KORPIKLAANI, the powerful Finnish troupe of the pleasant Lahti that sets fire to the stages with his acts of magic since 1993 has now reached the eleventh studio album very far from Shamaani Duo and Shaman‘s past. “Jylhä” the new “majesty” of thirteen super tracks produced by Janne Saksa and released by Nuclear Blast on February 5, 2021 still features the bold and mixed folk that won over fans around the world but now with Samuli Mikkonen on board in command of the drums definitely so I cannot deny that I already expected in advance a KORPIKLAANI re energized for the new musical endeavor. Mikkonen is not a new name in this band’s journey but unlike before we can finally appreciate his resourcefulness within the compositions and production of KORPIKLAANI, now in a more mature and solid phase (if we can really say) where these musicians sail on a thematic extension much broader than the alcoholic spirits corridor, an example of this is the brilliant projection of “Leväluhta” genres with the fun reggae-folk mix that few achieve, or “Tuuleton” and the elaborate progressive lines set to Finnish sound, or even “Sanaton maa” which despite holding a lot of folk style “Korpiklaani” still offers a more honest track.
Understand, the old formula of the band is still on this album, and the language change in the lyrics is still very well accepted by the public but now we see a much more elaborate content that leaves a little bit of the fun rhythm that KORPIKLAANI has always adopted, and this facilitates a greater amplification of the listeners, after all not everyone can maintain a good mood these days.
Listening to “Jylhä” we can finally say that Jonne Järvelä decided to leave the comfort zone and the collaboration with Mikkonen has finally provided a synergy that resulted in something that doesn’t exactly sound like new but regenerated with sumptuous passages by various genres and can easily please the most demanding industry critics.
Melancholic atmospheres contrasting with the cheerful climate, violin sessions mixed with powerful riffs, groovy layers as in “Kiuru”, momentarily going back to the roots as the most traditional “Miero” or going to the peak of joy in “Huolettomat” and “Anolan aukeat”, Guttural vocals mixed with clean voices, KORPIKLAANI delivers to listeners a diverse and abundant “menu” with space for the banjo lines teeming over burly guitars that present listeners with a new facet of the band as in “Pidot” or bringing demons and murder narrative as in “Kiuru”, “Jylhä” may not win the top nomination among this year’s most favored albums but it is still worth listening to, even if it is to ward off the darkness…
Jonne Järvelä – vocals/ acoustic guitar
Sami Perttula – accordion
Tuomas Rounakari – violin
Jarkko Aaltonen – bass
Kalle “Cane” Savijärvi – guitar
Samuli Mikkonen – drums/percussion
Label link: https://www.nuclearblast.de