Sunday, 6 June 2010

CD Review: 12 Guage, by Kalmah (2010)

For their sixth studio CD, Kalmah produce a dense, sludgy and melodic concoction that emphasizes immense power. While the nine tracks on 12 Gauge may lack the immediate catchiness of Kalmah's earliest CDs, they are all well-constructed and meticulously complex mid to high tempo compositions.

On the three standout tracks, Swampwar, Hook The Monster, and Sacramentum, Kalmah's sound evokes a knee-deep trudging through an overwhelming swamp: the power of nature sucking humanity into an irresistible danger. The guitars of Pekka and Antti Kokko combine with the intermittent double bass assault of Janne Kusmin's drums to produce melodies that survive and then thrive under Pekka's low range growl. Controlled solos are combined with strong harmonies for the good of the song, rather than for individual glory.

Better Not To Tell is a bit of a disappointment, but the remaining tracks offer a refreshingly uniform level of high quality metal.

It is rare for a band to sustain innovation and forward progression this deep into their catalogue. If proof is further needed, 12 Gauge confirms Kalmah's status among the elite bands of melodic death metal.


Pekka Kokko - Vocals, Rhythm Guitars
Antti Kokko - Lead Guitars
Timo Lehtinen - Bass
Janne Kusmin - Drums
Marco Sneck - Keyboards

Songlist (ratings out of 10):

1. Rust Never Sleeps - 8
2. One Of Fail - 8
3. Bullets Are Blind - 8
4. Swampwar - 9
5. Better Not To Tell - 7
6. Hook The Monster - 9
7. Godeye - 8
8. 12 Gauge - 8 *see video below*
9. Sacramentum - 9

Average: 8.22

Produced by Kalmah.
Recorded by Ahti Kortelainen. Mastered by Hakan Akesson.

All Ace Black Blog Heavy Metal CD Reviews are here.

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