Vera : The activities from the clan of the woods - that's the meaning of Korpiklaani - continue at high speed, that's why we can look forward to new work only one year and a half after their previous album 'Ukon Wacka'. The eighth studio album of the sympathetic Finnish traditional folk metal band is entitled 'Manala' and will be launched at the world by Nuclear Blast on the third of August.
Let us begin with going deeper into the themes of the album, since lyrics are in Finnish again and need any explanation. This time, the band chose a part of the Kalevala as main subject, you know, that Finnish national epos we all get to know by Amorphis long ago. 'Manala' stands for the underworld and on the front cover we see band mascot Vaari as Väinämöinen, one of the most important protagonists of the epos. Those who feel the need to dig deeper into the lyrical contents, will have a stiff job but an interesting experience because the theme is minutely worked out. It might be a bit easier to fathom if you know that the album was entirely recorded in English language as well for the first time. This bonus CD will be yours when you purchase the digipak.
'Manala' is the first album on which we can hear the new violinist Tuonas Rounakari and his contributions are pretty important for the band from this very start. In the short, instrumental 'Husky Sledge' he has his solo moment with scraping violin and ethnic percussion. It is followed by the melancholic 'Dolorous' - even so instrumental - where the whole band creates fine moments. With this album, Korpiklaani wants to emphasize that they do not only focus on cheerful drinking songs, but that they do have serious themes and depth as well. No panic for the drinking and dancing crowds however, since there are enough songs you can have a party on with spirits within reach, such as 'Ievan Polkka', the sing along track 'Rauta' and the stamping opener 'Kunnia'. The heaviest track appears to be 'Ruuminmultaa', in which inciting vocals and a violin solo leap to the eye. Also in 'Tuonelan Tuvilla' the mood is rather elated and joyful. The melancholic side of our six workaholics is illustrated by the marvellous 'Synkkä', while the last song 'Metsälle' also has an interesting flow with mainly mid-paced tempo. All and all it is an album worth waiting for. We can conclude that their high pressure of working did not affect the quality of their music. Kippis!