Due for release on 4th May ‘Noita’ is the ninth studio album from Finnish folk metal band Korpiklaani. With their previous album ‘Manala’ having been release in 2012, this has indeed been a long wait. So, the questions remains…has the wait been worth it?
If you are a fan of their previous albums, the combination of folk and heavier styles and the fast, rhythmic beats that, even on first listen, clearly translate even better for a live audience…then yes. As with their previous releases, ‘Noita’ does everything you would both expect and hope for whilst managing to go that step further.
‘Viinamäen Mies’ kicks things off with the upbeat, happier tone that you imagine if thinking of Korpiklaani and one that calls to you to grab those nearest to you and dance/jump/generally move about with the rhythm. There’s no let up either with their next track, as it’s faster and very even on rhythm throughout. Aside from a very brief break in the melody about two-thirds of the way through, it keeps up that pace till the end. Again this is another track I would immediately want to hear live as throw in a few beers, some random people and you’re pretty much guaranteed to have fun.
There are mostly upbeat songs on this album with just a couple of breaks in the pace. ‘Lempo’ is the first and also a great example of the quality of the recording on the album; it’s crystal clear and if you listen to the drums at the start of this track you’ll see what I mean. They have the clear, live quality as if they’ve just been struck in your presence. With the quieter, more reflective tone of this track, there’s time to stop and appreciate this part of the album, and that’s the clarity and balance of the recording.
The earlier tracks are also good examples, allowing you to better hear the accordion and strings. ‘Luontoni’ pulls pack more clearly on the folk style to allow the guitars to take forward stage. Though this is not an unusual sound, it becomes more stark in contrast the stronger folk elements brought on by the clearer sounds of the accordion and strings. Listen also to ‘Sen Verran Minäkin Noita’ as another example, where the guitars are joined by the drums.
I could go on to write a lot more about each track, but it would all sum up to the same thing. If you liked their last album, then you will love ‘Noita’ even more. It delivers everything it should and for me, even better than their previous album. If you felt swept along by ‘Manala’ then ‘Noita’ throws you over it’s shoulder and carries you. It’s the work of no time at all before you’re caught up in the first track and this continues right until the end.
The speed that some of the tracks take you through (often following the other) to me sounds like a definite challenge to see if you as the listener could keep up with that level of energy during one of their live shows. These songs are more than made to be played live and if this is the type of challenge that they want to throw down, then I say bring it on!
For those UK festival go’ers out there, Korpiklaani are due to play Bloodstock again this year and if you’re on the fence about going, listen to this album, just imagine it live and you’ll find yourself buying a ticket in no time.
Pilli On Pajusta Tehty
Minä Näin Vedessä Neidon
Kylästä Keväinen Kehto
Sen Verran Minäkin Noita
Jonne (Vocals, Guitars, Hurdy Gurdy, Percussion)