"Spirit of the Forest"
"Spirit of the Forest" is the title of the debut album of the Finnish folk metal band Korpiklaani, released under the ex label "Napalm Records", the 10th of November 2003.
The history wants that the band was firstly named as "Shaman Duo" (1993-1997) and "Shaman" (1997-2000), changed into Korpiklaani, since the band begun to write lyrics in English and obviously, in their native tongue: Finnish.
The opening track "Wooden Pints" anticipates the goliardic and folk atmosphere, typical of the Korpiklaani's style, with the track "Crowds Brings The Spring" and "Pelonpekko", which are characterized by riffs, violin solos and shaman drum, mixed by chorus.
In my opinion, this album is their masterpiece of their whole discography, because they were able to wisely mix the folk genre with the heavy and beloved metal, enrich it with turns of bass, guitar and beats of drum.
I have to notice that since so far, 2003 to nowadays, we have assisted to a line-up change: the bass player Arto Tissari (Crystalic, Corpset, Ruaste, Jyränkoski Blues Band, ex Masterstroke), the drum player Samu Ruotsalainen (ex Barathum, ex Finntroll, ex Shape of Despair, ex Shaman), the guitar player Monka, the percussionist player Ali Maatta and the violinist and flute player Hittavainen left the group in 2005.
Anyway, the themes aren't changed: myths, nature and... alcohol. That is so famous in Finland aka beer! (who dares to give them a fuck?!) For me, the most beautiful tracks are: "Pixies Dance", "Juoksee Sinä Humma" , "Mother Earth", "With Trees", "God of Wind" , "Before the Morning Sun","You Looked Into My Eyes" and "Man Can Go Even Through The Grey Stone"
But some other tracks are less eventful but more slow and so intriguing, since there are some instrumental intermezzos. So I advice you to listen to " Pellonpekko", their best instrumental intermezzo. Unfortunately, I've found some tracks that I didn't like: "Hullunhumpa", " Shaman Drum" and « Hengettömiltä Hengiltä » because the rhythm and the lyrics are a bit too repetitive, so I take a minute to give a little advice to the band to care a little bit more the lyrics.
Despite of this, the choice of the vocalist Jonne Järvela about singing with a vocal roach timbre and scratchy alternating with clear vocals, it's awesome and gives a bit more folk scent to the album.
In conclusion, I highly advice this album to who wants to discover or to who simply wants to find out what is the Finnish folk metal culture and want to discover bands like Korpiklaani, the clan of musicians who got the power of transmute the mythology and the folklore into music, by the rhythm of drum, violin and... beer!
Line-Up (of that album) :
Jonne Järvelä - vocals, acoustic and electric guitar, shaman drum
Jaakko "Hittavainen" Lemmetty – violin, jouhikku, flute
Arto Tissari – bass
Ali Määttä – percussion
Honka - electric guitar
Pekka Tarnanen – accordion
Samu Ruotsalainen - drum
Facebook : https://www.facebook.com/korpiklaani
(Review by Mystisk Død)
" Translation of her review written in Italian for the Webzine site OculuS MetalluM"