Kalmah
The Black Waltz


4.0
excellent

Review

by Sleepy USER (7 Reviews)
February 24th, 2006 | 141 replies


Release Date: 2006 | Tracklist


Many people know Kalmah as sounding very similar to Children of Bodom - fairly dynamic, mid-range vocals, heavy keyboards, and excellent guitar work. Personally, I am more of a fan of Kalmah - Antti Kokko's very unique, melodic lead style appeals to me more than Alexi Laiho's ripping solos.

Now, however, Kalmah seems to be ditching the CoB style of Power Metal, or at least moving in a different direction. Pekka Kokko's shyly mixed, mid-range voice has become a monstrous, deep roar mixed very prominently into the music. He has, over the course of when Swampsong was released until The Black Waltz, learned how to use his voice as an instrument, which really improves the overall sound of the music. The keyboards have also taken on a more dramatic tone, and for the most part, do not play along with Antti Kokko's soloing. They instead take on a very Dimmu Borgir-ish feel some of the time, and other times switch off soloing with the lead guitar. This, again, adds a more dynamic feel to Kalmah's music.

Another improvement is the presence of an acoustic track, Svieri Doroga (fun fact - that is the name of their first EP). I always knew Kalmah would be brilliant in an acoustic piece, and I was not let down! This is an absolutely superb song, and I love the riffing on it. It also serves as a very nice prelude to possibly the most epic-sounding track on the album - The Black Waltz, in which, again, Kalmah keyboardist Marco Sneck shows his versatility on the keys.

Another thing which really shows through on The Black Waltz, more so than their previous albums, is Kalmah's absolutely HUGE influence by old Heavy and Thrash Metal bands. There is enough Maiden and Megadeth in this album for both bands to make an album each from it. It really is that present - and Kalmah's unique keyboards and new vocal style give these sounds a new dimension that lends the overall feel of their album a unique sound. Much, much different than CoB.

I really cannot point out any weak spots on The Black Waltz - each track sounds extremely different from the last, yet they still retain a sense of uniformity. While it is by no means perfect, and perhaps could've used a little more variety in its tracks, I love the direction that Kalmah is going. They are still keeping their distinct, romantically guitared power metal riffing, pushing the vocals to be as brutal as possibly, and sending the keyboards into a dramatic, black metal tone. The shredding solos, usually seconded by keyboards on this album, are still there, and are intense as ever. This is definitely an album worth picking up, whether or not you are a big fan of Kalmah. The Black Waltz practically guarantees an explosive follow-up album by the band, and I am eager for it already!

Recommended tracks - Time Takes Us All, Bitter Metallic Side, Mindrust, Svieri Doroga.



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user ratings (411)
Chart.
3.9
excellent
other reviews of this album
AnEpicDeath (4)
Kalmah died and was reborn with this disk; they're still distinctly Kalmah, but their focus, sound, ...

TheUnibomber (4)
...


Comments:Add a Comment 
GenuineImitation
February 24th 2006


49 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Nice job. I love this album.

USER RATING: 4.5

MM23
February 24th 2006


33 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Yeah, it's... really different. Pekka's vocals suprised me at first...I even checked a bunch of metal news sites and wikipedia to see if perhaps they had a band lineup change, but nope, that's Pekka. How the hell can that be Pekka? I don't know. But I like it.

Like I said--it's really different. They definitely completely ditched the CoB sound--and because of it, they sound almost like an entirely different band. In some ways, this is good, but in some ways I kind of miss the old CoB-style power/death fusion. They did it far better than Bodom, if you ask me. But oh well. Good stuff.

I'm Charming
February 24th 2006


332 Comments


This is a insane album. It's by far Kalmah's best.

The guitar riffage and vocals are far improved.

The comment that the guitar work is better then Alexi's is outright crazy.

The guitar work is good but nowhere near Alexi or other great guitarists.

Sleepy
February 24th 2006


51 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

MMG - I never said the guitar work was better. I said I liked Antti's style more than Alexi's. That is personal taste, not claiming to better musicianship on behalf of either player.

