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Korpiklaani - "Noita" (CD)

Korpiklaani - "Noita" CD cover image

"Noita" track listing:

1. Viinamäen mies (2:58)
2. Pilli on pajusta tehty (2:43)
3. Lempo (5:35)
4. Sahti (3:28)
5. Luontoni (3:01)
6. Minä näin vedessä neidon (6:09)
7. Jouni Jouni (4:52)
8. Kylästä keväinen kehto (4:42)
9. Ämmänhauta (5:18)
10. Sen verran minäkin noita (6:37)

Reviewed by on April 22, 2015

"The good times-seeking Finns are back with more upbeat folk metal to chug your beer along with, although this time with a longer wait in between releases than has been typical of Korpiklaani."

The good times-seeking Finns are back with more upbeat folk metal to chug your beer along with, although this time with a longer wait in between releases than has been typical of Korpiklaani. Ditching the band's standard one album per year release schedule, “Noita” gestated for three years following previous full-length “Manala,” and as might be expected, there's a shift in tone accompanying that waiting period.

First up, there's no English at all this time around, so unfortunately there's not a new drinking song you can blast at parties to get people chanting “bring us points of beer” or “Tequila!” The closest thing will be “Jouni Jouni,” which will sound immediately familiar to most despite the Finnish language. After a few moments it hilariously kicks in: Korpiklaani is covering “Mony Mony” (originally by Tommy James & the Shondells but made famous later by Billy Idol in the '80s).

While there are a couple of slower and more melancholy tracks on “Noita,” overall Korpiklaani is much more interested in having fun than in being dark or brooding (think Alestorm rather than Emperor). The only exceptions to that rule come in “Lempo,” which significantly slows down the tempo, as well as that utterly unspellable sixth track that also slows down the beat and has the strings go a mournful direction for a change of pace.

There's a strong accordion and violin presence on this album (check out the upbeat accordion shenanigans on “Sahti”), but this album actually goes a little more full throttle on the guitar front than in recent releases. Although it can change from track to track and is fairly balanced overall, the metal half of the folk metal equation is fully on display.

Korpiklaani probably peaked at the “Karkelo” album, with its near-perfect mix of drunken mischief (has there been a more infectious drinking song than “Vodka?”) and serious folk music. “Noita” is a nice change of pace with its stronger focus on metal, and there are tracks that will probably have you doing a jig in your living room, although most of the songs (with the possible exception of the Billy Idol cover) likely won't stick in your head after the album ends.

Highs: Good balance between folk and metal that doesn't skimp on the metal, and the Billy Idol cover is hilariously awesome.

Lows: There's not an iconic drinking track this time around, and not much to really stick in your head after the album ends.

Bottom line: There's not a smash hit like "Vodka," but this is still some good solid folk metal from the Finnish masters.

Rated 3.5 out of 5 skulls
3.5 out of 5 skulls


Key
Rating Description
Rated 5 out of 5 skulls Perfection. (No discernable flaws; one of the reviewer's all-time favorites)
Rated 4.5 out of 5 skulls Near Perfection. (An instant classic with some minor imperfections)
Rated 4 out of 5 skulls Excellent. (An excellent effort worth picking up)
Rated 3.5 out of 5 skulls Good. (A good effort, worth checking out or picking up)
Rated 3 out of 5 skulls Decent. (A decent effort worth checking out if the style fits your tastes)
Rated 2.5 out of 5 skulls Average. (Nothing special; worth checking out if the style fits your taste)
Rated 2 out of 5 skulls Fair. (There is better metal out there)
< 2 skulls Pretty Bad. (Don't bother)