Originally written by Ramar Pittance
Okay, I’m just gonna tell you two things about this album. First, it’s from Finland. Second, there is a song called “Beer Beer.”
Are you still here…?
You read the part about Finland? … and the beer? You still don’t know what it sounds like?
Okay. There’s this country called Finland. And, when you go to school in Finland, they teach you how to play an instrument. It’s like music education or something. Yeah … I know. They also teach you a good deal about your native folk traditions. And when you grow up you start a band and give it an awesome name like Moonsorrow or Finntroll and you get this guy called Trollhorn to get drunk and play keyboards for you while you play this music called folk metal, which is this sudsy little hybrid of NWOBHM, melodic death or black metal and traditional folk music. Some people make the mistake of calling your music viking metal, but Finnish Folk tradition has nothing to do with vikings, so thats not really an accurate title. Anyways, for the most part, it kicks ass. Sometimes you dress up like trolls in you band pictures, as you damn well should.
Korpiklaani’s Voice of the Wilderness is very much a product of this Finnish folk metal scene. Actually, they’re probably one of the finer products. Certain tracks are just as boisterous as Finntroll, but not nearly as reliant on that damn accordion. Also, that Trollhorn guy isn’t in the band. There’s also a grandiosity on display here similar to that of Moonsorrow or earlier Ensiferum. In fact, Korpiklaani comes off in many ways as an act trying to capture the spirit of Finntroll and applying it to songs that are slightly more, dare I say … epic. The instrumental “Ryyppäjäiset” features dueling fiddles playing the part of lead guitars. It conveys this really great “grab a flagon of beer in one hand and a young lady in the other and spin her around till you can’t spin no more vibe” that an electric guitar driven track just couldn’t.
So like I was trying to say, beer and Finland. It’s not brutal or grim or riffy. But, it is fun. The songs are well developed and full of a vibrancy that comes not only from passionate performances but a suitable production. If you’re a fan of the aforementioned bands or if you’re looking for something slightly more lighthearted to add to your collection, then you can’t go wrong with Korpiklaani.