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Korpiklaani: Voice of Wilderness

Voices of the Wilderness is one of the most unique listening experiences you will hear all year. At heart, the latest from Finland's Korpiklaani is essentially a metal CD, but with a heavy Finnish folk influence, as well as many references to progressive rock. It makes for a fun listen, as this turns out to be music that you can easily dance a jig to while you are hoisting your pint glass full of ale. Fans of Finntroll and Skyclad will rejoice at the enormous amount of flute, fiddle, pipes, and accordion, which, when combined with the speedy guitar riffs and crashing rhythms, make for a festive and eventful listen. Korpiklaani though have an actual folk singer, so don't expect any black metal wailings on Voice of Wilderness.

Who can sit still while the rousing instrumental "Pine Woods" is playing? I certainly couldn't, as my feet began tapping shortly before I leapt straight up and began my pseudo-Finnish jig. The crushing yet danceable "Spirit of the Forest" is another great example of folk metal, with meaty guitar riffs and effective vocals, while "Hunting Song" literally explodes through the speakers with pounding riffs, bouncy rhythms, lead fiddle, and plenty of sing-along vocals. Throw this track on at a party and watch the room get busy very quickly!

I'm sure metal wasn't always intended to be this much fun, but Voice of Wilderness is surely a nice break from some of the more gloomy metal and prog CD's that come across our desk here at Sea of Tranquility. So jump on the bus with Korpiklaani, pour yourself a cold one, and dance and thrash till your hearts content to "Beer Beer" and the many other infectious and addicting folky Finnish anthems on this wonderful CD.

"I Yah Ya Yah Yah!"

Track Listing
1. Cottages & Saunas
2. Journey Man
3. Fields In Flames
4. Pine Woods
5. Spirit Of The Forest
6. Native Land
7. Hunting Song
8. Ryyppajaiset
9. Beer Beer
10. Old Tale
11. Kadet Siipina

Added: November 26th 2005
Reviewer: Pete Pardo
Related Link: Korpiklaani Website
Hits: 4598
Language: english

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» SoT Staff Roundtable Reviews:

Korpiklaani: Voice of Wilderness
Posted by Ken Pierce, SoT Staff Writer on 2005-11-26 08:49:19
My Score:

Folk Metal was something entirely new to me and only recently had caught my attention when I heard the music of Finntroll. When a writing colleague suggested that I should also give a listen to Korpiklaani I decided to give it a sample. As I began to play Voice Of Wilderness I pretty much expected something like Finntroll or an exact replica of their style. However, I can inform you that this Finnish band handles this genre with a different and more accessible feel than Finntroll puts forward. Korpiklaani has more band members and as a result are able to give you a fuller and more authentic Folk sound. This is done by having full-time players who utilize more Folk oriented instruments like the accordion and flutes alongside various percussive devices. Can you recall the last time that you heard an accordion was a prevalent instrument in Heavy Metal music? There is a good chance you haven't until now and I am very happy to report that the group uses all of these added pieces to a degree of success. At eight core members the band certainly has a full lineup which is made up of Jonne (vocals, guitar), Hittavainen (violin, jouhilkko, flutes), Matson (drums), Ali (percussion), Honka (guitars), Arto (bass), Cane (guitars), and Juho (accordion). This mass amount of players takes traditional Finnish Folk melodies and combines them with a great blend of Heavy Metal music. The efforts are nothing short of incredible and just go to show you how any different directions Metal music can be set in. Korpiklaani music makes you feel as though you are enjoying tales and ale with Friends at some outdoor celebration while the band jams in the background.

I had a number of favored pieces on this CD from the heavier track of "Journey Man" and "Beer Beer" to the completely Folkish "Kadet Siipina" and "Fields In Flames". In truth I found very little on this CD to be a disappointment and I plan on looking up their last album also. If you are a fan of the Finntroll style but want something that expands upon this a little more then this CD comes with the highest of recommendations. You will find that this entire CD is an energetic romp that holds many rousing segments inside. I can guarantee that you have not heard anything like this before and it's high time for Metal fans to open their minds to things that are different and unique. Thanks to Korpiklaani a new chapter in a new vein of the genre is reinforced. Grab this CD and some Finnish ale (if you are of age that is).

» Reader Comments:

Korpiklaani: Voice of Wilderness
Posted by Winpiki on 2006-01-13 05:55:11
My Score:

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?

2004 Sea Of Tranquility
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