Sunday, February 13, 2011

KORPIKLAANI - Ukon Wacka CD review

Nuclear Blast Records
Genre: Folk Metal
Rating: 5/5

Everyone's favorite Finnish folk-metal band returns after a two year hiatus with their most rockin humppa release since 2007's Tervaskanto. Normally, at least from 2005 to 2009, the band has kept a tight release schedule by putting out five full lengths in a row. This is their seventh overall and obviously they took some time with Ukon Wacka. Whether it had anything to do with it's greatness I don't know. I'll tell ya this, after I played the first track I skipped all the way to the bonus track (digipak version) which was a cover of MOTORHEAD's "Iron Fist". Wouldn't you? Anyway KORPIKLAANI has been using it recently in their live set as an encore. They do a good job with it on here adding their own style, a fiddle solo. As far as the obligatory "booze" songs there's two on here. The first, "Tuoppi Oltta" (A Pint of Beer) is as rocking as previous crowd pleasers like "Beer Beer" and "Happy Little Boozer". Their second addition is "Tequila" and no it's not a cover, actually it's kinda weird for a Finnish band trying to add some Mexican flavor. You can all vote on what their next choice booze song will be next time around. As far as the other cuts on here it's as if the band went back to their raw roots and yet the non-metal instruments (flute, fiddle and accordion) sound full and clear. Opener "Louhen Yhdeksäs Poika" (Louhi's Ninth Son) will have long time fans stepping back in astonishment and it continues from there. The release 's lone instrumental "Vaarinpolkka" (Grandfather's Polka) is a rousing danceable number featuring an accordion solo. The rest is metal riff party music for a good time. All the songs this time around are sung in their native tongue with vocalist/guitarist Jonne Jarvela's gruff singing style adding to the greatness. KORPIKLAANI might not be the most accessible band in the metal realm. But for their fans this new one will have them bouncing off walls with glee.



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