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   KALMAH
Swampsong
2003
Spinefarm
http://www.kalmah.com


rating: 5/5

1. Heroes To Us
2. Burbot's Revenge
3. Cloned Insanity
4. The Third, The Magical
5. Bird Of Ill Omen
6. Doubtful About It All
7. Tordah
8. Man With Mystery
9. Moon Of My Nights
Swampmetallers from Finland, Kalmah, are back with their third full length album entitled "Swampsong". I assume saying they're swampier than ever is quite appropriate. Their mixture of melodic death metal has some elements from thrash metal, black metal and even mild folkish influences not to forget the presence of traditional heavy metal. I think it is fair to say that on "Swampsong" they deepen the furrows they moulded on their first two releases.

The album is very guitar driven although the keyboards are still in the picture and when they are, the trace they leave is amazing, but still the main focus is clearly on the damn pounding heavy riffs that follow one another and the guitar handling in general has just gotten better and better. Actually, the musicianship in general is tighter than on their previous releases. Antti Kokko, the lead guitarist and main composer, is to blame for most of the songwriting. He has managed to come up with, not only some killer riffs, but also very nice melodies.

Pekka Kokko's vocals are now more versatile than earlier. He certainly is not giving a lesson in clean singing, but there are more shades to his growling this time around. Lyrically the album is once again based on nature and simply the world surrounding us. It's easy to say that "Swampsong" is easily Kalmah's strongest work to date and the level of originality has just kept on rising. Listen to songs like "The Third, The Magical", "Doubtful About It All", "Man With Mystery" and "Moon Of My Nights" and...oh crap, the whole album and prepare to say goodbye to your sanity because this album simply kills! Keep it up, swamplords!

submitted by Aleksi 11.07.2003

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