Korpiklaani - "Manala" (2012)



Nuclear Blast 


What is Korpiklaani propably every fan of folk metal knows. This is one of the most influencial band on the scene. In circles of grim, cult pagan metalers it is considered as a shame. Yet fortunetely I not one of them, so I can with a clear conscience describe you what "Manala" contains. Some of you may also say that I am a hypocrite, since I very often write how I disguist modern jolly-polka folk metal bands. Yet in my opinion Korpiklaani is something more than only merry glorification of alcohol, and I'll try to show you it in this short review.
The album begins in a very weak style - two first tracks are very bland. Really - no lively melodies, no relish of melancholy - nothing! Luckily after'em we can listen to the best track on this album "Rauta". This pulsatory bass, vivacious melodies and a bit "shamanic" relish makes it a perfect hit for a concert! Also vocals make a good impression - if you have ever heard finnish language you know that it can be so damn catchy! This is how Korpiklaani's music should sound.
Next tracks are not as good as "Rauta", yet they still keep the unique atmosphere of Korpiklaani's characteristic music. Sometimes it is more metal ("Ruumiinmultaa"), sometimes more melancholic (like a great song "Synkka") and sometimes the music turns into more merry fields. So Finns are giving us again more or less the same. There is nothing innovative here, but if somebody likes their previous works he should also like "Manala" (if, as me, hadn't listen to their every album though). Especially that this merry side of their music is now a smaller part, and that's very good in my opinion. And by the way the album is sung only in finnish - I really like that. Finnish language fits such music much more than english. I also appreciate how much this music is filled with traditional folk music of this region - it is so original that you can't mistake it with any other.
Some people say that Korpiklaani is a one, big joke with this merry singing about alcohol and other silly stuff. Yet first of all - that's just one side of the coin. More melancholic tunes are alwas important part of every Korpiklaani's album. And secondly - I think that what Korpiklaani is doing is in 100% authentic. The music recorded for this album is clearly played by people who love doing what they're doing. They claim that they are not pagans, yet their band is more "pagan" than many other true Heathen, Kvlt and Evil Hordes. Paganism is an affirmation of life, both this happier and sadder sides. And on "Manala" the band shows it again. Maybe it is not as good as the genius debut album "Spirit of the Forest", yet it s still quite nice.

Rate: 6+/10

I could rate it on 7/10 if not those two first tracks, which are horrible.

A videoclip to "Rauta" single:

1. Kunnia
2. Tuonelan Tuvilla
3. Rauta
4. Ruumiinmultaa 
5. Petoeläimen Kuola 
6. Synkkä 
7. Ievan Polkka 
8. Husky-Sledge 
9. Dolorous 
11. Metsälle 
12. Sumussa Hämärän Aamun 
Total time: 45:48

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