Saturday, 19 July 2008

CD Review: Swampswong, by Kalmah (2003)

An astoundingly good heavy metal CD from Finland's Kalmah, Swampsong delivers a uniformly excellent songlist that sets a high standard and never disappoints. All nine songs are tightly controlled, distinctive, and feature memorable hooks and unique melodies.

The stand-out tracks are CD opener Heroes To Us, and the brilliant The Third, The Magical, with its exceptionally catchy interplay between Antti Kokko's guitar and Pasi Hiltula's keyboards. Doubtful About It All and Moon Of My Nights are just slightly less impressive, but still highly effective all the same as prime examples of melodic speed euro-metal.

This is Kalmah's third studio CD, and their sound continues to mature. Every song is both complex and well constructed. The music is written by Antti Kokko, while the lyrics are put together and sung in a melodic scream (appropriately mixed way back) by brother Pekka. The band has never sounded cleaner or tighter, and this is astounding considering that Kalmah's debut was already a near-perfect CD in terms of band sound.

Kalmah continue to prove that they are likely the world's best under-exposed heavy metal band -- and one of the best heavy metal bands, period.


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

Songlist (Ratings out of 10):

1. Heroes To Us - 10
2. Burbot's Revenge - 8
3. Cloned Insanity - 7
4. The Third, The Magical - 10 *See Audio Clip Below*
5. Bird Of III Omen - 8
6. Doubtful About It All - 9
7. Tordah - 8
8. Man With Mystery - 8
9. Moon Of My Nights - 9

Average: 8.56

Recorded by Ahti Kortelainen.
Mixed by Mikko Karmila.
Mastered by Mika Jussila.
Produced by Kalmah.

All Ace Black Blog Heavy Metal CD Reviews are here.

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