Korpiklaani_Noita1As spring finally gives way to summer, it’s the perfect time for the latest dose of folksy hijinks and madcappery from the festive Finnish institution known as KorpiklaaniNoita is yet another chipper, high spirited outing by these drunken woodsmen, offering nothing new while clinging tenaciously to the buttocks of the last several albums. There’s an undeniable feeling of “been there, drank that” hanging over this one, and it’s easy to argue they’re in a folksy rut, but the end result is still infectious and jig inducing enough to make many forgive the transgression and resign themselves to hopping around and shouting lyrics they don’t understand. While many bands couldn’t get away with releasing album after album of the exact same type of music, Korpiklaani leads a kind of charmed life and this stuff somehow remains enjoyable no matter how many times you’ve heard similar sounding antics. That’s the magic these wood gnomes possess and they’re lucky it’s a potent juju.

On its own merits, Noita is a joyous and comfortably familiar 45 minute jaunt through ye olde Renaissance Faire, where you’ll encounter such characters of the mischievous fiddle player, the quirky accordion smith, the angry Viking and the ubiquitous pickle salesman. A motley crew indeed, but they’ll certainly keep you on your toes with ditties like opener “Viinamaen Mies” and its constant barrage of “hey hey hey’ chanting. This is Korpiklaani at their ale-fest best and when that fiddle and accordion start a rockin, you best come a knockin. And there’s more of the same kind of goodies here, specifically designed to keep your enthusiasm and blood alcohol levels high, like “Pilli On Pajusta Tehty” and the excellently rowdy “Sahti,” both demonstrating why these folksters have had such a long career. If you aren’t smiling and bobbing about while these spin, you basically suck as a human. For added enjoyment, “Jouni Jouni” seems to be a cover of “Mony Mony” and as such it’s another mood elevating fist pumper. While there’s no song about booze this time, we’ll graciously overlook that, though I want at least one song about Jäger before they call it a day.

Then there are the slower, more pub-chanty numbers like the mid-tempo churn of “Lempo” and the somber, darker “Mina Nain Vedessa Beidon.” These work as combination funeral marches and work songs, but they’re less immediate than the zippy selections and “Mina Nain” drags a bit along the way to the grave and/or workshop.

korpiklaani_2015

None of the songs misfire, though the front half of Noita is better and things do start to drag by the last song of two. This also isn’t as strong a collection of tunes as they assembled for Ukon Wacka or Manala. There’s definitely fun to be had, but it feels more repetitive and overly familiar than their recent output.

On the plus side, the band made more room for the folksy instruments this time, and the fiddle and accordion resume their rightful place of prominence. This gives the music a bit more identity and flavor, though it makes the overall sound a bit less metal. Heaviness aside, Tuomas Rounakari returns from Manala to fiddle his way into your hearts and his playing is a major reason the music is so catchy. Likewise, new accordion master Sami Perttula upholds the fine tradition of the Grand Instrument of Polka and Noita is overflowing with squeeze bag heroics.  Vocally, Jonne Jarvela still sounds like a pissed off Visigoth, perpetually raging against the dying of the keg. Few have made such a successful career from so limited a delivery, but he fits the music perfectly and gives it that barroom edge it needs.

Korpiklaani appears to be in the “wheels spinning in the mud” stage of their career, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t still releasing fun, breezy material. I won’t reach for this over the classic albums or even the last few, but it’s still a worthwhile romp and stomp through the fields of drinking man’s folk metal. Remember, when you go to Finnish forests, be sure to wear a flagon in your hair.


Rating: 3.0/5.0
DR: 5 | Format Reviewed: 272 kbps mp3
Label: Nuclear Blast [EU][NA]
Websites: korpiklaani.com | facebook.com/korpiklaani
Release Dates: EU: 2015.05.01 | NA: 05.05.2015

 

Tagged with →  
Share →
  • Grymm

    “…offering nothing new while clinging tenaciously to the buttocks of the last several albums.”

    Powdered… toast… MAAAAAAAAAN!!!

    • AnnieK13

      Ren and Stimpy…wow!

  • Alexandre Barata

    It’s funny, about Korpiklaani, that if I forget I’m listening to them I can really enjoy some stuff from the last albums. The problem is when I remember what they did on their 1st 4… Well that’s not the only problem, I can’t seem to be able to listen to a full record from them since Tervaskanto, they all sound too loud and each and every song sounds pretty much the same to me.

    • Eryops

      One of the joys of shuffle. I can say the same thing about In Flames, too.

  • I stand corrected!

    • Tanuki

      bump it up to 3.5!

  • Monsterth Goatom

    I guess another Korpiklaani album is like a good ale. Once you hit upon the right recipe, you don’t mess with it.

  • Monsterth Goatom

    “hopping around and shouting lyrics they don’t understand”.

    To be honest, there’s a lot of lyrics I don’t understand, and not just because they’re in a language foreign to me. Like…

    “Today’s Tom Sawyer
    He gets high on you
    And the space he invades
    He gets by on you”

    Uh….what? Fun to sing along to, though.

    Or the Grateful Dead’s “Wake up to find out that you are the eyes of the world” (which some have misheard as “Wake up to find out that you are disguised as a squirrel).

    • Diabolus_in_Muzaka

      Anaal Nathrakh may as well be a foreign language too. I can’t NOT hear “You’re a fucking…ASTRONAUT!” in the beginning of Volenti Non Fit Iniura.

      Tom Sawyer is fun to sing along to, and I’ve no idea what it means either. Seeing those guys play Moving Pictures in full live was mind-blowing!

      • Grymm

        I still think the second pre-chorus to “Idol” goes:

        “A lousy form… of shit and piss/GO ON WITH YOUR FISHER-PRICE IDOL!!!”

        Which would be The Baddest of All Asses if those are the real lyrics.

  • dduuurrrr dddduuuurrrr

    So is 2015 just… super inconsistent in quality?

    It’s been a solid week or 2 of disappointment here at AMG.

    Is there some stuff you’d really like to review but haven’t had the chance? I saw no DHG review, no Shining review, no Ad Nauseum, Porta Nigra or Peste Noir?

    • Sadly, that’s what most of the TYMHM go for.

    • Thatguy

      I agree

      Lots of ho-hum stuff being reviewed just now

  • Excentric_1307

    …It’s a Finnish Flogging Molly!

    • Grymm

      I love Flogging Molly (and Dropkick Murphys)!!!

  • basenjibrian

    The guy on the right looks likehe could star in one of American cable television’s “bearded rustics collecting junk” blocks (History Channel, etc). (Down East Pickers, Alaskan Mountain men, the Duck Dynasty scammers, the multiple pawn shop shows). In between the UFO shows. Do Korki sing about UFOs, ever?

  • sickbroski

    Nothing sounds more like fun and festive folk metal party music than the DR5 crunch.

  • Austin Turner

    Damn, I was hoping that we’d see a bit darker, more serious side of Korpiklaani, considering the brooding album art. I’m almost tired of drinking songs. I don’t want to have to memorize new choruses to chant along to.

  • Wilhelm

    I’m not sold. They’ve succumbed to the loudness machine, the older albums were more dynamic with better, clearer instrumentation and much more emphasis on diversity and emotion in their songwriting. They’ve turned into a boring ho-hum folk “metal” outfit with production not suitable for the music they are trying to do.

  • ckrk

    Don’t remind me how sahti is practically impossible to get while stuck in the USA.

  • Silja Laine

    Don’t remind me how sahti is practically impossible to get while stuck in the USA…