of Wilderness“, who does not know KORPIKLAANI yet, should change that as soon as possible and if you do not like KORPIKLAANI, then why did you read this review in first place? (Online March 4, 2005)