Kalmah
Palo


4.0
excellent

Review

by TheNotrap USER (24 Reviews)
June 20th, 2019 | 21 replies


Release Date: 2018 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Finnish fire

It was only last year that I became aware of Kalmah. My curiosity about this particular genre has only recently awakened, after listening to Be'lakor's Vessels. Australians' stunning 2016 release was thus my turning point in melodic death metal, a genre I've always found somewhat annoying, repetitive and devoid of originality. Sure, I've always enjoyed some melody on its most aggressive form, but, with some exceptions, much of the music that came out rested solely on an easy collage of Iron Maiden, European power metal and death metal, a formula I didn't find sufficiently attractive or challenging. In this sense, Vessels opened the door to Kalmah, allowing me to discover the band's discography unreservedly.

Kalmah reaches 2018 with seven full-length under their belt, being widely accepted as one of the most interesting melodic death metal bands of the past 20 years. The band's first four releases became cornerstones of the genre alongside albums such as Wintersun or Ensiferum, and even the less consensual For The Revolution, which I particularly enjoy, displays an undeniable quality. So it's with remarkable consistency that we get to Palo the band's long-awaited eighth album.

The opener "Blood Ran Cold" immediately reveals what we can expect from Palo. Even after an unusual four-year break, the Finnish swamp lords don't seek to change or innovate their formula, on the contrary the band shows itself to be broadly confident and comfortable with its roots, something perfectly audible in the opener that explores the typical Kalmah balance between melody and controlled aggressiveness, where the heavier verse meets the catchy folksy chorus in the most natural and spontaneous way. This balance is a key part of the band's DNA and is always present on Palo, whose songs flow naturally as parts of an unpretentious painting made by an artist who elegantly reveals his maturity in a simple and straightforward manner. Another interesting and distinguishing element present are the engaging thrashy riffs that pop out every now and then, spreading some welcome testosterone throughout the album. If Palo starts well, it's in the second half that I find my personal highlights on songs like the vibrant "Paystreak" or the super catchy "Waiting in the Wings" and "Through the Shallow Waters". These three songs, through their appealing approach and pleasant balance that I described previously, perfectly synthesize Kalmah's strengths, being the main reason why I appreciate this band so much.

Yes, Palo doesn't bring anything new, it's not a breath of fresh air nor will it be remembered as a milestone of the genre, but this Finnish fire still has enough strength to burn some wood and forge good songs, and a good song still means something.



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user ratings (118)
Chart.
3.7
great

Comments:Add a Comment 
TheNotrap
June 19th 2019


11423 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

Good stuff.



If someone finds some grammatical errors or sentences that can be improved / optimized, please let me know, I'll fix it.

Digging: Wormed - Metaportal

Hawks
June 20th 2019


72455 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

m/ m/ m/ m/ m/

Digging: Blood Stain Child - Epsilon

Dewinged
Contributing Reviewer
June 20th 2019


16295 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Much needed review according to that amount of ratings. Well done dude!

Digging: Lingua Ignota - Caligula

TheNotrap
June 20th 2019


11423 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

Thanks ;)



m/ Hawks

botb
June 20th 2019


13077 Comments


Used to love this band, probably haven’t spun them since high school

rockandmetaljunkie
June 20th 2019


8108 Comments


nice review, trap

"If someone finds some grammatical errors or sentences that can be improved / optimized, please let me know, I'll fix it"

I've read your review 2-3 times and so far i have not found any "serious errors", though there are a couple of things you could improve

for instance:

-> "a genre that I've always found"
Try not to overuse the word "that". "A genre I've always found" reads better, imo

-> "devoid of originality"

You could go with "unoriginal", or even "formulaic", "mimetic", etc. Although it's not wrong to use either description, i myself prefer using "single-word" adjectives to describe things instead of using longer sequences of words.

-> "Even after an unusual four-year break, the Finnish swamp lords don't seek to
change or innovate their formula, on the contrary the band shows itself to be broadly confident and comfortable with its roots, something perfectly audible in the opener that explores the typical Kalmah balance between melody and controlled aggressiveness, where the heavier verse meets the catchy folksy chorus in the most natural and spontaneous way"

You don't need me to explain how long this sentence is. Break it down. Begin with putting a full stop to "their formula". Even if you don't wish to break it down, you have to put one more comma after "on the contrary" so it reads like this:

"the Finnish swamp lords don't seek to change or innovate their formula, on the contrary, the band"

-> "has enough strength to burn some wood"

has enough gas left in the tank

like i said, these are not serious errors, just a few things i nitpicked

rockandmetaljunkie
June 20th 2019


8108 Comments


You can use Grammarly for some basic proofreading. It's a useful tool and its initial version (there's always the premium version) is for free.


I'm really glad your spark for reviewing has been re-ignited.

Dedes
June 20th 2019


6509 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Palo rules. Kalmah may very well be the only band to not even make a tweak to their formula and still pump out albums that riff as hard as ever.

Dedes
June 20th 2019


6509 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Well, at least in melodic dm.

Hawks
June 20th 2019


72455 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Band slayz yeah.

TheNotrap
June 20th 2019


11423 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

Thanks for reading the review and for your feedback Rock mate.

"has enough strength to burn some wood"

Check the album's name & artwork ;)



Yeah Dedes, Palo rules & riffs hard. These guys never released a weak album.

rockandmetaljunkie
June 20th 2019


8108 Comments


I see, cheers Trap


edit: you can still use firepower instead of "strength" ;)

TheNotrap
June 21st 2019


11423 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

I don't steal from Metal Gods, I love my iPhone

rockandmetaljunkie
June 21st 2019


8108 Comments


Hahaha

WretchedCacophony
June 21st 2019


1564 Comments


first half of Kalmah's catalog is practically impeccable. Insane shit.

Digging: Lord Belial - Enter The Moonlight Gate

Sevengill
June 21st 2019


9216 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

second half is super solid too, but those first three are just their own breed of awesome.

TheNotrap
June 21st 2019


11423 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

I love all their albums. They're my favorite melodic death metal band, alongside Be'lakor.

Hawks
June 21st 2019


72455 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Good choices. m/

WretchedCacophony
June 21st 2019


1564 Comments


nah Amon Amarth reached god tier levels with Berserker. That's > Everything. It's called Berserker so you just know it rules
These guys sing about swamps. Swamps stink

Hawks
June 21st 2019


72455 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

My fav melodeath band is either TBDM or Insomnium with Dark Tranquillity, Be’lakor, Intestine Baalism and Bodom not far behind.



These guys and Amon Amarth are up there too.



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