Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Album Review : The Black Waltz - Kalmah 6*

For Fans Of : Children Of Bodom, Arch Enemy

Oh Spotify, what confusion you cause. Anyone using spotify will be aware of their incompetent system of listing albums by year, but not year of original release, but year of re-release or availability on the service, thus Status Quo appear to have released nothing since 1964 until a flood of albums appear in the mid 2000's.  So, a few days ago when I clicked on the 'New Releases' section and saw Kalmah's album cover, I did rather think I was listening to a new album, before noticing Spotify's idiotic tagging system, but it appears that The Black Waltz was actually released in 2006.

Kalmah then are a Finnish symphonic black/death metal band who have been around for over a decade and have released 6 albums, The Black Waltz was their 4th release.

Musically it is a superior generic keyboard enhanced heavy power metal style, vocally, Pekka Kokko growls and grunts his way through the songs, tending more towards an Angela Gossow style of gruff vocals rather than out and out death metal screaming and growling, but still I think the vocals tend to detract a little from the songs rather than adding to them.  This is death metal though, and the genre rule is that grunting is compulsory.

For anyone that enjoys big slabs of guitar riffs and furious shredding accompanied by hyper fast, sometimes blastbeat drumming, this is a great album.  You can hear something akin to Helloween at their fastest on some tracks, Man Of The King in particular employs a fantastic drum rhythm driven riff section.

The Scandinavians really love their death metal, did you know that in Finland every third person is in a black metal band ? Really, it's that popular.

To sum up then, great music, not so good vocals, and if you want Kalmah's latest release, it's called 12 Gauge.

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