- Sarah Stubbs
REVIEWED: Korpiklaani's 'Kulkija'
Longing to escape from the stresses and strains of city life for a weekend away in the wilderness with fellow metal friends? A glorious few days of booze, metal and the unavoidable hangover slowly creeping up behind you while the moonshine’s still swimming in your head? Korpiklaani can always guarantee a not dissimilar experience. Just add campfires, acoustic guitars and be sure to locate yourself in the middle of the forest for the best possible outcome.
‘Kulkija’ or, in English, ‘Wanderer’ is their 10th studio album that brings something truly new and different to the mix. While the whole album is recorded in Finnish, it certainly doesn’t exclude those who don’t speak it. Each song on the album captures a different emotion and sets a different background. ‘Kulkija’ starts off upbeat enough to make anyone want to instantly leap to their feet and start raucously singing along… providing they know the lyrics. Venturing further into the album, the mood changes, taking a suddenly acoustic turn and slowing down. It’s clear at this point that ‘Kulkija’ is more than just a simple, straight-up party album - each song tells a different story that begs to be explored.
The whole album will challenge listeners to delve deep into the numerous complexities of each track, unlocking, in the process, a whole different dimension of their sound. Korpiklaani have created not just an album but a complete narrative of exquisitely crafted storytelling.
Before giving this unique beast of a record a spin, you’d be forgiven for thinking Korpiklaani are nothing more than just a good-time, beer-swilling festival band. But, like the finest and most full-bodied of intoxicating dark ales, ‘Kulkija’ demands the listener’s total, undivided attention in order to fully appreciate its many and varied musical complexities. Kippis!
'Kulkija' is out now on Nuclear Blast