Kalmah - _Swampsong_
(Century Media, 2003)
by: Quentin Kalis (
Kalmah, along with Children of Bodom, are the Finnish cousins of the melodic death bands that originated in neighbouring Sweden, but differing in that they utilise a more mainstream and melodic approach with a stronger focus on the heavy metal component of the mix. Although not the most original of bands (they are frequently and justifiably compared with Children of Bodom), this is overshadowed by the exemplary execution and sheer catchiness of the music. Those who have heard Kalmah's two previous offerings will not be disappointed by _Swampsong_, as it retains the features that made previous albums so memorable: duelling guitars overlaid upbeat keyboards overlaid by the accompaniment of snarling, black metal-esque vocals. (The converse is also true -- if you hated Kalmah's previous albums, then you will hate this as well.) The guitars occasionally erupt into their trademark ultra fast bursts of melodious speed, less frequently than in the past but no less intense. The riffs are again extremely catchy and guaranteed to rebound inside your head for days. An enjoyable album, though their style risks becoming stale should it carry on without significant alterations.
(article published 12/5/2003)
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