REVIEW: KORPIKLAANI – “Jylhä”
Folk metal is a party. Period. Strapped indoors with a pandemic out there, I am left with fewer options to have a good time. Folk metal’s party vibes come to my rescue and what better way to usher in 2021 with Finnish folk geniuses Korpiklaani’s newest offering ‘Jylhä’. Might I say, this record is majestic. The sounds on this record are fun, grand, and uber-colorful. From conventional instruments seen in the likes of metal music to more traditional and ethnic instruments such as mandolins, accordions, fiddles, violafons – everything boils down to a rich cauldron of tasteful music.
The record opens up with “Verikoira” with an anthem-like thundering drum that ushers in the hype with its build-up. The catchy riffs, the layers of ethnic instrumentation, and the raspy harsh singing create a rustic and strong mood. Very evocative of the band’s loved sounds. A rush of power metal styles takes over with “Niemi” – and this did remind a little bit of Dragonforce.
The fun resumes with “Leväluhta” with its groovy rhythmic sections and catchy melody that works so well with a singing style that is so suggestive of a storytelling session. “Kiuru” & “Pohja” like many other songs on this album starts off with a mad intro before progressing into a steady set of riffs with verses that slowly lead into the rest of the song sets the pace for a nice break to slow down in the record. Of course, this is just before the songs take off and hit hard. Again, with the enjoyable intros, “Huolettomat” comes blaring in. This song is one of the finest off the record with its massive wall of sound, beautifully layered arrangements topped with a ridiculous amount of energy. “Pidot” is my personal favorite off the record with its almost lyrical guitar lines, with drum and percussions that will make you dance, and folk instrumentation that sets the mood for a fun party. This song is delightful and it will have anybody hooked!
Korpiklaani’s newest offering ‘Jylhä’ is a fun, trippy, and artistically well-rounded album. The arrangements, composition, and performance of the music on the album is a balanced representation of metal and ethnic folk music in the band’s experiences without a semblance of conflict. Almost every song comes out with an anthem-like stature with its larger than life intros. While arguably the progression of the music with the passing of their intros are nice by themselves, sometimes one might now help but feel that the stellar intros might have us asking or expecting for more. But still, these are very well executed songs with exceptional performances. Above all, music is something that one can never get enough of. Catchy, jumpy, and fun are words that describe this music. The production and the mix of the record is remarkable not only because of the great sound but also because it delivers the right feel without one feeling amiss. All in all, Korpiklaani’s ‘Jylhä’ is a trip!