Korpiklaani – Jylha: A Review4th February 2021 0 By Owen Edmonds
Here’s a question for you, do you want Heavy Metal with added accordion and violin?
If the answer is yes, then Korpiklaani are your jam.
Jylha is the bands 11th album in this format and it builds on a great reputation for an entertaining band. Personally, I’ve seen them a couple of times at festivals and I’ve always enjoyed their set, however, I’ve never picked up one of their albums before so I was looking forward to giving this album a listen when not drunk or sunburnt.
Let’s get to it.
The first thing you notice about the album is that the accordion and violin do not sound out of place. Despite the heavy music and thrashy vocals, the folk element of the band compliments the music rather than distracting from it. And it is this folk element that first attracted me to the band.
I’ve got a side of me that loves a bit of folk rock, your Jethro Tull’s, and I have, on occasion, delved into people like Richard Thompson and Davy Graham. Not heavy, but intricate and skilled musicians.
Korpiklaani blend heavy metal and folk in a nice tight package that satisfies several different parts of what is called my brain.
As you can see, they are bonkers. But so much fun.
Now it is important to point out that I know this band, so the folk element isn’t new and was expected. If you’ve never had the pleasure of listening to them before, then I fully expect there to be a few raised eyebrows. Heck, you may not even like the accordion as an instrument. However, I really recommend giving them a go and just sticking with it.
Just think of the accordion as a keyboard and yes, I know there are some of you who hate keyboards in metal, but get over yourself and give it a go.
“But but but I don’t know what they are singing about.” I can hear the complaints already. Listen, if you enjoy Rammstein then unless you speak fluent German you won’t know what they’re signing about. The same is true of any band that doesn’t sing in your native language.
The good news is that it doesn’t matter.
All forms of Heavy Metal are not bound by needing to understand the depth of the lyrics and the nuances that the song writer wanted to get across. This is true for Korpiklaani, the music is about how it makes you feel, some songs are heavy and darker, full of foreboding whilst others are lighter, airy and full of excitement.
So no, I have no idea what they’re singing about, I have no intention to learn Finnish (or Sami) but that doesn’t stop me from getting the message of each song.
Finally, just before I jump into the conclusion, I want to say that the bass player, Jarkko Aaltonen looks like the kind of guy I want to have a drink with. Hopefully, when all of this is over and they get back to touring the UK I can worm my way backstage through a series of monetary and sexual bribes and buy that man a drink.
I was surprised how much I enjoyed listening to an entire albums worth of music. To me, Korpiklaani are the perfect festival band. If you’ve ever been to Donnington or Bloodstock then you know those lazy Saturday afternoons when you’re on your 10th warm cider and having downed a foot long hot dog or one of those manky massive yorkshire puddings and you want to kick back. You need to find Korpiklaani on the second stage and let them entertain you for 30-40 minutes. You have no idea what they’re singing about, but it sounds jaunty and the music bounces from the stage out into the crowd. Before you know it you’re up and doing some weird half drunk sea shanty type dance with a bunch of strangers. This will often turn into the best memory you take away from the festival.
However, having an entire album and listening to it on my own I wasn’t expecting to like it as much as I did. To all of you naysayers, do yourself a favour, lighten up, don’t take things so seriously and just enjoy the music.
Korpiklaani have created an album full of catchy riffs that you can just enjoy.
- Sanaton Maa
- Anolan Aukeat
Label – Nuclear Blast
Release – 5th February 2021
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About the author
I love music. My favourite 3 bands are Iron Maiden, The Doors and Jethro Tull. However, I love early Metallica, early RHCP, RATM, QOTSA, The Lounge Kittens, Rammstein, Clutch, Slayer, Faith No More, Pearl Jam, Rush, Black Sabbath, Led Zeppelin and so many more.