Review 2151 : Korpiklaani – Rankarumpu – English

Get ready to follow Korpiklaani’s rhythm!

Still signed to Nuclear Blast, the Finnish band featuring Jonne Järvelä (vocals/guitar/folk instruments, Jonne, ex-Shaman), Cane (guitar), Jarkko Aaltonen (bass, Coronary), Sami Perttula (accordion), Samuli Mikkonen (drums, Jonne, Profane Omen) and Olli Vänskä (violin, Turisas, Tzar of Feathers) announces the release of their twelfth album, Rankarumpu, in 2024.

The six musicians immediately attack with their catchy tones on Kotomaa, the first track, which is sure to make us want to join in their crazy dance. There’s a fine line between violence and joyful sounds, as is the dynamic martial atmosphere during Tapa sen kun kerkeet, a heavier and more aggressive composition that keeps the festive elements in the background. The emphasis is on vindictive vocals accompanied by backing vocals, then the band go full speed ahead again with Aita and its motivating relatively well-balanced Old School tones, then it’s joie de vivre again that drives the lads on the danceable Saunaan, where jerky riffs follow one another non-stop. Percussion plays an important role in welcoming the melodies, before encountering the furious new tones of Mettään, where the band place sharp harmonics in their rush, softened by the more melodious choruses, while integrating Heavy influences that are also found on Kalmisto, where the march is led by a solid rhythm section that easily gets carried away and becomes more intense. The sound temporarily becomes heavier with Rankarumpu, but it reintegrates with ease the various Folk instruments essential to the cheerful, light-hearted aspect, which also spreads to No perkele, a composition where the break plays a central role in temporizing the musicians’ energy. A hint of melancholy can be heard on Viikatelintu, whether in the instrumental or in the voice, which becomes calmer and more soothing, and it also rubs off on Nouse, which again brightens up with a slightly bouncier approach. Oraakkelit, which adopts this intriguing vocal quietude, sometimes disturbed by more unifying choruses, is another example of this more sedate aspect, and then it’s with the haunting Harhainen höyhen that the band bring their album to a close, drawing inspiration from the majestic coldness of the legends of the forests where all their influences fly.

Over the last few years, Korpiklaani has been on the rise again, and the band confirms this with the invigorating energy of Rankarumpu, a rousing album that perfectly exploits its Heavy roots while integrating the diversity of Folk.


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