Friday, May 8, 2015

Korpiklaani - Noita (2015)

The folk metal genre contains a hand ful of really interesting and great bands, and then, there is Korpiklaani. The band can certainly create some great folk metal, but does it with a sparkle in the eye, playing with groovy rhythms, the insane Finnish language, and using their fondness of alcohol to their advantage. There really is not much to dislike with Korpiklaani, so whenever the band releases another record, I start to smile and start preparing for what to come.

"Noita" is more or less just like any other Korpiklaani release. It is fun, groovy, and pretty addictive. It is hard to just sit still while listening to songs like "Viinamäen Mies" or "Luontoni", the urge of wanting to dance just takes over your body. The only thing that takes away some of the groove factor is the Finnish language. Finland does have an interesting (and complicated) language, but for a dude who is born and raised anywhere else than in the land of the thousand lakes, it is hard to sing along to any Korpiklaani tune. It is always fun to try of course, but it is more fun to sing along to a song that actually uses a language you are familiar with.

With that said, I do still love the fact that the band stays true to their native language, which gives the folk aspect of their music an extra dimension. I can see the endless woods of the north before me when listening to Korpiklaani, which makes it so much easier to enjoy the music even more. I also like that the band can still sing about alcohol since some of my favourite Korpiklaani tunes are about alcohol (like "Vodka" and "Tequila". The song "Sahti" is about the beer sort with the same name, a beer that uses juniper berry instead of or as a complement to hops. Never tried it personally, but it sounds pretty good, and the song is nice as well.

But I am starting to think that the band had a couple of Sahtis too many when swapping ideas for the album. I would really like to know who came up with the not so bright idea of turning the classic Tommy James & The Shandells song "Mony Mony" into a folk metal song in Finnish. "Jouni Jouni" does have some humour to it, but it is just too similar to the original (and to the excellent Billy Idol version) for me to enjoy it. A weird experience that ultimately left me speachless. I would also liked it if the band had amped up the diversity of the album, even if the single "Lempo" does it to some extent, it is not enough for me, especially since the band has not shown many proofs of evolving their sound. But it is as the saying goes, why fix something that is not broken?

I may only be able to say kiitos (thank you) and yksi, kaksi, kolme (one, two, three) when it comes to my knowledge of the Finnish language, but I understand Korpiklaani as bright as daylight. The Finns brings to the table another solid folk metal release that should go well in the cabins. Even if "Noita" is far from perfect, it is still a very fun listen and well worthy of your time. So take out your booze, turn up the volume, start drinking, and enjoy some good, groovy folk metal.

Songs worthy of recognition: Pilli On Pajusta Tehty, Viinamäen Mies, Sahti

Rating: 7/10 Luontonis

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