Vera : While this exhilarant Finnish clan takes the States by storm at the moment, their sixth studio album 'Karkelo' is released. The translation of this title is to have a party or celebration, that's why I was a bit afraid that they only focused on drinking songs this time. But fortunately there is more than that. I even prefer 'Karkelo' above predecessor 'Korven Kuningas'. The use of accordion is fewer and there is more room for violin and melancholy.
Of course a couple of fetching drinking tunes cannot be missing. 'Vodka' is one of them and in the meantime it is released as a single and the videoclip is very successful. 'Bring Us Pints Of Beer' also leaves not that much to imagination and can be used in the live set to create new bacchanalia. But they also return to a heavier approach with rough riffs and vocals in for instance 'Erämaan Ärjyt' and the stamping 'Kultanainen', a longer track which is perfectly structured with loads of violin, humppa rhythms and even a slightly western touch in the guitars. Another highlight is the melancholic 'Mettänpeiton Valtiaalle' with semi-acoustic parts, sturdy harmony vocals and intense hoarse vocals. This is Korpiklaani at its best! Mid-paced tracks such as the sultry, narrative 'Uniaika' and the dark, compelling 'Huppiaan Aarre' are strong compositions as well in which they prove that it was a good idea to retreat themselves in the rural and relax environment of the Petrax Studios in Hollola. The cover of a Finnish pop song 'Juodaan Viinaa' is not so much my cup of tea, due to the shallow nature of this composition. Generally speaking, 'Karkelo' demonstrates that Korpiklaani stands the pressure of success and that they are able to come up with fine new songs in between all this hectic touring. Next Autumn it is Europe's turn again to be visited, since Korpiklaani will be headlining Paganfest II tour on the old continent.