I’m sure you folks have heard the term “This album is way more fun then it has any right to be!” several times before. Well, There is no need for me to repeat the phrase even though it holds quite true to Korpiklaani’s “Korven Kuningas”. This was my first venture into Korpiklaani’s brand of Folk Metal and I am not disappointed. “Korven Kuningas” is a thoroughly satisfying romp through humpa inspired beats and frenetic, yet smoothly played flutes, fiddles and accordions. The metallic elements of this album do take a back seat to the folk influences, but to no detriment. These tunes are rousing, foot stomping odes to the old ways, with catchy choruses and even some Celtic sounding overtones. If your looking for an old fashioned mead soaked good time give “Korven Kuningas” a shot. I know I am quite pleased with this purchase.
Finnish Folk Metal with an emphasis on the Folk elements.
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I waited awhile before reviewing Korpiklaani’s latest masterpiece because, no matter how highly I praise this awesome disk, it will not be enough. But, that having been said, this is NOT viking metal. This is folk metal, with the accent on folk. I love traditional Finnish music but if one is looking for heavier fare such as Ensiferum or Moonsorrow, this may be a bit too folksy.
That out of the way, I think this is Korpiklaani’s best release to date. I also think this band may have its own genre; Shamanic metal. Every song on the album deals with Finnish myth and magic, all of which is explained in the great liner notes. The liner notes alone are worth the price of the cd if you are into Northern folklore.
The music itself moves sinuously back and forth between pure Finnish folk and metal. The electric instruments are more in the background than on previous albums. The fiddle and accordeon dominate but just when I am thinking that Korpiklaani have become a purely folk band, Jonne lets fly some great metal riffs. The vocals are also unique. Those familiar with Jonne’s previous band, Shaman (not to be confused with the Brazilian power metal group), will recognize some very good joiking. And, even when the vocals are not in the Sami style, Jonne is still very evidently in a trance, summoning the Ancestors and the eternal, mythical North.
Fans of Korpiklaani will LOVE this cd as will all who appreciate a perfect fusion of Finnish trad and metal. I really think it would be difficult to find are more talented and versitile band. One last thing; the last track on the disk has a fifteen minute piece of shamanic trance drumming. I have never heard better. For anyone into the Vanic Mysteries of Seidr, this is a great gift from the heart of these people.
This CD is awesome! There are so many catchy songs its crazy! I love the accordian and the violin.
Theres only two bad things I can think of. It gets kinda redundant, which is kinda weird cause theres a ton of variety in the beats, the vocals, the tunes of the accordian. I don’t know how to describe it, maybe they just use one key. . . Whatever it doesn’t matter. . . The second thing though is that they have a 21 minute song that sounds like its going to become AWESOME, but it falls flat at 5:18 when it has a drum sound for the remains 15 minutes and thats it! Thats just ridiculous, who the hell wants to listen to that??? Oh well. . .
There are a lot of things that are awesome about this album. I’ll just stream it all into a paragraph: One thing that is good is that all the songs have at least one interesting part, which is great, makes every song worth listening to. The vocals are pretty much the same in this album as in all the other albums, so no worse, which is good. I’d have to say that this CD is slower than their previous albums, buts thats just a generalization, and I actually like all the slow songs, which is amazing cause I love fast pace, intense, powerful intstrumentation. Theres plenty of more intense riffs, such as in Killing Iron, but I still think its a slower CD with a much more epic sound and all the songs flow together. The melody of each song is INCREDIBLY catchy, and I mean every song! even the stupid song that is 21 minutes long has a catchy first 5 minutes. . . I don’t really know how else to commend this. . . So I’ll leave it at that.
Favorite songs: Shall We Take a Turn, Under Icy Waters, with my absolute favorite song Yoik of the Wolf.
I haven’t listened to this album as many times as I should to properly review it, but after a couple of listens I can safely say that this is just as good as any of the previous Korpiklaani releases (but not quite as original as Spirit of the Forest, however). I noticed that the lead guitar was a little more prominent in a couple of the songs, but for the most part this is the good old Korpiklaani many of us have come to know.
My only gripe is that the 24 minute track really ends around 6 minutes; the rest is a unnecessarily long, repetitive drumbeat. It’s good for atmoshphere, I suppose, but not the fabulously long epic that the length suggests.
Whether you are new to Korpiklaani or a longtime fan, I would definitely recommend this CD to you, but I would recommend that you pickup Spirit of the Forest first.
I agree with the first reviewer, Korpiklanni has the folk metal formula down. Very innovative and energetic folk metal. I personally could (and have) listened to all albums put out by them all day long. I don’t know what is so appealing about this genre but they do it to perfection. Rock on Korpiklanni!