Company: Nuclear Blast Release: 2011 Genre: Traditional, folk Reviewer: Ravana
A solid entry in Korpiklaani's discography
With "Ukon Wacka", Finish folk metal vets Korpiklaani have now put out seven albums in eight years. This over-saturation means that several of Korpiklaani's past albums have contained only a few notable tracks amidst eight or nine songs that functioned as little more than filler. On "Wacka" Korpiklaani have compressed their approach a bit, with an album of ten songs that are for the most part fast, catchy, and heavy.
Korpiklaani's trademark fiddles, accordions, and flutes play as big a role here as ever standing out on tracks such as "Tuoppi Oltta," where they establish a jumpy, almost piratical melody. Frontman Jonne Jarvela's thick voice sounds robust; here is a man who truly "feels" what he sings and is by no means simply going through the motions, even on songs that otherwise lack a great amount of energy. The heart and soul of the band, Jarvela's vocal performance on this album (and many others) is perhaps what allows Korpiklaani to remain relatively dynamic even when their music is not. At least, that's true for those who aren't total suckers for the use of traditional folk instruments in folk metal (as opposed to a synthesizer).
Almost all of their albums feature an English-language drinking song and in this instance, "Tequila" underwhelms, lacking the memorable hooks that grace fan favorites "Beer Beer" and "Vodka." Fortunately, it's the only weak track to stand out. A solid entry in Korpiklaani's discography for sure, "Ukon Wacka" shows that bands can experience success by essentially doing more of the same.
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