Saturday, 7 June 2008

CD Review: They Will Return, by Kalmah (2002)

They Will Return is the second CD from Finland's Kalmah. Released in 2002, it builds upon the remarkable debut Swamplord (2001), but without eclipsing it.

Kalmah's style continues to demonstrate a deep appreciation for complex, mid-tempo classical-inspired melodic heavy metal compositions, relying heavily on memorable lead guitar riffs supported by excellent keyboards. The ever-present inter-play between Antti Kokko's lead guitar and Pasi Hiltula's keyboard, set against the backdrop of strong melodies, is the signature Kalmah sound, and it is very evident on this CD.

The vocals are a mix between growling and punk-inspired, with a hint at attempted melody. For the most part, the vocals stay away from interfering with the very strong compositons.

As is common with a Kalmah CD, there are no weak tracks: just good songs and great songs. The highlights of They Will Return are Swamphell, Principle Hero, and Kill The Idealist. The best track on the CD is the title track, where the lead guitar delivers a sustained epic sonic assault. The CD ends with a cover of Megadeth's Skin O'My Teeth. While it's good to see Kalmah saluting one of the legendary metal bands, Skin O'My Teeth was never one of my favourite songs, and I could have done without this cover.

It was always going to be impossible to improve upon Swamplord, and They Will Return unsurprisingly does not, but on is own merits it is a solid enough follow-up.


Timo Lehtinen - Bass
Pasi Hiltula - Keyboards
Antti Kokko - Lead Guitar
Janne Kusmin - Drums
Pekka Kokko - Vocals, Guitar

Song List (ratings out of 10):

Hollow Heart - 8
Swamphell - 9
Principle Hero - 9
Human Fates - 8
They Will Return - 10 *See Audio Clip Below*
Kill The Idealist - 9
The Blind Leader - 8
My Nation - 9
Skin O'My Teeth - 6

Average: 8.44

Recorded by Ahti Kortelainen.
Mastered by Mika Jussila.
Produced by Kalmah and Ahti Kortelainen.

All Ace Black Blog CD Reviews are here.

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