Korpiklaani is a "folk-metal" band that has spent its career capitalizing on the wannabe-vikings/faux-pagans (or maybe some of these people think they're legit) of the world who are most commonly found drinking Mountain Dew in a flagon while pretending that it's mead while also playing Skyrim or World of Warcraft and acting like Amon Amarth is the heaviest band in the world. Fans of this type of music enjoy it for the melody, the folky inspiration (like the inlcusion of instruments that aren't typically found in metal), and most of all, because it is supposed to be unique. In a world of bands just trying to be the next Iron Maiden or Slayer, or in Korpiklaani's native Scandinavia, trying to be the next In Flames or Burzum, folk-metal bands like Finntroll and Korpiklaani are supposed to provide a refreshing alternative to the heavier side of metal. Fun music to drink "mead" to, right?
The problem is that, although the schtick might have been cute at first, it was never really all that listenable, and anything unique about this band has, by its seventh album, Ukon Wacka
, completely disappeared. And while this was indeed my first Korpiklaani album, I thought that since it was newer I should listen to their older material, because it's probably better. I was wrong. These guys are the AC/DC of their insane sub-genre, or maybe that is too much of an insult to AC/DC. These guys are the Motley Crue of this pagan/folk-metal noise, in that although their music largely stays the same, it manages to keep getting worse and worse. Every album Korpiklaani puts out is the exact same. Same dumb, ***ty Xbox 360 RPG-level music, complete with every instrument you don't
want in a metal record ("acoustic and electric violin, jouhikko, tin-whistle, recorder, torupill (bagpipe), mandolin, mouth harp," according to Wikipedia), and the same ridiculous vocals that go from sounding like a deaf and dumb Finnish man trying to carry on a conversation to what I'm guessing is the vocalist's attempt at "harsh vocals," or at least, "harsh" by pagan-folk-Skyrim metal standards. While no one criticizes Motorhead or Overkill for not bringing anything new to the table, at least they've perfected
their formula. Korpiklaani's formula, on the other hand, was never good to begin with.
And I know I'm not supposed to take this music seriously. For one thing, how the *** could I (or anyone), and while I am certainly aware that metal as a whole isn't usually meant to be taken all that seriously, it should at least ***ing sound good. If you're going to be a novelty group like this, at least have decent music to back it up. But listening to this album, it is easy to see why Paganism and the worship of trolls and other stupid, old-world bull*** has all died out. If the folk music of those ancient times sounded anything like Korpiklaani, then I guess I'd be a Christian crusader and slaughter those silly ***ers too.