Album Review: Korpiklaani – Noita
29th April 2015, 13:33
Posted by Chris
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The first thing that any Korpiklaani fan would notice about the release of ‘Noita‘, is that this is the longest time between album releases that has ever passed for the Finnish folk metallers. A lot of people would argue, including myself that this could be a very good thing, as it gives the band some time to refresh, recharge and bring back some creative sparks. For Korpiklaani the band have traditionally opted to release albums almost a year after each other, sometimes even less and as fun as the band are – there seemed to be a developing staleness with creativity just appearing to run out. However now Korpiklaani have left 3 years since the release of ‘Manala‘, touring in between and gaining legions of new fans with their unique brand of folk metal, and now have their new opus ‘Noita‘ to offer. Has the extended down time paid off for the sake of the music?

Almost immediately to the opening chanting of ‘Viinamäen Mies‘, it’s pretty evident that yes, that time has paid off. It’s that fast, fun and passionate Korpiklaani that we all know on stage back to life in recorded form! A great opening track that serves as the crossroads between the artistic virtues of Korpiklaani and the frivolous party side of the band, that wherever you are listening to would ensure some consistent mental fist pumping. Korpiklaani are back with a vengeance.

The next track of ‘Pilli On Pajusta Tehty‘ shows the development of Korpiklaani and how the creative spark has returned to the band. The addition of new accordion player Sami Perttula proves to be a key factor in the new found life in the music, as in the opening notes of the track he shreds the accordion unlike anything ever heard in folk metal recordings before. What would generally constitute a guitar riff for most folk metal bands, Perttula churns out on a traditional instrument with jaw-dropping skill.

The use of the accordion and violin in the album prove to be the highlights of the album as the party returns to the recorded music, with shredding here and there and audio-perfect arrangements. One could argue that the accordion and violin has become a gimmick in folk metal, even Korpiklaani’s gimmick, but without a doubt in ‘Noita‘ the two instruments really take charge with the roaring guitars and raspy vocals of Jonne Järvelä supporting the catchy melodies apparent in tracks such as ‘Sahti‘.

While all tracks are in the Finnish language, the strong songwriting and arranging for ‘Noita‘ provides all the translation you need for the album as the atmospheric and themed ‘Minä Näin Vedessä Neidon‘, and tracks such as ‘Lempo‘ with a massive sing-a-long chorus that will have you reciting Finnish folk legends in a heartbeat.

Without a doubt ‘Noita‘ brings back the party. Three years to write and a small line-up change has done Korpiklaani a world of good, not since ‘Tales Along This Road‘ have I had this much fun listening to a Korpiklaani album. We finally have an album that old and new fans of the band can share a drink with and rejoice into the fact this ‘Noita’ will probably top the list of traditional folk metal fans for a good long while!