Aakon_Keetreh
February 24th 2006


448 Comments


Im gonna check this out. I have heard about this band before.

MM23
February 24th 2006


33 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Upon listening to the full album (every song) I'm compelled to say this is Kalmah's best work yet.

The new sound is awesome.

Dead_Trench
February 24th 2006


159 Comments


I forgot they had a new one on the way. I've got to check this out.

i am the robots
February 25th 2006


1027 Comments


Holy fuck.

I love how they re-did songs off of their demo album, with Pekka's growling, The Black Walz and Svieri Doraga are even better... plus the production.

The whole thing is pure ownage.

I don't see what everybody says about them ditching the old sound, it's just more symphonic, and the vocals are better imo. I also think the comparison to CoB was just ignorance.

Sleepy
February 25th 2006


51 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Whereas the comparison could've been justified back in the They Will Return days, it is definitely not justified now. Kalmah is beginning to totally forge their own sound here - In my opinion, The Black Waltz is just a stepping stone. Their next release will be absolutely killer.

Shattered_Future
February 25th 2006


1541 Comments


Why does it seem like Kalmah is falling into a Bodomish pattern? That meaning it's starting to sound REALLY similar...

I was suprised though at the 30 seconds I listened to of this, their vocalist doesn't piss me off as much now. He's got a killer low voice.

I should listen to this a bit more...the keys seem more prominant, which is usually a good thing.

MM23
February 26th 2006


33 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Why does it seem like Kalmah is falling into a Bodomish pattern? That meaning it's starting to sound REALLY similar...


What? If anything, they're falling OUT of a Bodomish pattern.

Shattered_Future
February 26th 2006


1541 Comments


No, it means all their songs are starting to sound the same. I was listening to this last night, and shut it off after 4 songs. It's great at first, but it never changes...follows the same patterns.

Sleepy
February 26th 2006


51 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

It doesn't change much (although I personally thought To The Gallows sounded a lot different than the previous tracks)...until the Svieri Doroga interlude and The Black Waltz, then it takes a step in a different direction. It begins to start sounding the same, and then Mindrust comes on. Kalmah finishes the album with One From the Stands, which kind of kicks back to the sound of the first couple tracks.

Poofy 666
February 28th 2006


27 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

I'm really digging the new vocals

VincentVolaju
March 3rd 2006


8 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

I think CoB is crap compared to Kalmah, has always been, and always will be. Their riffs are boring the shredding doesn't save a song or album, since riffs make up most of a song, and CoB's melodies sound too happy or childish, as well as boring keyboards, back to Kalmah, Defeat has awesome keyboards, omg >.

VincentVolaju
March 3rd 2006


8 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

check out Jerry C from.... somewhere in Asia, his guitar work puts Laiho to shame when it comes to shredding/solo-ing. with that being said....... sorry im just a bit anal about mofos putting Laiho and 'co' above Kalmah when really.......... well its only my opinion anyway =p

whatduffhuck7
March 8th 2006


163 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

i dont know about the vocals, music is really good though. but vocals really turn me off

and to the guy above me, laiho is a really good guitarist. kalmah also has a very skilled guitarist. jerry c is not any better than alexi, jerry c should be known as a god of sweeping becuase he is purely amazing at sweeps, but alexi laiho is pretty damn good at them aswell. and alexi made something of himself, jerry c has only and couple video's and a website. laiho has a record deal.

not to put down jerrycThis Message Edited On 03.08.06

XhalX
March 9th 2006


6 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

i luv the music....but vocals.....there ok!!!!!
but still pretty good!!!!

Apocalypticon
March 9th 2006


22 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Awesome record, my favourite Kalmah album so far. I really like Time Takes Us All, The Black Waltz, and The Groan of Wind.

JausmetalJ
March 14th 2006


21 Comments


I got the album today and listened to it 5 times through.

I absolutely love it...

CoB's melodies sound too happy or childish

This is fairly true, but I still like CoB alot (Ive heard alot more CoB then Kalmah)

Ive only heard various tracks from other albums, and I LOVE swamphell, such a killer tune.



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