Kalmah
12 Gauge


3.5
great

Review

by Darkvoid67 USER (32 Reviews)
December 23rd, 2010 | 13 replies | 1,997 views


Release Date: 2010 | Tracklist

Review Summary: A decent offering from a solid melodic death metal band. But is anyone still listening?

Call it swamp metal, death metal, power metal, whatever, but at the end of the day Kalmah is a genuinely decent melodic death metal band from Finland who have not only got the claims to inventing their own genre, but one of the most solid discography’s in melodic death metal to boot. Starting out in 2000 with the decent, of somewhat unsurprising “Swamplord” the band have been tweaking their sound ever since “The Black Waltz” to the sound we have today. Gone are the high-pitched Alexi-Laiho growls of previous releases and the sophistication, replaced with a dirtier, grittier thrash sound and deep growls that sit nice and comfortable within the genre. A truly revolutionary release this is not, but it is solid enough to demand the attention of anyone who is looking for a better entry in the genre than most other releases.

What Kalmah have done with this release, as they have done with their previous two is venture further into their thrash roots. The guitar riffs here are solid and have a more riff-orientated approach than on earlier releases, saving the short bursts of lead guitar work for when they are most effective. There is even one or two solo’s present which consolidate Pekka Kokko and Antti Kokko as a great pair of guitarists who have learned the key skills from their thrash idols. Furious riffage that Dave Mustaine would be proud of is present in spades in the title track, and “One of Fail” continues on an even more savage path, the riffs of the axemen carving their way through the melee of sound to devastating effect. Drums are dutifully performed by Janne Kusmin, who hands in one hell of a performance and bassist Timo Lehtinen acts as a solid foundation for the songs to build upon. The instrumentation on display here is performed with a certain savagery which is refreshing to hear, especially considering the genre has lacked a certain bite to it ever since “Twilight of the Thunder God” was released in 2008.

Vocally, the album gets the job done. Pekka Kokko has gone back to his deep-end growls of “The Black Waltz” which is surprising and somewhat disappointing given the quality of his higher-end efforts on “For the Revolution”. Nonetheless, much as Johan Hegg of Amon Amarth had done on his band’s latest release Kokko hands in a cleaner, more refined performance, which rids itself of the ill placed grunts and sound-off’s of earlier releases. There are also some rallying gang vocals present on much of the choruses and outro’s of the album which makes the listener want to do nothing but punch their fist in the air and chant along, so from that point of view this album must be doing something right. But while Kokko’s vocals sit nicely with the music, they are incredibly unoriginal and even somewhat dull, which limits the record from being as good as previous releases. If only he had added some higher pitched efforts, then we would have had a completely different story.

At the end of the day, what we have is most certainly a decent, if somwhat unspectacular melodic death metal release. The added thrash influence provides us with as much bite as melody and the rhythmic section is once again top-notch, if not improved from previous releases. Even though Pekka Kokko hands in a somewhat dull performance, the refinement present and added emphasis on deep growls mean it is somewhat easier to digest than the bands earlier material.

Recommended Tracks:

1. Bullets are Blind
2. One of Fail
3. Swampwar
4. 12 Gauge



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user ratings (316)
Chart.
3.9
excellent
other reviews of this album
Allhailboobies (3)
...

Thomas Michael Morris (4)
neoclassical-melodic-power-death-folk-cluster***-metal, now with more swamp....

Kyle Ward STAFF (4)
A fine return to form...


Comments:Add a Comment 
Darkvoid67
December 23rd 2010


383 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Yeah, decent but rather unspectacular. I'm expecting Crysis to disagree

Crysis
Staff Reviewer
December 23rd 2010


16373 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I am still listening just so you know.

Digging: Darkspace - Dark Space III I

Crimson Death
December 23rd 2010


533 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

I like Godeye and Sacramentum, but the album as a whole maybe not.

Yazz_Flute
December 23rd 2010


18781 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

i'm still listening to this somewhat frequently

Digging: Battles - Mirrored

Hyperion1001
Staff Reviewer
December 23rd 2010


18449 Comments


I have never heard this band, but if Crysis gave it a 4.5 then shit, i better find this somewhere.

The review was actually pretty good, so you have my pos.

Digging: Recondite - Caldera/DRGN 2

Yazz_Flute
December 23rd 2010


18781 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

A little surprised you've never heard these guys...one of the first melo-death bands I got into. That was before I was on
sputnik even.

This is probably their best album too...never would have thought they could top They Will Return.

:edit: 12,000th comment. AND I GOT IT ON AN ALBUM CALLED FUCKING 12 GAUGE. WHAT THE FUCKING SHIT.

Crysis
Staff Reviewer
December 23rd 2010


16373 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I have never heard this band, but if Crysis gave it a 4.5 then shit, i better find this somewhere.

It may not be to your taste, at least not 4.5 worthy, but hey it's worth a shot. I personally am in love with their sound so that's where the 4.5 is from.

Darkvoid67
December 23rd 2010


383 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Basically, if you like Amon Amarth or Ensiferum, then this will be right up your street

witchxrapist
December 23rd 2010


11032 Comments


band is so over the hill

[img]http://sputnikmusic.com/forums/image.php?u=445351&dateline=1293161459[/img]

SLIMED

lobby
December 23rd 2010


1251 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

album is awesome

Yazz_Flute
December 23rd 2010


18781 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

then rate it higher fucking cat lookin ass nigga

Metalstyles
Staff Reviewer
December 24th 2010


8357 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0 | Sound Off

Ok review but you contradict yourself way too often.

Example 1:

A truly revolutionary release this is not, but it is solid enough to demand the attention of anyone who is looking for a better entry in the genre than most other releases.


Listen to it if you’re a fan of the genre, but for those looking for a real convincer of why they should listen to the genre don’t waste your time.


Example 2:
It is a shame that “12 Gauge” turned out quite like it did.


What we have is most certainly a decent melodic death metal release.


Example 3:
Gone are the high-pitched Alexi-Laiho growls of previous releases and the sophistication, replaced with a dirtier, grittier thrash sound and deep growls that sit nice and comfortable within the genre.


Vocally, the album gets the job done. Just.


Darkvoid67
December 24th 2010


383 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Ok, thanks Metalstyles. Edited all your points (I think). On retrospect, this was rushed and I didn't pay too much attention to it. Hopefully my next will be better



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