Review Summary: inexcusably bad.
Wyrd’s 2007 release Kammen
was not the masterpiece that some may have been led to believe, but it definitely did not falter with the task of incorporating folk elements into a general black metal aesthetic, something which is often nothing short of terrible. Their unique hollow sound coupled with their amalgamation of pagan themes and black metal gave them a certain level of profundity, and it is the complete lack of this profundity which ruins their latest record, Kalivägi
. Opener ‘Verisurma’ is the album’s proclamation of its total swing and a miss atmosphere, with an irritating ‘folk’ melody under monotonous riffing and distasteful vocals. The simple fact that the song keeps repeating the particular inane and ridiculous melody immediately leaves one wondering if Wyrd are still the same band they were two years ago.
The biggest setback to an album that relies on a particular atmosphere is when the band fails to achieve the atmosphere required. With Kalivägi
, Wyrd do not even come close. After the dreadful title track which does nothing more than add to the woes of the opener, Wyrd toss up ‘Hämarän Soutajat’, the first song to prominently feature clean guitar passages. Those who have listened to the band before will agree with me when I say that the aforementioned ‘profundity’, if not in the black metal sections, should hopefully be found in the clean. ‘Hämarän Soutajat’ starts off rather well, but then lo and behold! Mumbled vocals that should
sound depressing but actually sound awful come into the frame, before an appalling chorus seals the song's fate. The rubbish clean singing coupled with the mediocre guitar chords leaves the song sounding like a bastardized version of a shi
tty folk metal band trying to sound epic (Ensiferum, Wintersun, Moonsorrow - take your pick). ‘Loitsulaulu’ also conforms to this mediocrity that has pervaded the band’s sound, adding to its obnoxious tone and unoriginality.
Perhaps the only part of the record which offers anything resembling emotional complexity would be the longest track ‘Talviyö’. Much like Kammen
’s best track ‘October’, the song opens with a beautiful clean passage, which is then built upon in an elegant fashion. However, the song is still far too long for the amount of goodness it actually has, and by itself does not warrant even a second listen. To elaborate on that point, there is nothing on this album which would make one even consider giving it a second listen. Awash with generic folk metal nonsense, and devoid of the necessary attraction that makes any black metal album appealing, Kalivägi
is nothing more than a total flop of an album. It seems that Wyrd have had their day.