The Finns of Korpiklaani have always been known for turning folk music into an endless party through their songs, and this is no exception. With 12 songs that surf the Nordic wind, the group is in charge of returning to the basic sound heard within their earlier discography deliveries and made indisputable merit to their ancestral roots. It is worth mentioning that for this album, their singer and leader, Jonne Järvelä, takes up the pencil again to put his creativity to work, composing 10 of the songs that make up the album based on the sensations that isolation in nature evokes him, giving the music an immersive feeling towards reflection and celebration of their roots.

In the composition of the remaining songs, drummer Samuli Mikkonen is present, contributing to the lyrics, and new member Olli Vänskä to the music. It’s here that the band’s turning point begins, starting an unexpected turn in their musical line, giving as a final result a complete and easy-to-listen-to album, thanks to the masterful incorporation of Vänskä’s violin.

An interesting part of this new release, the band’s twelfth album, is that each song differs widely from the other in its background sound, even incorporating a more than pleasant surprise in their song “Viikatelintu,” which has a slow and highly emotional beginning, where the violin takes center stage unquestionably. Korpiklaani continue to deliver a party in all their songs. The rhythms are dynamic and fast, but this time they add more folk sonority to their tracks, and the image that remains when you listen to them. 

Songs generate a tinge of longing for celebration towards a landscape that moves away from the noise of the people, and that returns the energy to mother earth. This sensation is reaffirmed when you listen to the song “Kotomaa,” which begins with acapella as a voice call to join the instruments to mix with the band’s own energy throughout the song. 

An example of Korpiklaani’s return to their roots in the song “Saunaan,” composed by Vänskä when he joined the band and written by Mikkonen, which is an energetic injection from beginning to end and whose lyrics talk about a never-ending celebration enjoying a nice sauna while drinking to the bone. In addition to this song, the drummer also wrote the lyrics of “Kalmisto,” which starts with a very heavy metal style guitar to give in to a quieter folk where the background accordion plays in tune with the violin and Järvelä’s voice.

As for the song that gives the album its name, “Rankarumpu,” its leader commented: “It is a song in honor of the members of the band,” and that’s exactly what describes, showing the strength of the track right from the beginning thanks to the powerful drums that leads to an energetic explosion that resolves in the typical feast of the Nordics.  

A musical fusion that returns to its legendary paths to create entertaining and well-crafted sonorities, the album is a statement of years of experience within this metal subgenre. However, the last track, “Harhainen höyhen,” is slow and relaxed, as melancholic as an illusory feather as its title suggests, where it seems to be losing the mood of celebration of the band and rather generates a certain nostalgic feeling in its chords, almost a call to the higher beings, where the most remarkable thing would be the voice of Järvelä, who raises it to a higher tone, and nothing else. Quite an interesting choice for the end of the album. 

 Overall, listening to the record as a whole, it remains faithful to the roots of the Finns, who have dared to take a step forward and add new sonic tints that increase their musicality to a much more technical level, demonstrating it in an album that not only talks about partying and mindless drunkenness but most importantly about a return to the core of their roots that brings them closer to their connection with the land, their ancestors and of course, offering a splendid tribute in an endless toast of good booze and good songs.  


Korpiklaani’s new album, Rankarumpu, arrives on April 5th via Nuclear Blast Records. Order your copy here.