Folk metallers Korpiklaani return with their new album, Kulkija. Their first since 2015’s Noita. 14 tracks long, it is out on September 7th 2018 via Nuclear Blast.
Not looking to change the Korpiklaani formula up too much, Kulkija is every bit as folksy, every bit as metal and every bit as bouncy as you could hope it to be. Unlike many other bands that litter the folk-metal scene, Korpiklaani put their energetic and fun stuff right at the forefront of their music with the heavier side acting as an accompaniment.
That’s not to suggest, Kulkija is lacking in said heaviness. It’s just the likes of Neito with its party-like rhythm and Aallon alla’s chorus-led tune that are early bar setters for a heavy folk-infused style.
To say that Korpiklaani are masters of this is an understatement. Track after track zips by in a combination of upbeat tunes that conjure up images of late night spiritual parties around a bonfire and slower reflections on love and loss. Driven heavily by fantastic vocals that have plenty of gruffness but also appear soulful. Kallon malja and Sillanrakentaja are two such tracks that deliver a spellbinding experience thanks to the vocals.
At 14 tracks it’s easy to think that Kulkija is a little too long and while there are one or two that could have been snipped (Pellervoinen and Kuin korpi nukkuva), that’s only because they’re not quite hitting the highs found elsewhere. This really is a fantastic album and by time the upbeat honesty of Juomamaa and the mournful Tuttu on tie end things you’ll feel very satisfied indeed.
It’s great to see Korpiklaani as relevant now as they’ve ever been.
Korpiklaani – Kulkija Full Track Listing:
2. Korpikuusen kyynel
3. Aallon alla
7. Kallon malja
12. Kuin korpi nukkuva
14. Tuttu on tie
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Kulkija will be available on all streaming formats and from all major shops. You can order it now as well as merch bundles over at Nuclear Blast.
Korpiklaani - Kulkija (Nuclear Blast)
The Final Score - 8/10