Upon first listen to the violins on “Cottages & Saunas” on the Korpiklaani CD “Voice Of Wilderness” I thought someone slid a Skyclad CD in on me. However, the overall music and vocals are much heavier than Martin Walkyier and company. The band features former members of Shaman.
Korpiklaani (which translates to Forest Clan) sound like a cross between Skyclad, Running Wild and Blind Guardian leaning quite heavily on the Finnish folks elements of their proud heritage. According to their biography, Korpiklaani relies heavily on these folk tales passed down through the ages and incorporate them into their songs.
The Running Wild comparison is drawn from the fact vocalist Jonne sounds very similar to Rock N Rolf. This is quite evident of the track “Fields In Flames”. Blind Guardian is also easy to draw as a reference point recalling their “Imaginations From The Other Side” era. The instrumental “Pine Woods” practically has a renaissance feel to it (at the beginning) similar to the material released by Blackmore’s Night but soon becomes much heavier and faster.
By no means is Korpiklaani a water-downed effort. While paying respectful homage to their native culture, they not only embrace it but put a heavy metal twist on it that current generations may appreciate in their own way.