Review: Korpiklaani “Jylhä” [Nuclear Blast]

Review: Korpiklaani “Jylhä” [Nuclear Blast]

- in Reviews

After three great and a couple of controversial albums, it seems that Finns Korpiklaani reconsidered their music and once again found their sound. Anyway, their previous album Kulkija was accepted greatly by many fans, even those who started to disappoint in the band. And now, three years later here comes the eleventh album named Jylhä.

If Kulkija was an emotional story about traveling and wondering, with the moments of joy and sadness, Jylhä almost entirely composed of cheerful Folk Metal, which is closer to the early band’s albums. At least, “Niemi” and “Pohja” sounds exactly that way: cheerful folk motives, fast pace, heavy guitars and great playing of accordionist Sami Perttula and violinist Tuomas Rounakari, which sometimes compete with their instruments and sometimes conduct some kind of dialogue. However, this happens during the whole album. And the only more or less melancholic song here is “Tuuleton”. It also has a heavy sound, of course, great hooks and even double pedal, but some sad intonations prevail in this song.

The new drummer Samuli Mikkonen also made a contribution to the album and his drums here are really great: they are tough, usually fast and sometimes they even got some elements that were used seldom, like double pedal and all the stuff. At the same time they fit the music seamlessly and really add some diverse to the album.

“I have always been fascinated by ancient Lappish/Samish culture and the infectious melodies of aged folk songs. However, that’s only one side of the coin as I have loved rip-roaring metal since I was a frantic kid looking for some rebellious sounds. My butt was kicked by the likes of Motörhead, Iron Maiden and Judas Priest“, says vocalist Jonne Järvelä. And here we got surprisingly lots of heavy in Jylhä. E.g. the opening “Verikoira” sounds pretty tough thanks to drums and guitars and somewhere in the middle of the song Jonne raises his voice maximally – Korpiklaani were inspired by Judas Priest‘s “Painkiller” when they created this song and it can be noticed easily. Heavy Metal also can be heard in mid-paced “Kiuru”, which sounds even epic from time to time and in “Miero”, Heavy Metal with some Folk elements in its essence. And in the ending “Juuret” violin and accordion solos, backed by heavy guitars, sound real Metal.

Joyful “Pidot” with great banjo from jack Gibson, Exodus‘ bassist musically is somewhere between polka and Country and the listener will hardly can sit still when he will hear this song. “Leväluhta” starts slowly but later gains the pace and transforms into careless verse with almost Ska chorus; a merry song with melodic Folk motives and rhythmical guitar riffs.

The first single from the album, “Sanaton Maa” sounds very radio-frienly, to tell the truth, with intro and chorus, which remind “You Give Love  A Bad Name” quite a lot. This is also the “lightest” song in the album – other songs sound much heavier. That’s exactly the case when you should not do any conclusions after the first single.

But all in all, I want say that such album, joyful and heavy, with great arrangements and Folk melodies was expected from Korpiklaani for a long time. Seems like the band finished with experiments and gave the fans exactly what they need. It expressed greatly in the song “Huolettomat” (“Careless”), which tells that you need to live today, because tomorrow is unclear. And that’s true, for my sorrow, nowadays at least, but it doesn’t mean that there aren’t causes for celebration or just to have some fun and Jylhä is a great soundtrack for such causes.

Jylhä was released on February, 5 via Nuclear Blast.


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